PITTSBURGH, Pa. — A 30-year joint study undertaken by the Department of Transportation and U.S. Wildlife Fund recently concluded that the number of wildlife riding in motorcycle sidecars is rapidly dwindling and in danger of disappearing forever.
“Although people have long witnessed a dearth of adorable animals riding adjacent to a classic Harley Davidson as it roars down the highway, the rate of decline is truly terrifying,” said the study’s lead scientist, Dr. Howard Miles. “Just ten years ago you couldn’t go to a parade without seeing a chimpanzee riding shotgun, as if it was an actual person. I’m afraid to say those days are nearly gone.”
According to the study, the region most affected was Appalachia, where black bear cubs sitting in the one-wheeled attachments once dotted Interstate 75, but now have almost entirely vanished.
Perhaps most disturbing though, not one Siberian Husky equipped with a winter jacket and riding beside a burly outdoorsman has been sighted in Alaska since 1998.
“At one point, animals riding in sidecars was so commonplace that they were even portrayed in the media, such as in various episodes of the hit 1970s comedy, BJ and the Bear,” said Dr. Miles. “Nowadays, people are lucky to glimpse a panting bulldog wearing an adorable little helmet and goggles. Soon, the only place to see any animal in a motorcycle sidecar will be in a hilarious YouTube compilation video your aunt sends.”
Although a variety of factors contributed to the decline, the largest appears to be the growing number of invasive three wheel motorcycles, which are steadily occupying the same environmental niche as their less aggressive motorcycle sidecar counterparts.
Don Plattner spent most of his childhood in a sidecar.
Image by rhaarmans.