I frequently hang out with a group of bikers, even though I don’t ride myself. They’re a fun group of people, and some of them are really good friends. Some of them are nuts. I think that could be said of any group of people. I usually see this group every Wednesday night. We get together and socialize at different bars around The City, like Molotov’s on Haight or the Hi Dive on Embarcadero. There’s a lot of taking the piss with one another, and several little pranks that folks in the group like to play on each other. My favorite is the kill switch.
On a motorcycle, the starter is different from a car, in that there’s the key and then there’s a button. To start the bike, turn the key and push the button, basically. To turn the bike off, push the button. The thing is, unlike a car, everything is out in the open on a motorcycle. Also, when you’re riding with a group of motorcycles, you usually pull up to stops and what not side by side.
One night, months ago, after leaving the bar, J4 explained the prank while I was sitting on the back of his bike at stop with Dub next to us. He hadn’t really been meaning to encourage me, but I caught on pretty quickly. Just as the light was about to change, I reached over and smacked the switch on Dub’s bike, and J4 took off, leaving Dub sitting at the now green light. I thought this was hilarious.
Last night, we were out as usual, only we had taken my car instead of one of J4’s bikes. As we were leaving, several of the others were pulling away on their bikes. One fellow, who I’ll call Yellow, came to the first light with us on my side of the car and waved. At the next light, he was on the passenger’s side. I said to J4, “you know what would be funny is if you could lean out of the car, and get his kill switch.” The difference between this and what we did with Dub was that I really was trying to encourage J4. Well, it didn’t take much.
J4 leaned out of the car window, and couldn’t quite reach the switch, but he did manage to turn the key, and shut the bike down. Just as it died, the light turned green, and J4 pulled himself back in. We heard the most awesome, “AAAAAHHH” from Yellow as I pulled away from the light.
We were pretty freaking pleased with ourselves, and we giggled all the way back to Oakland.