Writing this for any specialist web site, where men and women build things is a tad risky, but if it makes you think, then it’s served its purpose.
I recently had the pleasure of a conversation with a ‘Real Motorcyclist’, who regaled me with his stories of how long he’d been riding, what he’d ridden, where to and in what weather conditions. Often, as these tales do, it involved breaking down on some unlit back road, at some unearthly hour, with nothing more than a lollipop stick and a Blue Peter Badge to help the repairs along.
We matched each other for age; we matched each other for mileage and for experience in travel; we matched each other in the collection of good and bad bikes and we matched each other in tales of “it was so cold, it was so hot, it was so far’ etc, etc, (and that night we matched each other for drinking -we were both ‘fresh’).
The only difference that made my learned friend raise an eyebrow, was when I concluded my tales of breaking down with the phrase “So I rang the RAC”, (other breakdown firms are available), or “I rang my mate”. He then quoted the title of this piece- “So you’re not a proper Biker then?”.
Excuse me! Had this bloke not been listening to how long I’ve been riding, how far I’ve travelled, in what conditions, on the collection of waifs and strays of the biking world I’ve collected? The fact I couldn’t repair things was the issue......
There are those of us who are not mechanically skilled. We wouldn’t know the difference between a clutch plate and a dinner plate, but does that make us any less of a Biker?
There will be many, (and I mean many), who are reading Brit Chopper, Back Street Heroes, Hot Rod, Street Fighter or any other periodical which delves into the realms of “I fitted a V12 5 litre into my FS1DX frame and it went like stink” type magazine and we’ll enjoy the reading experience. There are those of us who do not have the skills to perform mechanical open heart surgery with a Swiss army penknife and a fag packet. But we put the miles in, in all weathers, on and in all types of machines. We enjoy reading of your skills and dexterity at fixing a blown engine with a packet of dry roasted peanuts and a cuttle fish.
But we are Bikers, and we ride, in all weathers. We get to the rallies, big and small.
We listen to what you say, but like knitting fog, it doesn’t always make sense to us. But do not discount us. We keep magazines in circulation. We read how to build your own trike, and we dream. That’s all it ever amounts to, we dream. We will never build!
But we enjoy reading the words of those that are blessed with the skills of a Ninja in the self build and custom builds of this world.
So I asked him if he could explain the theory of harmonics and diminished thirds!
“So you’re not a musician then, but you still insist on listening to music................”
(And yes, I know many great musicians were and are unable to read music, which sort of adds weight to my argument, don’t you think!!!)
-Two Showers & Attila the Hun
AKA Martin and Sarah