Now I'm all for the more ethereal, button-down and urbane motorcyclist, at least in theory. I don't mind seeing a bro check the legs on a fine wine with a fruity nose and a woody finish as long as the hand on the stem has grease under the fingernails. However, in the long run I'd rather have the guys think a 'debate' is de fish in de bucket, if you catch the drift.

So I dial up the VTF and check for new threads. I need some word from the road. There's lots of road construction in my area, the weather has been spotty and I've spent more time polishing Black Betty than kicking her in the guts. I almost licked the screen door this afternoon just to get that familiar taste of bugs. I need to ride.

So I'm checking the 'new posts' and I see this thread entitled "Do you believe in UFO's?" started by a biker named EverythingZen.

Now it's not a strange topic in and of itself. After all, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholsen discussed the same issue in E.R. I mean, a biker can have abstract thoughts, it just looks funny. I once spent a very enjoyable weekend playing bridge--I mean 'the card game,' not to be confused with 'the water crossing.'

I like to read, and not just look at the pictures, either. I was an art major, I can recognize a Gorky, and I'm a member of very small by tight number of gear-jammers who know what 'Thanatopsis' is, who Bryant was--and even know what he rode.

But it's not like we do these things in public. I admire 'Zen for breaking the egg shell and beginning the topic. My unique take on the issue was that in that very moment I was not "The Tourist, Master Debater" (look for the joke) but "Chico the Biker." My mind was in a separate reality.

I believe in UFO's because I believe in the possibilities. I believe that in an 8x10 foot wooden shed Arthur Harley looked at William Davidson and said, "How can we make this bicycle go faster?"

I believe that little green men pull on little green leather jackets and gun the cold fusion engines for "clean, unknown highways."

I believe they stop at the Milky Way to snap pictures of the locals, buy black T-shirts and see if the local women will lift their tops.

I believe they crashed at Roswell because coughing up an engine always, always, always happens on vacation.

I believe that the police and the army over-reacted because when you're bleary eyed from a long journey you tend to smart off to the highway patrol.

I believe in UFO's because the same spirit that wants to man-handle an engine far bigger than need be cannot be a singular passion of just this planet. To write off a 'speed shift' as an odd Milwaukee habit means that the embers of the universe have grown cold. That's the entire universe. All that black stuff. Millions of light years.

I believe in the pilots of UFO's. They are far from home. They do not know how to handle the locals. Incredible newspaper stories run from whole cloth. They get lost. They get oil leaks. They bust stuff.

I believe in UFO's because they are bikers.