Yesterday it was hot all across the Southwest, Los Angeles included. Hot and somewhat humid. I showered quickly around 5 pm, and despite the air-conditioned living room climate I had to wait and wait for my hair to dry. I needed a drive on the rumblehog. I went downstairs, turned the ignition key, revved the engine. I then decided on the spur that it was too hot to wear headgear. So I took off with my white helmet under the seat….”fuck it.”
With my faintly damp hair getting whipped around as I motored north through quiet, tree-lined streets, it was one of the most glorious sensations I’ve felt in months.
The angel on my right shoulder was saying “okay, you’ve had your fun, now pull over and put the helmet on.” But the devil on my left shoulder said, “No, don’t…this is way too pleasurable, let’s keep going.” Block after block, slowly cruising, my eyes peeled for the bulls. I became braver and braver. I crossed La Cienega and ducked into another side street. I was ecstatic about the wind fluttering through my Prague follicles; the feeling of coolness and the scent of this and that…absolute heaven.
After a while I began to think that getting a ticket might not be so bad. Well, it would but I was so delighted to re-experience a portion of what it was like to be 16.
It used to be okay to ride around without a helmet. California’s mandatory helmet law kicked in on 1.1.92. Warren Beatty rides his Triumph without one in Shampoo.