A blog about possibilities.
Mostly about motorbikes.
But that's OK, because motorbikes represent possibility for me at present. I came, I saw, I rode. Yeah, I did it. I'm DOING it.
And that's what life is. Imagine something, work backwards to where you are now, and start.
Don did it. So did I.
So can you.
Imagine, backtrack, start.
There you go. Success in three simple steps.
Leave the money on the fridge...
Whenever I'm in America I don't know whether to laugh or cry. They cling to a 1950's version of themselves like a man clinging to a prized, upturned boat in a fast moving river. His only hope is to let it go and swim for shore but he hangs on, hoping against hope, and goes over the falls.
"Just you. The empty mountain road. The engine your soundtrack. Each corner a new sensation. Time? No meaning. You forget you are on a bike and just see the road in front of you. Feeling those corner forces. Fluid. Without history or future. In the moment."
Amin Pelkmann explaining why he rides alone, never in groups.
I haven't been doing this long but am completely hooked and Amin has articulated beautifully for me the reason why.
I literally kit up and go out at every opportunity. And getting off the bike at the end is only because I have another commitment. It's a beautiful thing. What a privilege to be able to do it. Thankyou Harley Lady wherever you are. I wouldn't have found this if I hadn't run into you that day. And unless I run into you again some day, you'll never know.
PS ... I would add to Amin's list: "enjoying the dance". Because that's what it feels like to me. You're in a dance with your bike, both hands and feet invo…
Why do people say that? It's not like it's going to change anything. ("Oh, OK, I was going to ride recklessly, but I won't now.") I think they're just projecting THEIR fear onto you. And that's kind of cowardly when you think about it. My wife never says it to me. I know she fears but she doesn't make me share that fear. And that's because she's brave. Courage isn't the absence of fear; it's "feeling the fear and doing it anyway".
"Suburbia is a mistake driven by the car. I'm a person who believes in 'villagisation'. The village is what we all want as humans. It's what you see as standard in Italian villages where the old people sit in the piazza every day and if Giuseppe doesn't arrive they ring his son and say "where's Giuseppe?" And we know the benefits of those common places - the trees, the shade, the community points, the collection points, how the seats are arranged. It's quite simple but we're still experimenting with it in Australia. They're very learned in their delivery of it in Italy, Greece and Spain."
And read it from cover to cover on my flight to Melbourne. And left it on the plane. Because it's living in the past. Motorcycling is about to change forever with the advent of electric bikes and men in black on noisy bikes trying to look tough are going to look faintly ridiculous. Oh, that's right - they already do 😎
China urging restraint by the US and North Korea. It's good that they're finally getting involved. Long overdue. If Don's aggressive stance does nothing else but drag China into the game it will have been worth it.
The one between persevering with a "good" idea and flogging a dead horse. I've always tended to do too much of the latter. But as you get older you realise life is short. Ideas have to bear fruit quicker or you move on to the next thing. Wish I had figured this sooner.
I was watching a review of a new "badass" motorcycle and the guy said "with a bike like this you have to wear an open face helmet and sunnies; wear a full-face helmet and you'll look a real tool". What he doesn't say of course is that you'll look an even bigger tool when you come off and slide your face along the tarmac. Mind you, by then you wouldn't care I guess.
To figure out what an incredibly light touch you can use on The Black Quacker to move smoothly through the gears. Amazingly light. Like almost "willing" the gear to change and it does, with no discernible effort from me at all. My sincere apologies Mr Suzuki san. You designed a Swiss watch and I've been treating it like an abacus.
If you're not constantly practicing / improving you're probably going to become a statistic. It's a bit like having kids: an all or nothing commitment. The advantage of a motorcycle though is you can lock it in the garage. Hmm, kids in the garage, eh? The other big incentive to constantly hone your skills however is that the better you get the more you ENJOY it. Funny that.
I remember reading this on a blog aimed at encouraging people to take up motorcycling. I also remember thinking "yeah, right". It didn't make sense to me. Why would I go places that I wouldn't go in my car? But I'm now seeing what they meant. You don't necessarily go to "grand" places but you start seeing all sorts of "micro" places within your own city. Like right now in fact. I'm sitting on the steps of Dome on the river's edge in East Fremantle having a coffee and watching the sunset. I've driven past it many times in my car but wouldn't ever call in and do this. So why on a bike? Don't know - but here I am. The guy on the blog was right.
Jeff Kennett that is. We need clear-eyed thinkers like him.
In his recent commentary on Hawthorn's poor form he hinted that the club's super-coach Alastair Clarkson might have run out of puff when he said "I think about six to nine years is enough when it comes to leadership."
I think he's right. After that amount of time you start marking time. Think of all the people you know in management / leadership positions who have been there fifteen and twenty years.
The more I relax, the better my motorbike works. The gear changes, throttle application, braking and steering are just so much smoother. In other words, the engineers at Suzuki assumed I would ride with a light touch. If I ride in a tense, ham-fisted fashion, all their good work is negated. Our bodies are the same. They work best when relaxed. The Engineer intended for us to "live relaxed", trusting in Him. But we don't. And then we wonder why things keep breaking.
When you stop and consider the infinitesimally small odds of life on earth happening at all, you would have to wonder why we stick to our "it all happened by chance" model. In any other sphere we would consider someone delusional who pinned everything on such ridiculous odds. The "there must be a creator" model makes so much more sense. Why don't we embrace it? Because it opens up a whole new can of worms we'd rather not face. More fool us. There will be a day of reckoning for such weakness. That's not me saying it - a fellow from Nazareth said it and from what I can see, he had a clue.
I think this by Tim Watson on RideApart pretty much captures it:
"Before you had a motorcycle, you always tried to find the quickest and most direct way to get around. In a car or truck, it was efficient and practical to do so. Now that you have a bike, you’ll be willing to go 100 miles out of your way to visit a store or restaurant that has the same stuff as the one in your neighborhood. You’ll find yourself with entire States between you and home, amongst strangers and in strange places that you never knew existed, just because. You’ll tell your family you’re just going out for a quick ride, then return hours, sometimes days later, not entirely sure where you have been. And it won’t matter, because you were riding."