OK my little piglets, lets move and grove with a little oink and boink.
I got a call from a friend of mine the other day, (to protect the names of the innocent for this blog, we’ll just call him ‘Art’) Art called with a very important question he needed answered. Now, you have to know that my friend Art is a smart man, he even knows how to turn on a computer, I would even guess to say he could even know how to find Wikipedia if he had to. But instead he chose to ask me. “Hey Pig”, he said, “Tell me what that chingadera is on the handlebar of motorcycles. I see them all the time and no one seems to know what they are. I think if you can answer this, it would make for a good blog page”.
When he finished speaking I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. First of all I’m an American pig, I don’t speak Spanish. Second, I would have to look up what a chingadera is (translated: I had to ask a couple of the Mexican boys at Rainman’s work what it meant). I found out it means an “animate or inanimate object lacking its proper name or term” OK, I’ll buy that. But for right now, just how in the hell was I suppose to know what it was exactly he was referring to dangling from the handlebar. So I did what all smart pigs like me do in times like this, I took a guess “Do you mean the horse whip?”
“Yeah, that’s it, what is that thing called anyway?” Art asked.
“Ahhh, a horse whip.” I replied.
“Oh is that what it is? What are they for?”
“Whipping horses.” I snickered at him.
“Very funny little pink guy”, He sneered back at me, “You know I bet if you found out what they are for you could write about it, it would make for a good page to read. (That was the second time he mentioned that line, I guess he wants me to write a post on it.)
I knew what the answer was to Art’s questions as I talked to him on the phone, I also knew that Art was looking for a full explanation of what the horsewhip is used for. But sadly I am one who always enjoys making Art squirm a little while he waits for an answer. I told him I would work on it and get back to him. He asked me to get back to him right away, I knew I had him locked in like a kid squirming in church. You should try it with one of your friends sometime, it’s fun.
After I hung up the phone I had Rainman head us over to the Harley shop where another friend of mine, ‘Tim’ works. Since Rainman & I don’t use horsewhips on our bike, I wanted to be sure I had all the right answers before I put my hoof in my mouth (The last time I did that, it tasted like crap). Tim confirmed my current level of knowledge on the subject and also advised that I try googling it for some additional info. Here is what I had found.
The proper name for those so called “chingadere’s” dangling down from the handlebars of motorcycles is Biker Whips; they are also called horse whips. They were very stylish years ago on old school choppers. Whips are generally made of woven leather but I have seen them made of rope and nylon. They come in different lengths, colors and styles. Now days they are primarily used for decoration accessories as there is no mechanical use to them. They are attached to either the front brake lever or the clutch level or sometimes both. I have seen steel horse cowboys use a harness clip to attach their whips, while some whips are attached where the leather was woven onto the lever. They are very cool looking and the leather can make the levers feel more comfortable on your fingers too.
Horse whips do serve several purposes, back in the old school chopper days horsewhips served as a quick use weapon. If you were caught in a tussle with some “unfriendly” people, the horsewhip could be used for defense especially if your attacker had a knife. But, with this being Texas, around here a gun always wins in a rock, paper, scissors duel. (“A whip is the worst possible idea; unless you are attacked by a gang of Nazi’s who happen to be searching for the lost Ark of the Covenant.” – Mike Hayes) So why have them hanging down from your bike, you ask? Not only do they give your bike the classic old school chopper look, the biker whips are also used as a warning flag to cagers who drive too close to you on the road. The different colors they come in I mentioned earlier represent the riders’ club colors. The whip signifies what group or club the rider belongs to.
So Art, there is your answer in a nut shell. I would like to offer one piece of advice if I may: If you approach a biker with horsewhips on his bike – don’t tell him “Hey nice chingadera”. And don’t make any reference to the whips looking anything like a pair of streamers on a little girl’s pink bicycle either. That biker just might find one more use for those whips.
As I finish up today’s post, I want to leave you with an important saying I want you to always remember:
“ Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, whiskey in one hand and a beer in the other, loudly proclaiming; ‘ Wow What a Ride!’ ” -Unknown (From “The Original Wild Ones”)
Ride HARD or Stay Home