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A freewheeling essay on mortality and freedom at the intersection of ancient philosophy and biker culture.

After my accident, I thought I was done with bikes. Until a few years ago I was lying in bed having trouble sleeping when I heard a voice say to me, Alan, get a Harley and ride to Death Valley. I didn t even like Harleys. And I didn t believe that God had called down and told me to get one. It seemed unlikely that the monotheistic God we re stuck with would endorse a brand of motorcycle maybe the pagan gods of antiquity would. Zeus might have ridden a Harley, or Apollo a BMW; you can imagine Aphrodite on the back of Ares Ninja, zooming around the planets with a golden thong sticking up over the back of her toga. Even that twerp Hermes on a Vespa. Those gods liked to drink, and screw, and run around like bikers, but not Yawheh strictly black limousines and heavy security for that guy. Thou shalt not ride. Thou shalt not be free. Thou shalt pay off the debt of thy sins to eternity.

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