The deep, slowing throb of a Harley Davidson* attracted my attention, as the biker slipped it into neutral. It was a late-summer afternoon on a busy city street. The queue waiting for the green relaxed. They were in no special hurry.
The biker hunched low in the saddle, brown pointed thin-soled leather shoes resting confidently on the asphalt. Grey nylon socks and brown-patterned suit brought to mind a pen pusher, not a cruiser. He was too skinny to fill out the khaki wind-jammer. It demanded a more muscular frame.
A greying pony tail hung down below his cream-coloured helmet, which was worn, but still feigned to provide some protection. Gold-rimmed glasses and mottled grey moustache with yellowish-brown stains completed the picture.
A rattling, guttural sound broke the silence, growing louder and more persistent. The biker was clearing his lungs from the effects of the cigar which was perched nonchalantly between the fingers of his left hand.
The lights switched to green but the Harley didn’t move, just turning over. The biker slowly flicked the ash off his cigar, stuck it firmly in the corner of his mouth and then deliberately slid in the clutch. The machine responded with its own guttural sound and slowly they cruised down the middle of the street, leaving behind two thin trails of blue smoke.
* Harley Davidson: The most effective way to turn gasoline into noise without producing any horsepower, according to the Urban Dictionary.