Scoot Commute

My dentist rides an MV Augusta, and my peridontist used to ride a BSA Lightning

Posted in Teeth by sbahn on 2011/01/13

My dentist used to ride a Ducati. A big, bold, brash red Ducati 969. I know this because five years ago, when I went to him for the very first time, he had a magazine picture of the bike taped to the divider in the cube I was in, along with a helmet in a lucite cube emblazoned with Ducati.

I made the mistake of asking about the red monster and he proceeded to tell me the following story. He and his buddies, all health professionals including other dentists to cardiologists and neurosurgeons, ride sport bikes. One afternoon a group of them were out riding in Marion, Massachusetts, which is where my boyfriend’s grandmother lives. I know Marion well and we both ride there.

The group rode through a sweeping turn and one of the riders lost control of his bike. It skidded across the roadway and into a tree. The rider was in full leathers, yet the blunt force of hitting the tree severed his aorta and he died on the scene, despite the frantic efforts of his friends and colleagues.

This horror story is being told me as my mouth is being poked and prodded and I’m unable to beg for an end to the tale. I have to leave the office and get on my little Honda Metropolitan and ride to work.

Fast forward five years and I’m ready to enter the dentist’s office again. I told him how he sorta completely freaked me out and how I am ever vigilant when going through arching turns, looking for sand and other debris that may be on the road surface. Particularly in Marion.

The Ducati is gone. Replaced with an MV Augusta. I don’t know what model. I asked him what was the one bike he regretted selling. Without hesitation, the answer: “My Ducati.” Sad. I said, “But the MV…they’re hot bikes.” He sold his first born son apparently.

My mouth is a mess and I find myself sitting in the periodontist’s office three weeks after the visit to the dentist. He walks in, sits down, and introduces himself. I say hello and then say, “Since you’re a very good friend of Dr. B…., I assume you also ride motorcycles. So what do you ride?” I don’t think this was a typical introduction as he looks at me and says quickly, “I used to ride a BSA Lightning.” Now this guy is a keeper.

A BSA?! Are you kidding me? Of all the Brit bikes, I have to say I have a ‘thing’ for BSAs. I don’t know why…maybe it’s the toaster thing, I don’t know. Nortons; they’re beautiful, but people know what a Norton is. Triumph, yeah yeah. But a BSA. Ahhhhhh.

He asks me what I ride and I tell him about the DRZ. He says, “So, what’s that a 350?” “A 400, ” I answer. “Two stroke?” I laugh and say, “If it was a two stroke 400, I’d be dead.” “Yeah, lotsa torque,” he laughs.

At this point the hygienist peeps up. “Are you talking about motorcycles?” Uh, yeah. She mentions some bar called the Full Throttle and we both ask, “Where’s that?” “Oh, Arizona.” Huh? So then the periodontist goes on to explain to the hygienist (who was very cool, by the way) the difference between real motorcyclists and bikers. It was very cute.

I then ask what else he used to have, as he admitted to me that he hasn’t ridden in donkey’s yonks. Not even his children know he used to ride, and if I’m estimating well, his kids have got to be in their 20s. I said that kids should start riding when they’re 3 or 30. He wholeheartedly agreed.

“Well, I had a rare BMW RW 500 that I brought over from Europe. It had a Zündapp sidecar that I bought at a place in Fall River. Or maybe New Beffa. It looked like a bullet with metal stripes coming out from a central medallion.”

I interrupted. “Yes, I know! There’s an American company that imports, you know the Vespa P200? They still make them in India. Well, they sell a sidecar that attaches to these Indian-made Vespas.”

“A 200? Sheesh, I thought the 500 couldn’t handle the sidecar. It sure was different to ride.”

“A Zündapp. That is very cool. I would love a Zündapp Bella scooter. Those Germans; they made some beautiful and meaty scoots.”

So now it’s turned into a “I can’t believe you know what a Zündapp is” conversation. I told him about some of the scoots we have, and then said, “Well, actually, my boyfriend and I are ‘Honda people’.” “Huh?” he asked. “Oh, I love my old CB350s.”

“Oh, Honda. My first bike was a Honda Dream.”

“We have a Honda Dream. What a hoot it is to ride that thing!”

“You do?! Mine was a 300, no wait, a 305. That was my first bike.” He sits back on the little stool, you know the kind, with the wheels so he can move around easily to get a good view of patients’ mouths. “Wow, I was just there, having that feeling when I first bought my Honda Dream. Wow, thanks.”

So that is how my first visit to the periodontist started out. I don’t normally talk bikes all the time, but I had a feeling there was something about this guy, especially since my dentist said he’s great, and every single person who works in my dentist’s office said he’s great.

When I got into work and told one of my student workers how much just the initial work is going to cost, she said, “Oh, you should tell him that he can use your money to buy a new BMW. Then he can ride again.”

Next visit I’m going to bring a picture of an R1200GS and the Yamaha Super Ténéré. The way the bills are going to pile up, I could finance one of these bikes for him. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

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