The Sidecar

As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the sidecar.

You should never be afraid to pick up a passenger or two.

So much as we admire the solitary drive of the motorcycle, we have to admit, it’s missing something. A place for a navigator, or a passenger who doesn’t have to cling to your back all the way through Nebraska. Room for company—otherwise known as a sidecar.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares our enthusiasm. Harley-Davidson discontinued their sidecar line just last year, in the face of increased trike options and dwindling sales. Apparently most of the gents riding Harleys are the solitary type—and the United Sidecar Association can only do so much.

But it’s a shame, because the sidecar is one of the more tangible symbols of chivalry you’ll find. In particular, it’s the genteel alternative to asking a young woman to cling to your back while straddling 600 pounds of rumbling metal. Instead, the sideseat offers a mini-compartment of her own, enclosed and separate from any fuel-powered machinery she may or may not want to contend with. It’s the vehicular equivalent of the arm crook—a little awkward, but all the more endearing for it.

And if she decides to climb on the back for the ride home…at least she’ll have somewhere to put her purse.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom