Bikes On The Tube: Taking It To The House
by sean bice
Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fox Television currently has a hit Tuesday-night show on its hands, and part of its appeal strikes right in the sweet spot for motorcyclists like us.

"House, M.D.," stars Hugh Laurie as an acerbic doctor who walks with a cane. He previously developed a blood clot in his leg that ultimately led to the chronic pain and partially paralyzed leg that is an important subplot for the series.

House is perennially cranky due to his condition. But, he's also a hell of doctor. He has a gift for diagnosing even the most obscure maladies of the human form.

And, as of the past couple of episodes, he is also becoming quite the sportbike aficionado.

As a not-too-subtle poetic juxtaposition between his occupation of saving lives and the inherent life-risking sport of motorcycle riding, on a recent episode, House showed up at a motorcycle dealership. The shop was clearly a boutique for bikes of the Italian variety because there were Ducatis and Aprilias lined up for sale. House ultimately gravitated towards an Aprilia Mille and, just like in Bizarro World, he was actually able to test-ride the bike!

On last night's episode, House is still part of Sportbike Nation. Although, apparently, he did not like the Mille because his handicapped parking space at the hospital was occupied by a CBR1000RR in Repsol colors! Can you say "product placement"? Apparently, Big Red got in touch with the producers and supplanted that Mille with their own hyper-bike.

At one point, House had a few of his colleagues gathered around the motorcycle while they discussed the absurdity of a doctor riding a "motorcycle that goes 185mph" as the script read. One of the other doctors tried to stick to the main storyline by discussing the hard-to-diagnose case that was vexing them, but House kept drowning him out by revving the CBR. And, it actually sounded like a CBR instead of a Harley or a 350 Chevy like most Hollywood foley editors are wont to do.

At one point during last night's show, House made reference to "the scrape down the side" of his bike, just so we could all realize the following:

1. Motorcycles are dangerous
2. House is The Man
3. House's bike is tragically flawed just like he is

The show ended with House donning what looked like a Vega Vista open-face helmet, lowering the shield, and rocketing off into the twilight with his cane jury-rigged onto the passenger footpeg.

I couldn't help but think of Miguel at Daytona. The cane. The CBR. But definitely not an open-face helmet.

I can hardly wait for next week's episode.


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