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Travels With An Airhead

The Motorcyclist's Diet

— by Notch Miyake

There has been a lot in the news lately about the obesity epidemic in the US. Apparently, there are a lot of overweight people out there and that includes motorcyclists.

Luckily, there are many highly effective diets for those people who are overweight. Every magazine at the checkout counter in the supermarket has a diet guaranteed to lose from 10 to 30 lbs in less than a week. Some of them don't even require you to change your eating habits.

There are also ads in these magazines that show fuzzy pictures of fat people dressed in patterned shifts (before) next to glamour shots of slim women in bikinis (after). All you need to do to achieve these miraculous results is to send money. (I think they mean you will lose a lot of weight, not get changed into a woman, but it is hard to tell from the before pictures if they started out as men or women. I would check to be sure. An inadvertent sex change can be embarrassing.)

To save you the expense of buying one of these magazines, or paying for one of these diets, I have developed a special diet especially suited to the motorcyclist's lifestyle. I guarantee that if you follow my diet, you will lose from 10 to 30 lbs in less than a week. Plus, my diet is totally free. Consider it my contribution to the sport.

Before you begin the diet, you should determine if you are overweight. There are several methods for doing this. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is good, but it requires a lot of multiplication and long division.

I prefer the Gross Vehicle Weight Index (GVWI). What you need to do is add your weight (and your passenger's weight, if you ride with a passenger) to the weight of your motorcycle. If this number exceeds the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the bike, somebody is overweight. You can find the GVWR in your owner's manual. If you lost your manual, get on your bike. If the suspension bottoms, somebody is probably overweight.

If you ride two-up, you can also tell if one of you is overweight if the driver is sitting on the tank and the passenger is sitting on the luggage rack. This leads to the problem of determining who should go on the diet. Be careful! This issue has destroyed many lifelong relationships. Calling someone "a fat slob" is not helpful.

OK, you are overweight. Don't despair. There are two things you can do: You can get a bike with a higher GVWR. (If you ride a K1200LT, this option is unavailable. You really should consider professional medical assistance.) Or you can go on The Motorcyclist's Diet.

Next month I will provide specific instructions for The Motorcyclist's Diet. In the meantime, ride safe and think thin.

— Copyright © 2003 by Notch Miyake.

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