Click here for Home
GOING THE DISTANCE
"THE WONDER YEARS"
PHOTO BY GENGHIS
"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."
"The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart."
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
I never run out of things to say when it comes to bikes.
Do you wonder why? Let me answer that question with a question for you. Do you remember what it felt like when you got your first motorcycle? Did it ever get better than that, man?
Do you recall the pure excitement, the roiling mix of emotions you experienced the first time that you started that motorcycle up and took off down the road on her? If so, and especially if you still have the same feelings when you hop onto your motorcycle now, have you divined the reason that I'm so prolific when it comes to writing about bikes. I'm merely relaying my true excitement when on the bike, in the written electronic word. It is a translation of the moment.
This moment in your life that preceded all the sociological crap such as your forming an identity as a biker, was pure, before all the hype and ego-gratification took root. It represented a frozen moment in your existence when all that mattered was the motorcycle. That bike existed only for you at that moment, unsullied by the opinions of others. What really mattered was interacting with that bike the first time. I'll tell ya what, man---every time I start up my bike, is a faithful digital copy of the first time. That childlike wonder lives!
I'm man enough to admit to a childlike exhiliration that plays itself out every single time that I take my Harley 74 out. The acceleration of my heartrate begins as I approach the gate of Mabel's parking lot. It increases as I uncover her and undo her locks. My heart is really hammering as I seat the ignition key, flip on Mabel's S S Super B's enrichener and hit the starter's toggle switch. I feel like I'm turning on my life, man---it's that profound a feeling. As Mabel's motor warms up, I feel like shouting to the world....
"Oh man, I can't believe I'm lucky enough to own this bike!"
Before the head games began as the years wended their sinuous way onward, the purist innocence that is manifested in that type of feeling toward your motorcycle is what really keeps bikers going the distance. Can you count the numbers of bikers you've known who left the biker subculture, because they were bored with their rides? The magic just wasn't there for them anymore. This instrinsic magic I'm rappin' about, that you feel every time your Harley blasts to life, is a renewal phenomenon. It starts a new day in your life, as good as the last one, or the one from when you were in your 20s and starting your motorcycle bike for the first time. It is a renewal of your spirit, that soars as fast and as well as you motorcycle rolls down the highway. The passage of visibile blacktop beneath your feet as you fly across the highways and byways, are a personality builder. Your emotions heighten as you ride until you burst with pride and happiness---and that happens, without anybody even seeing you. It's not about ego or peer approval, it's about the moment. It's about just you and the bike, baby. That's all that is of consequence, in the moment.
Are there analogous moments in other disciplines? Probably. I'm sure that you can find stamp collectors who experience the same high by staring at special issues. I can only vouch for what we've got, and what we've got you must be grateful for all of your natural life, it is that special. Gas on. Ignition hot! Wuh...whuuuuuuu.....BRRRAAAAaaapppp....brappa...brappa.....RRROOOAARRrrrr......" Ain't nuthin like it, man. Let your inner young man or woman out, get on that bike and roll down the highway of life. I remember what it was like when I was 22 and started my Harley for the first time. It's easy to keep that memory fresh when I experienced the same thing yesterday, in real time. Later.