(and some actual seriousness)
Start them off young!
(1) In late 2001, I still had a half-ownership of a condo in Palm Springs (California). An upscale restaurant in the area had been rented out for a rousing off-the-wall evening party for a friend of mine, an older retired actor/movie-star (who I used to ride with in the Los Angeles area when I was a late teenager and he also, like me, was a lot younger then too!). I was scheduled to be playing the piano in that restaurant's bar, which was actually in the same room as the dining room. Always wanting to make an appropriate 'entrance' & stand-out appearance to create a scene and bolster my ego, not to mention 'fitting-in' with the rest of the attendees, and maybe!! helping my tip jar's contents, I decided to drive my sidecar rig to the restaurant dressed in my own white coat and tails tuxedo. I told a friend that I was going to do that, and he would have none of that! .....and insisted I wear an outfit from his specialty clothing store, that had an extensive display of Liberace items. The outfit I borrowed from him was QUITE fancy, with many hand-sewn panels of pianos, long tails, etc. The sequins alone were dazzling. It did not fit very well, but who cared! It came with a 8 inch-wide rainbow-colored bow tie. My 'borrowing' included sort-of paisley boots ...which fit uncomfortably.
There was Valet Parking that evening. The small parking lot was full, as was any nearby place to park. The 'guests' had mostly arrived early, and were doing a LOT of drinking, some of it in the parking lot; curiously watching my appearance and entrance to same. I pulled up to the Valet stand, turned off the motor of the sidecar rig and tossed the keys to the Valet. The look on his face was priceless ....a mix of my sequined outfit ...and the "what do I do, how do I drive THAT THING". He did not want to touch the rig, I don't blame him! I ended up parking it on the sidewalk near the entrance. He made up stories ....a wide variety of them, which I found out about much later.
While I knew the 'party-boy', and, knew a few of the other folks there, most of the 100+- 'guests' did not know ME. The Bartender put a monster-sized martni glass on the piano, winked at me, and, it was not long when the bowl began to fill up with tips. I was only going to play from before dinner to a bit afterwards. The money in that Tip Bowl was mostly fives, tens and twenties. I even found a fifty and hundred dollar bills in my tip bowl. Many of the attendees were gay, and quite a few left personal cards with money attached ...and a note!!....some of which are not printable on this family website.
But ...I made many new contacts, only some of whom remembered me even a week or two after the party, but some contacts I followed-up on, and it led to more playing at private parties, etc.
It was a great ...and LONG ...evening!... the party went on to sunrise the next day. Everyone was drunk, or nearly-so, and the tips were nice. I was insanely tired by sunup.
(2) A few photos. I lost the photo that showed a similar piece of lawn equipment that had a sidecar attached...
(3) I was taking a longish trip on my first 'street' sidecar rig, a R100RT with a Ural chair. I was parked at an cliff overlook, with the Snake River Canyon steeply and far below me. The only other vehicle was a Harley Davidson. I did not see the rider. I decided to relieve myself (urinate) before leaving. No restrooms, of course. I climbed over the guard rail, and started to go a few feet down the cliff, to insure that I was not in sight of any vehicles on the road. I cleared around one large bush and a tree, and found the Harley rider, with his girl friend, both naked, having a 'nooner'. We ended up talking for half an hour. It took me a few minutes to stop staring at the girl. Actually, I never stopped staring,...unfortunately, as I turned to go back to my rig, and tripped on a large rock.
(4) I parked the sidecar rig in a large highway turnout, on highway 50, past Spooner Summit, ...just a bit southwesterly of where Hy 28 joins Hy 50,... as one comes from Carson City, Nevada, towards Lake Tahoe. I was going to go sit on a granite outcropping, looking towards the distant Lake, and eat a snack. There was not only a modest downwards slope to the road but a slight left-wise slope for rain drainage (yes, draining ACROSS the road). I left the bike in first gear, as many sidecarists do, as it acts as the emergency brake we don't usually have on our rigs. The bike jumped out of the gear it obviously was not fully into. I chased the rig as it headed across the the highway towards oncoming traffic in the other lane. The rig was just crossing the centerline and turning some as I caught up to it. It was an exciting event, appreciated (?) by unlookers, as I JUMPED onto the rig, almost fell, my efforts caused the rig to turn faster....unfortunately towards the sidecar....and....Igrabbed the front brake, which caused the rig to turn and try to throw me off (the sidecar wheel went up too....)...but I managed to stop the rig away from the approaching traffic. Ever since that event, I have carried a small piece of 2 x 4 lumber, to block the front or rear wheel as appropriate. Too bad I had no movie of all this fun.
1. From the late Dr. Hal Kendall:
While eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in an enclosed sidecar on a bumpy road, the magnitude of mess you make will be directly proportional to the speed the vehicle is traveling and inversely proportional to the speed the sandwich is eaten.
Dr. Funsteins third law of motion: On all motorcycles with a sidecar attached, all forces generated by road surface irregularities are absorbed by the sidecar passenger.
2. From Claude Stanley (Freedom Sidecars):
When riding a sidecar outfit with a passenger the comfortable speed for THAT passenger can be determined by the amount of times the operator's right leg is HIT. If the leg is tapped from time to time it is probably possible to increase speed gradually as the passenger may be able to tolerate this if tact is used. If the leg begins to get sore it is probably time to slow down for a while. Speed may or may not be able to be resumed. Use your own judgment. If the driver's leg is racked with pain and swelling badly it will be possible to ride much faster on your next outing as this particular passenger will probably not ride with you again. Note that results may vary dependant upon severity of passengers fear, good sense and willingness to have fun.
3. From me, Snowbum; Principles and Etiquette for Sidecar Operation and Travel:
4. From Al Olme, regarding Parking a Sidecar rig at a Busy Place...
This really isn't about sidecar operation but rather sidecars while they aren't being operated. You will be approached by individuals who will find it all but impossible not to tell you their sidecar stories, about their uncle ...or ...aunt, second cousin, friend, grandparent, grandparent's friend, etc. who had (once had, wants to get, wishes he had, wouldn't have anything to do with) a sidecar, trike, Servicar, Isetta (which actually had four wheels except in England), Bond, Morgan, childhood tricycle. In this situation, smile and hand them a USCA membership flyer. Tell them about all the great Internet resources and if you have time, offer them a ride. Agree that, yes, it IS different than riding a solo bike, no, the sidecar doesn't come off that easily (don't bother with the idea that you don't want to take the sidecar off, that will just confuse them), no, it isn't necessarily an old bike, yes, they still make these things, no you don't HAVE to ride with a sidecar, you just LIKE to ride with a sidecar. But NEVER go on an errand with your rig where you have to park at a busy place and try to be in a hurry. It just won't work (and that's a good thing!).
5. From 'Fly' in Ohio:
I think we are all in agreement that sidecars handle different from other vehicles particularly on right turns, since sidecars tend to lift the sidecar wheel in right turns and to many this is worrisome. Some type of sensor should be used to inform the operator that the sidecar wheel is coming up. My solution to this is an audible sensor installed in the sidecar. When entering a right turn too fast and the sidecar wheel starts to lift, Mrs. Fly lets out a blood-curdling scream and I know to set the wheel back on the pavement. She calms down and we travel merrily on our way.
6. From Bob Z of Wisconsin:
Caution! DO NOT buy ice-cream cones at the McDonalds drive-through and then continue down the highway, passing the cone back and forth with your sidecar passenger. MIGHT get very messy! Besides, your passenger will end up eating half of yours!
7. From Snowbum's better half, Penny:
Number one in importance is that all manner of gear can be strapped onto the rig provided one has enough bungee cords. Try not to exceed highway height and width maximums! Once in camp, the driver must spend all his time 'checking the rig' until the passenger has set up the tent, cooking center, and camp chairs. When that is completed, the driver then joins the passenger, asking if there's anything he can do to help. It's important NOT to make this transition too soon. Number two is especially important if rain is eminent. Be sure to get the rain cover on the cycle first, before erecting the tent, etc. Potty stops: consider the anatomy of your passenger in selecting a site for a quick potty stop when out for a ride in the country. (snowbum sez he always watches out for the anatomy of the passenger)
09/05/2014: revise for better use on smaller screens
10/05/2014: Combine from old stuff.htm, re-number article, etc.
08/15/2015: Add photo
10/31/2015: Add photo
03/28/2016: Revise metatags and generally clean up article.
04/04/2016: Add photo of the kids on the race rig.
11/14/2016: Metas, scripts, HTML, general cleanup
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Last check/edit: Wednesday, January 17, 2018