Monday, January 08, 2007

Heroes and Rebels

More than any other means of transportation (with the steam locomotive being a possible exception), the motorcycle will forever be associated with certain romantic qualities. All those B-movies from the sixties have forever tainted cruisers and choppers as bad-boy bikes while scooters are either for punk-rockers or hopeless romantics - depending on which movies you watched as a kid. More recent movies like Torque or Biker Boyz, both of which were mediocre by any cinematic standards, have made sportbikes the tool of choice for thrill seeking testosterone-enhanced males. The funny thing is, none of the above have ever left any kind of a mark on my existence.

The riders I tend to admire are non-fiction; not the ones who are riding a dolly-mounted bike behind the camera truck (ex. watch the motorcycle scene in "Paycheck" with Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman - you can easily spot the tie-down brackets on the R1150R, not to mention the dolly's reflection in passing cars). My heroes are guys like Ted Simon for choosing to go around the world on a motorcycle long before marketing types came up with the term "Adventure Touring" and BMW came out with the GS. Or John Britten, for having the guts to go up against the big guys... and win! How about Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, the mother and daughter team who set out from New York to San Francisco on a Harley-Davidson sidecar hack... in 1915!

Of course, some of my heroes haven't reached semi-celebrity status yet. They're just the good folks I meet through the Internet and happen to do stuff that seems crazy to some, but makes sense to others. Guys like Gary Charpentier or Victor Wanchena who ride to work in the Minnesota winter; or the brave women who ride the Amazon Heart Thunder rallye each year.

Hollywood can keep their special effects and stereotypes; I'd rather read about those who are really out there... riding!


Giest said...

totally agree with you, lucky. i may have to watch Paycheck again to look for the brackets. honestly though, i wouldn't let him ride it for real either. hehe.

it's the real people who do real things that make a difference in the hobby/sport/passion. maybe if hollywood stopped hyper-adrenalizing thing we wouldn't have so many dangerous rockets on the road.

gary said...

Yeah, but Victor rides one of those "Three-wheeled cars with handlebars". Isn't that cheatin'?

Ride well,

Lucky said...

LOL... Hey, at least Victor isn't in a cage! In my book, that's worth something.