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GOING THE DISTANCE
"WISHING FOR SNOW IN THE MIDDLE EAST"
PHOTO BY GENGHIS
Mark in Abu Karachi sends his regards.
AN ENTRY IN THE GOING THE DISTANCE GUESTBOOK:
"Iron Horse, the only and ultimate biker mag sorely missed by me. Thank you all for the wonderful writings.
Down to only three issues of my small treasured collection due to moves and divorce. As a hardcore rider I have never found a replacement. There could not be of course. I will try to collect others from eBay.
I'm down to a single bike just now but it is true to the mag's philosophy, and the random village people I meet when buying oils/filters don't really get my bike or me. Thank you and thanks for what I am going to reading on this site. Please pass this message onto Snow."
MARK IN ABU KARACHI
Mark, your letter was a private entry in the GTD Guestbook, but I hope that you don't mind my making it public in this column. Ya see, I've lost touch with Snow and I no longer have any idea of how to reach him to extend your thanks. Hopefully, he drops in to GTD once in awhile and reads my articles. We'll make this an "open letter" to Snow, just as we used to write open letters in IH to The Firm, and people like the Holy Ranger.
Hey Snow, if yer reading this, I hope you got another Harley (or reasonable S & S facsimile).
I might as well put my two cents in, but it might amount to a dollar's worth once I'm done, but here we go, bro. First, I hope that you and Shawn are well. One can't be happy without our good health. Second, I hope that you have fulfilled your deepest dreams in life. These dreams may involve being satisfied as a tattoo artist. Being successful and profitable of course, is a bonus, but highly desirable. May your tattoo career be as well as your Chevelle is running, which I hope is excellently.
Third, I truly hope that you've gotten back on the Harley-Davidson Express. That train never leaves the station, and bikers always have a late chance to climb on board.
You once told me that if you ever got another Harley, then it would be another shovelhead. This stemmed from a conversation that you had with our friend, ace engine builder and all-around genius Andrew Rosa, in which Andrew characterized the shovel as the strongest motor, physically. I hope that you did move on to a shovelhead, and I hope that it's in a righteous and classic four-speed swingarm frame. You and I had many discussions in which we acknowledged the traditional four-speed frame to be the veritable Cradle Of The Biker Culture Civilization. Electra Glide In Blue, baby, and stripped to the quick.
How many bikers took their Electra Glides from that era, stripped away the saddlebags, windshields and other extraneous equipment, to form what was the Quintessential Outlaw 74?
This classic profile of an FLH stripped to the bone, consisting of just the frame, drivetrain and essential equipment and gettin' ready to go off like a gun, has been the mainstay of the biker subculture, as we know it.
True to tradition, everything that didn't contribute to the performance of the motorcycle in terms of going, stopping and handling, were tossed in the garbage faster than the radioactive spills from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. All of these parts were toxic to the functioning of the outlaw bike, and they were jettisoned forthwith. A lighter Harley goes faster, stops quicker and negotiates corners better. It's just simple physics, man.
History has much to thank the stripped Electra Glide for. The biker subculture would not be where it is, without the early stripping of FLs and FLHs, that much is certain. Iron Horse wouldn't have existed. Other titles that were concurrent, including Easyriders, wouldn't have been published. Today's offshoots of Iron Horse, would not be on the magazine stands without our early brothers stripping down their Harley dressers to create the ultimate Outlaw Machine.
In closing David, Mark in the Middle East sends his best wishes. Hoping that you and Shawn are healthy, happy (but not fat) and back on a Harley 74, I am....