On Butt Disorders And Motorcycle Reviews

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with motorcycles for a while now…

In that I love them, and they hate me.

I recently sold my bike — a saucy little 2013 Triumph Street Triple — to a couple of military kids who promptly cracked the oil pan into the tailgate while loading it up. I didn’t hold it against them. For very long.




A few crude voodoo dolls and blood sacrifices to the Loa later, and I was over it: They’ll have fun with her, which is more than I could’ve done. See, I have some kind of strange damage in my back, specifically the tailbone area. It’s not coccydynia, which is a disorder in the actual tailbone, but it’s not sciatica, a disorder in the sciatic nerve, either. What I have is apparently not only a new disorder, but one that affects a terrifying new type of spine — one solely evolved by me and me alone — that medical science cannot classify, beyond “worrying.”

I’ve been through every doctor and specialist, and had every test they could think of, plus a few more I’m pretty sure they just made up on the spot (“This is the uh…de-back…ulator. The de-backulator! Very expensive.”) with no real answer. Finally they gave up actually helping and just tried to treat my depression about their inability to help: “Sorry we can’t fix you, but we CAN fix your ability to CARE.”

And then, to everybody’s surprise, the duoloxetine helped. Not with the depression, but with the actual pain: Apparently it’s also used to treat nerve pain — something nobody mentioned to me, ever, at any point, until after it started working. Science, everybody!

But whatever: The good news was that I could exist comfortably again in most situations. I have to be careful how I sit, and for how long, but the pain has been downgraded from “life-ruining agony” to “butt annoyance.” Lord knows I can deal with some butt annoyance. But this still meant I couldn’t do motorcycle rides for any length of time. About an hour on my bike was all I could take before the pain went from distracting to crippling. That, again, should’ve been fine: Motorcycling for an hour is like six hours of meditation.

But then Portland’s population exploded, and with it came more traffic, and more drivers (a term I use generously). Portland’s roads are insane right now, and keep in mind I first learned to ride a motorcycle in the heart of Los Angeles. I was out there, barely balancing, piloting an entirely new type of vehicle in a massive metropolis famous for two things: People too rich and famous for consequences, and vehicular homicide. And I still powered through. But Portland today scares me.

Red lights mean literally nothing out here; I see a nasty accident every other time I leave the house. I can take care of myself, and I accept the risks inherent to motorcycling, but this left me with a dilemma: With the increased traffic, I could no longer get out of the city to a decent riding spot before the pain kicked in. A forty five minute trip out to the country meant I had to turn around the very second the road got nice, and cram right back into the murderous traffic to head home. I thought I could deal with it — that I could have fun riding around the city itself for short bursts, but there’s just too much carnage out there. Venturing out on a motorcycle is like playing Twisted Metal as Axel, only you don’t get the Supernova Shockwave. (Note to motorcycle manufacturers: Maybe install a Supernova Shockwave generator?)




So I sold my bike and bought myself a bitchin’ Mustang as a consolation prize. Try not to pity me too hard.

But damned if I don’t still lust after motorcycles. Ah, well… some loves are just not meant to be.

And then I found out something amazing… you can rent them!

Holy shit, did you know you could rent motorcycles? You probably did! Because you’re not an oblivious idiot like me! I sure as hell didn’t think of that.

Now, this still leaves me with the same nerve problem, but there’s a shred of hope: I’ve only ridden sport-standards — basically sport bikes where the riding position is slightly more upright — since the pain started. Maybe different ergonomics would work for me? Maybe a better suspension? Probably not!

But maybe!

The rental places really only have big, fuck-off cruisers — because most people that rent motorcycles are dads going through a mid-life crisis so severe they can’t even commit to a vehicle — but honestly, if any bike is going to work for me, it’s probably going to be a lumbering, spread-eagle, beef supreme monstrosity. Can you tell I’m not a huge fan of most cruisers? Still, some motorcycle is better than no motorcycle. And thus begins my butt’s adventure through motorcycle town. It starts this weekend: I’ve rented an Indian Scout for a trip to the beach on Sunday.




Now, I know I said I don’t like most cruisers, but the Scout is not most cruisers. I’ve had a crush on that bike from the first time I saw it, and it was only exacerbated by the gushing reviews. It’s a gorgeous classic cruiser that actually rides well. That’s a rarity, like a big guy with skulls tattooed on his face who moonlights as the most delicate of ballet dancers. Sadly though, the Scout probably won’t work for me: It’s a standard-cruiser, with a fairly forward seating position and suspension pretty close to the Striple. But I figure that I’ll start with the bikes that I love, but are most likely to cripple me, then work my way out to the bikes I don’t adore, but that also won’t obliterate my spine. Who knows? Maybe I’ll touch ass to a Harley and it’ll be love at first buttstroke.

Anyway, I figured I’d do write-ups about the different bikes I try. Sort of a crippled man’s guide to cruisers (when you don’t like cruisers).

I’ll let you know if The Scout lives up to the hype next week, provided I can still walk after getting off of it.

8 thoughts on “On Butt Disorders And Motorcycle Reviews

  1. Mary Raugh

    I hope one of those rentals leads you to something good – it sucks not being able to do something you love.

    Good luck!

  2. Karen

    I too have a strange butt-based agony! I got told it was my tailbone, but nothing has helped and it’s been more than three years. All the chairs in the office make me weep after an hour or less, and sitting in the economy seats on an airplane cause me to stare desperately at the little “you are here” line, hoping I’ll make it to my destination without any pathetic whimpering. Thank you so much for gifting me with this drug’s name! Perhaps my butt will once again be my friend! You are an angel good sir! A fabulous furry angel!

    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      After exhaustive research, I found there are quite a few people out there with this. It seems like the most viable theory — though it’s pure guesswork — is that it’s actually something with your hips, and the pain is being referred to the nearest nerve center. I’ve tried the coccydynia cushions (with the tailbone section cut out) and strangely, they don’t seem to help. That’s what makes me think it’s not actually the tailbone. Now, if that’s correct, and the problem really is in the hips, here’s the solution: Go fuck yourself. There’s no proposed solution. I work at a standing desk and lay down when my legs get tired. But I CAN sit with only discomfort, rather than agony, thanks to the duoloxetine (generic for cymbalta). It worked quick, too — a week or so and the pain was lessening! Might not be what’s up with you, but it could be worth a shot.

  3. Nick

    Have you looked at the Diavel? It looks like a pretty sweet ride, if you are going toward the cruiser thing. Basically, what I’m saying is that I would love to see you get a motorcycle again but I’m going to do whatever I can to convince you to not purchase a Harley.

    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      The fat man in the tuxedo? Ha, sorry. That’s what the Diavel always reminded me of. Not that it’s a bad thing, just a random association.

      I don’t want to knock Harleys, because I don’t believe in the whole tribalism thing. If that’s the bike that makes you happy, that’s great. I don’t have any negative to say about that. But personally, Harleys never really interested me. Well, outside of the V-Rod — that’s apparently a solid bike. However, there were all sorts of interesting cruisers I could dig; The Moto Guzzi 12v Griso, Triumph Thunderbird Storm, etc. But, and there’s a post incoming to elaborate on all this, after the Scout I don’t think cruisers will work for me in general.

    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      Exactly. I didn’t need the money. I didn’t have any plans for it. And I stowed her away properly. She probably could’ve lasted years just sitting there without consequence. But she seemed lonely. I’d rather have her out there dancing with somebody else, rather than sitting in the corner hoping I come back.

      I anthropomorphize too much.


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