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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Doing My Part

by Michael Johnson

I need your help. I have been trying to think of ways to reduce my carbon footprint but lately my wife has been limiting me from reducing it as much as I feel like I could. She is great with a lot of the things we have done. She has supported and even championed our backyard garden and our chicken rearing so we can have a local supply of food. She has helped contribute to our compost pile so our garbage can return nutrients to the land. We reuse items as much as we can and have stopped buying bottled water. We buy local when we can. By no means are we perfect at any of these things but we try.

The reason I need your help is that my wife will not let me get a motorcycle. The only reason I want a motorcycle is to reduce my carbon footprint by using less gas as I commute to work. It's not just any motorcycle that I want either. I want a Ural.

I know what you are all thinking. Why would my wife be against saving the environment? I don't have a great reason. She thinks I have ulterior motives but she is far from wrong. I don't want a Ural because they are in my opinion the baddest, most original bikes on the market. I don't want it because of how cool I would look driving it while my dog sits in the sidecar with her aviator glasses. It has nothing to do with the drool that comes from my mouth as I look at the above picture. I am not interested in the beautiful retro feel, the power train that goes to the 3rd wheel so I can drive it in mud or snow, or the attention it might get me as I cruise down main street.

The only reason I want it is to reduce my carbon footprint, I swear! Please comment and help me convince her to let me help the environment and buy this sweet vehicle. Thank you for your support.


Ali in WA said...

My family has had the Ural dream for quite awhile. Maybe if we add "saving the environment" to the list of pro's we'll finally give in to a new form of transportation.

Urals rock!

Susan said...

with all the idiots talking on their cell phones and texting and not noticing that gorgeous ural as they swerve into you... the resulting head or spinal cord injuries can be pretty damaging... I think trying to convince your wife is a lost cause :) but you already knew that.

ps talk to anyone who has worked in an emergency room about motorcycle accidents. Interesting topic

Dale Johnson said...


When I see you in a few weeks I will show you all my scars from when I totaled your father's TS 400. We had our own opinion about what TS stood for. It was one of the baddest bikes on the market and boy did I look cool until I was screaming on a table in a podunk hospital in Preston, Idaho with the doctor scrubbing me out with a nylon brush and stitching me up without any anesthesia. He taught me a lesson I am passing on to you. I was lucky I busted my helmet instead of my head.

Dream on.

Uncle Dale

PS That Ural is pretty sweet.

Dale Johnson said...


I just remembered. I rode on a Ural when I worked in Moldova in 1997. I sat behind the driver and my work associate was in the side car. We drove down a dirt road rutted a foot deep from recent rains. It was a harrowing experience. I hugged that driver to stay on the bike harder than I ever hugged my wife. Our faces were splattered and mouths full of mud when we got through. But that bike really moved!


Jennifer said...

This post and Dale's comments: hilarious! Definitely cool-looking, with images of you tooling around German villages coming to mind. Modern freeways? I can't picture it. But I'm afraid seeing my father still have shoulder problems after his motorcyle accident 20 years ago makes me weigh in on the anti camp.

Jenna Dixon,Associate Broker said...

Doesn't seem like this is going the way you had hoped. My husband recently tried this one on me. No go, dearie! I will live with the carbon (he only drive about 50 miles a WEEK!) and keep my husband in one piece.

marisa said...

Keep these types of comments coming! I want my husband to stay in one piece.

mike said...

I am very disappointed in the responses thus far. I did not ask if it was safe to drive a motorcycle (and I would argue a Ural will be safer due to the 3 wheels and bigger profile). I am more concerned with environment and only the environment.

mike said...

Did any of you even look at the awesome pictures? How could you say no to my proposition.

Leighanne Johnson said...

i have to say, that if you lived in north dakota, i would not have a problem, those are pretty sweet motorcycles. but the fact that where you guys live makes me nervous to drive in a car, i would have to thumbs down the idea. sorry michael.

Allen said...

Well Michael, with the recent sale of your house you have a better opportunity to save the environment than a ural will. Buy a tiny house(and thus a small carbon footprint) stay very close to your work and walk. You could then get join a community garden and that would allow you to have a nice back yard farm.

katiegirl said...

I'm not sure if I'll be of much help...since my husband is also bugging me about wanting a motorcycle. You know, to save money on gas. LOL!!! Right. :)

Heather in WA state said...

I'm a new subscriber to this blog, so I may be a little late weighing in on this issue. My husband is a Harley guy. He would probably love this bike as well. He has 3 bikes (he owns his own service/repair shop so he gets offered great deals on basket cases pretty often). He's got a '76 shovel (his commuter for now), a '49 panhead, and on the rack being restored right now, a '53 panhead which will become his daily rider. Obviously he's smart about it and doesn't ride it in the ice, snow, and horrible downpours. They are A LOT cheaper on gas and insurance. In WA state kids need to be 5 years old before they can be a passenger on a bike. Naturally, being a mother I was petrified of our daughters first ride, but she LOVES it and is responsible on the back. We have a yearly tradition of my husband picking our daughter up from the last day of school on one of the bikes. It's true you could die or be horribly injured on motorcycles, but I strongly believe that when it's your time to go whatever your riding, driving, doing, etc. has nothing to do with it. You also have to be a reponsible rider and keep an eye out for YOURSELF. Be aware of other drivers and what their doing. Same as you would while driving your car. I myself only ride with my husband. I'm too afraid of falling over and the sun bothers my eyes WAY to much to be the rider. I have taken a trike out by myself though, and I have to say that if we had the extra money for one, I would get a highly shaded full faced helmet and ride myself!