My word-nerd interest was piqued. I looked it up and discovered that chicken strips are the outer edges of rear motorcycle tire that don't show any wear.
If you're not too "chicken" (afraid) to ride at maximum lean, you don't have chicken strips. Or so the theory goes.
So I went over and looked at Hubby's rear tire.
"Huh," I said. "You don't have any chicken strips."
He'd never heard the term either. When I told him what it meant, he laughed. And then we examined my rear tire. I had chicken strips.
In the picture, the upper tire has uniform wear. The lower tire has an unworn swath along the edges. You have to look hard to see through the dirt.
Apparently chicken strips are something the young and foolish -- especially those that ride crock rotchets -- compare and focus on. The smaller the strip, the "better" the rider. That's one school of thought.
There's another school of thought that says maximum lean is not always an indication of speed through corners. Or skill. Some riders hang off their bikes while holding the machine in a slightly more upright position so their tires grab more.
On one hand, I think the term is funny. On the other hand, I don't like it. Since it has a negative connotation, it might make people ride harder than they should, putting themselves at risk.
I ride within my limitations. Safely. Most of the time, anyway. I'll likely always have those strips along the outer edges. So I have decided to embrace my inner chicken and create my own term for that unused bit of tire. I'd much rather think of them in a positive light.
Henceforth, I will NOT think of that line as a chicken strip. Instead, I'll call it my swath of sensibility.
The bigger the swath, the more sensible the rider. Doesn't that sound much better?
Before that stretch of US-33 I told y'all about, I was a more sensible person. We all have our momentary lapses of reason, though, right? Lucky for me, my bike and I survived.