If anyone needs an image transplant, it's motorcyclists. We think of them as hellraisers. Hell's Angels. You know the type.
But Rodney B. Harrell of Hyattsville proved the other day that he isn't the type at all.
The scene was the motorcycle parking rack in the 1400 block of M Street NW. While parking his Suzuki 550, Rodney attempted to prop the bike onto its kick stand. But the stand gave way, and the domino theory was proven anew -- in loud fashion. The Suzuki fell into a Honda, which mowed down a Yamaha, which toppled a Kawasaki.
When the smoke cleared, one bike had a torn seat, another had a smashed windshield and the third had a crushed taillight. The total damage looked to be about $300 worth. Of course, as luck would have it, Rodney's bike wasn't damaged.
If Rodney had been like most cyclists -- heck, like most people -- he would have saddled up and vanished. But he left a note on each damaged bike, explaining what had happened and offering to pay for replacement parts. The three owners got in touch, and Rodney duly made good.
"I couldn't believe it," said Bob Steele of Northwest, the Yamaha's owner, after Rodney's $15 check for a new taillight had arrived the day after Rodney said he was putting it in the mail. "I mean, this kind of thing doesn't happen any more."
Why are you so wonderful, Rodney? "I guess it's my basic principles," he said. "Do unto others, and all that. I wouldn't want it happening to me."