U.K. publication the Guardian recently took up a domestic squabble between a married couple over a single vintage motorbike. Here’s the case presented: On one side you have Peter, a guy who’s been into bikes his whole life. In particular, he has a 1973 Gilera he’s had since he was 16 years of age. He has a few other, bigger bikes, too, but he feels like the Gilera is a work of art.
When Peter met the woman he would later marry, Sandy, he had more than one bike inside his home—not in a garage, because he didn’t have one. The Gilera was in one room, a Kawasaki Z1 was in the hallway, and an unspecified Ducati was in yet another room. Eventually, they decided to get married and buy a house together—which came with a garage. As Sandy told the Guardian, she thought that having a garage meant that’s where the bikes would live.
As the couple goes on to tell the story, the bikes did all live in the garage at first—until Peter learned that a walnut tree on the property had previously had a branch come crashing down. He was worried it would smash through the garage if such a situation arose in the future, so he brought the Gilera (and only the Gilera) inside the house for protection.
Here’s the issue: Sandy doesn’t think that bikes belong inside the house, even if they’re what Peter feels are works of art, like the Gilera. To be fair, there was some mention of an oil leak from that bike at some point. Secondarily, she doesn’t like that Peter occasionally washes bike parts—which he says are never greasy or oily—in their “posh dishwasher.” The Gilera in the house seems to be the primary issue, though.
The Guardian ran this story as part of a relationships series it calls “You be the judge,” where it assembles a panel of jurors from among its readers to offer their opinions on such a problem. Everyone responding here seems to think Peter needs to give up having his bike in the house. There’s also some mention of the wife’s paperweight collection, and how there are quite a lot of them everywhere, and how Peter thinks he should be allowed to have a single bike in the house if she’s going to have all that.
What do you think about bringing a beloved motorcycle inside the house—or, for that matter, sticking bike parts that aren’t totally gross inside a dishwasher? The thing for me is, Peter already knew that he loved that Gilera (and motorbikes more generally) before meeting Sandy. He never hid who he was, and she knew what she was getting into. While every relationship requires compromise, having one small Italian bike from the 1970s in the house doesn’t seem like it should be a problem. It’s not like it’s some gigantic touring bike with panniers that could take up an entire small room.
The argument is reminiscent of those people who moved in near Laguna Seca Raceway and then complained about the noise, only even sillier. You knew what you were getting into when you moved there—and if you didn’t, you should have. There was nothing secret about the fact that you were moving in near an active racetrack. It would be a different matter if there was some kind of subterfuge going on, but there really wasn’t.
Anyway, what do you think? Let us know in the comments.