There is a motorcycle travel tale I do not want to get deep into about a sidecar, the owner being a gun waving drug dealing addict named Head who weighed about three hundred stinking pounds, and his girlfriend, a friendly Latino stripper/working lady in Chicago named Si Si (for “Yes Yes”). It is a bad motorcycle adventure story, XXXX rated, involving a thug and makes little sense, just like how I was living at the time.
Both Head and Si Si have long passed over to what some describe as The Other Side. The memories of my first sidecar riding travels with them are ugly or blurred. What bubbles to the surface is Si Si being not afraid of Head even though he beat her up whenever he was drunk, high, or stoned, which he was every day.
What Si Si was afraid of was riding in the sidecar when Head was driving whether he was stoned, slammed, high or hung over. The basis of her fear was she might live if Head crashed or left the sidecar smashed on the back of a car, truck, bus or telephone pole he was passing.
What does make sense when looking back and reflecting on my meeting Si Si in her work mode, is how wild and weird Head became when stumbling upon us she and I gazing at each other. Head demanded we (making the demand with his gun) “go for a ride” with him that lasted three fright-filled days and nights.
Head had been nicknamed by the local bad guy bikers for his passing out while driving, his forehead falling forward onto the center of the handlebars and smacking his helmetless head on the top of the steering head in the middle of the handlebars. Head’s head always had what looked like black and blue golf balls on the forehead, some mixed with the colors of yellow and red. This was a time long before helmets were required.
On my first sidecar adventure tour while being the monkey, when Head passed out it was my task or that of Si Si riding behind Head, to grab the handlebars to gain control of the motorcycle sidecar outfit and try to keep us from crashing. That adventure was how I discovered travel in a sidecar, life on the edge while being in a sidecar “chair” or “bucket,” also known as being the monkey.
Since those days when Head forced Si Si and I to go on that wild tour I have not given up on sidecars. I owned several, driven them in Europe and the USA and more recently crawled in and out of the buckets of several sidecar outfits in Asia.
Three places recounting my ongoing motorcycle adventure in these potential rolling coffins can be found at the links below but a WARNING
is offered: “Not reading or viewing for those easily offended by non-politically correct opinions, references to the three letter word that starts with S, ends with X and has an E in the middle, or those that take themselves too seriously
Three Wheels To Terror Dr. Frazier: Three Wheels to Terror - Motorcycle USA
Screaming Monkey RideAsia.net • SCREAMING GOLDEN TRIANGLE MONKEY TO PATTAYA AND RETURN
Hunting Tigers In Thailand RideAsia.net • HUNTING TIGERS IN THAILAND – MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE
I have read and or listened to numerous tales by others about driving sidecars or being a passenger. One of the more interesting was the story about the first couple to drive a sidecar outfit (Henderson motorcycle and self-made sidecar) from coast-to-coast across the USA, starting May 24, 1913. That adventure, made by husband LeRoy (driver) and wife Gertrude Snodgrass (passenger), cannot be re-created today. The same applies to their fears, nearly 100 years ago, which were far from my fears, and were also quite different from those of Si Si.
Several long distance motorcycle sidecar outfits have been wandering the globe, some with a monkey. Have my fears of Three Wheels To Terror been shared by other passengers riding in a bucket?