New Fellowship

OK. I’ve done it. I’ve joined the fellowship of bikers.

Don’t tell me its my mid life crisis. I had that ten years ago.

It all has to do with the rising price of gas…

Besides it’s really fun.

I haven’t actually bought a dream machine quite like the one pictured. A friend has allowed me to pick up the payments on a Suzuki 650 Boulevard for the summer from her son who has joined the Marines.

The embarrassing thing is, the kid went and got the respectable exhaust pipes replaced with ones that are, well, very noisy. Remember when you were a kid and you attached playing cards to the spokes of your bike with a clothes pin to make your bike sound cool? Same principle, but professional.

Here in South Carolina you don’t have to wear a helmet, and the roads are full of future road pizza–idiots scooting along at crazy speeds on motorcycles wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and flip flops.

I sympathize, but keeping in mind the fact that I have a wife and kids who sort of rely on me from time to time, I have promised to always wear my helmet. I hate the conventional sort so I have had a special black biretta designed that is padded and made out of fiberglass. The pom on top is metal. All the other bikers are jealous and asking where they can get one too…

  • Fr. G

    Father,I want to see your metal or fiberglass biretta helmet. If it looks good, I will order one for myself too. ;-)Father Gary V.

  • Raulito

    Yes. Please do post a picture of it! I would like to view it as well!

  • Mac McLernon

    Come on, Father… don’t be coy. Biretta time!

  • thesheepcat

    Hahaha! A fiberglass biretta. I hope it’s … fitting.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    Besides it’s really fun.Tsk tsk tsk. Perhaps cocaine and risky sex is fun, but that doesn’t mean we should do it. At the very least, I’ll be praying you get a proper muffler as opposed to waking up your neighbor’s newborn. But as a man with responsibilities to look after I don’t approve of your taking on this risk to save gas money, any more than you’d approve of your children enjoying risky behavior in the name of fun. For a man of such discerning tastes, good writing, and seemingly good judgement I am dissapointed in your lapse in clear thinking. Can’t you at least stay in the closet with this and set a good example publicly? A closet biker? Maybe some hypocrisy is good?Sigh.

  • Tom S.

    I am soooo jealous. I have been working my wife HARD these past few weeks – using the gas-price justification as well. But to no avail so far. But I refuse to give up, so I “accidentally” leave ebay motorcycle ads on our home computer screen all the time! FWIW, they now make cowboy-hat style hard-hats for construction workers, so your birettamet (or would that be helmiretta) is not so far-fetched as one might think!

  • Atlanta

    You have a wife and kids and you are a Roman priest? Ok, now I am really confused.

  • Padre Steve

    God bless you and your “hog”!

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I’m still fuming… I mean, it’s bad enough that you leave the sovereign state of South Carolina to flirt with a constitutional monarchy, then you border dangerously on insulting the Great Peach, and now you go and buy a RICE ROCKET for your mid life crisis??!??!?I suppose I didn’t expect anything like “well I was GOING to buy a motorcycle for my mid life crisis but then this random internet dude posted on my combox that it was a bad idea so I decided not to…”BUT YOU COULD AT LEAST BUY A HARLEY!

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Atlanta, most people on the blog know I am a former Anglican priest ordained under the pastoral provision, which means the Pope has granted me a dispensation from the vow of celibacy so that I may be ordained.Sorry for the confusion.Marcus. I said it was not a mid life crisis. If it were I would be serious about my bike…and I am a very safe and aware driver…so there. I reckon you’re jealous..

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I’m not sure you’re allowed to claim for yourself whether or not something is a midlife crisis. That judgement is pretty much in the jurisdiction of your objective observers. For example, if your wife were to log on and solemnly swear on her hope of salvation that your motorcycle has nothing to do with a mid life crisis I might be inclined to believe it. But I suspect that she might just be a little bit less than willing to do that…

  • Fr Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

    Rad Father, Rad.

  • Fr Jay Scott Newman

    We have a name for those who ride their bikes without head gear: Organ donors.Drive safely, y’all.

  • Atlanta

    I had absolutely no idea about that dispensation. Lord have mercy.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Atlanta. This provision has been available to married Anglican and Episcopal priests since the early 1980s.There are about 100 of us in the USA, about 150 in the UK and a few others scattered around the world.

  • Atlanta

    Ok, Fr. Dwight, I had no idea. I knew someone who was an Episcopal priest, who became Catholic, but not a priest. I guess this provision is not publicized. I am not quite sure what to think now, you have blown my mind. I will get over it.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Atlanta, Google ‘pastoral provision’ for more information

  • Atlanta

    Okay. I shared this post on my Facebook.

  • Deacon Volker

    Welcome to the “gang” Padre! I am a Deacon-biker, and though my first trip (100 miles each way twice a week) during formation brought perhaps a couple sideways glances, soon my big black RoadStar was a fixture in our parking lot.I’ve had some sort of bike since shortly after high school, many years ago so I can’t wear the “mid-life crisis” label, but perhaps a slightly post midlife might fit. hmmm.

  • deb

    This is my first time visiting your blog. I’ve got to show my sons. They will believe that you are the coolest priest on the planet!I want a motorcycle and I am the mom. But I think that my beloved hubby would have a heart attack if I got one. LOL

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I reckon you’re jealous.. Not exactly since I’ve never ridden a motor cycle. It taps into my sibling rivarly. My brother is into bikes, and he’s an idiot, selfish, blockhead. The people who drive by my house late at night with no mufflers are clearly selfish blockhead. Therefore anyone who likes motorcycles is immediately suspect on some brainstem level that I have little control over. I should probably be sent to a sensitivity class where some Hell’s Angel can show me his sensitive side and I can see how wrong I am. But until then, I’ll try to be happy for you for your new found toy while remaining somewhat concerned about this particular aspect of your non-crisis! Toys after all, are important aspects of a life well lived.

  • niggle

    Saint Christopher pray for us.It’s the other drivers you have to watch out for.My Baptist friend bought a motor bike around a year ago. When I told him about St. Christopher and that I could get a blessed medal for him, he actually said he would accept it. And he did when I got it for him.

  • the dúnadan

    Fr Dwight,Did you ever watch the Long Way Round / Down travelfilms made by Ewan Macgregor (he of Star Wars) and Charlie Boorman? They are both big bike fans. They go round the world and from Scotland to S. Africa on BMW GS1150s. Very enjoyable viewing.Malcolm

  • kentuckyliz

    I’ve been having scooter fever lately. I own two cars (one is actually a movable boathouse for my single scull). I drive a lot. The lake is a ways away…and I row as much as I can. My beaters are 99s and not the most gas efficient things in the world. Midsize senior citizen sedans.I’m seeing a lot of scooters in the cities in my travels. I love the retro looking one with the pink hibiscus pattern. Cuz I’m all about the pink! But it doesn’t do highway speeds and that’s necessary for me.A coworker has a low mileage Honda Silver Wing scoot for sale, can do highway speeds.Girls need scooters because we’re going to the office and wearing skirts and heels…no straddling the iron horse.My paternal grandparents (English Catholics!) used to travel on vacations in a motorcycle with a sidecar…and FOUR children! One time they had gone several miles before realizing that little Margaret was missing…had bounced off. These are back in the days when motorcycles went 20-30 mph max.My brother has a 80s era Honda Silver Wing motorcycle (not scooter) and doesn’t use it, but weenies out on selling it to me. I love it. It’s a mini Gold Wing.

  • elizabeth

    OK, I was *going* to echo marcus aurelius’ sentiments, but then he got all wacky on us. Father D, what you do is between you and your family. But PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy, don’t be encouraging your parishoners to do the same. I married my husband with a strict no-motorcycle clause in our nuptial vows, and he’s now trying his damndest to reneg.But you, have fun! I’d ride my bicycle more around G’ville, but the drivers of enormous SUVs don’t have much consideration for pedestrians or cyclists.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    Well, a little wackiness is OK when your chastizing a motorcycle riding priest. There’s a priest shortage after all for god’s sake! Human beings are meant to be encased in a protective shell of aluminum, steel, and plastic, with seatbelts, when they propel themselves at 60+ miles per hour. Anything else is just plain foolish and sets a bad example in relation to all the other risky behavior Fr. L probably preaches about to his flock and children on a routine basis! Stupidity seems cool and masculine to people for some reason. I’m glad I don’t get it.Tsk Tsk Tsk!

  • Marcus Aurelius

    Fr. L,How about lawn chair balooning? Do you really approve of that chilean priest losing his life to lawn chair balooning? He thought he was being safe, with GPS and various other gadgets to try to protect himself. Is such risky thrill seeking behavior really justified when there is no sufficient good to be achieved?I’m sorry to be such a killjoy about this, I really am, but motorcycles are stupid and I have trouble tolerating stupidity in otherwise intelligent people.

  • Tara

    My husband Jim has been a motorcycle enthusiast since he was a little kid. When I ride on the back of his Kawasaki 1600 Nomad, I can just feel the love in his whole body. He is going to Sturges in August for a week, and yes, he is actually riding his motorcycle the entire 700 miles–each way! I’m going to visit our daughter in New York.

  • Jackie Parkes

    You & Fr Tim & his Aston Martin! crack me up!! Hilarious! Priests are men too..or should I say boys!!

  • miss book

    Fr. if you need a motorbike to get around, you just go right ahead!Take care and God bless you and your family.

  • bernadette

    Now, that is truly counter-cultural. Are you sure your Bishop won`t pay for the bike ? It could be a tool of evangelisation…

  • fried chicken strips

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  • Sister Mary Martha

    The patron saint for Motorcyclists is none other that Mary herself in the form of the Miraculous Medal. I don’t know why.I can take an educated guess.It’s a miracle if you survive a motorcycle accident.Where is your helmet?

  • veganvixen052507

    I want to see a picture of the helmet!!!!