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Wednesday, June 5, 2013


The good old days. When all that mattered was the road ahead, my beautiful and faithful Bullet 350 below me and just enough money for fuel to get home.

How things have changed, how the wanderlust has been chained and jailed. A time when 'riding kit'
consisted of an MPA helmet, a weathered windcheater, a loose cotton T-shirt, a pair of faded jeans, hand-me-down buckskin gloves from my father and beat up leather army boots. But we fucking rode, and  how. Saddle time was far greater than the cock talk.
We didn't watch instructional videos on how to straighten corners. But we always reached where we needed to go in one piece.We criss-crossed the country and dreamed of going beyond international borders. 
Our bikes seldom failed us, although some of them were older than our very selves. When they did break down, we knew how to get them back on the road. We didn't have mobile phones and so always rode within visible range. Six lane highways existed only in foreign movies. We rode on state highways that were thick lines only in the maps. We ended every day of riding with a smile and some whiskey and rum, sometimes swallowed together. Nobody grumbled, everybody only smiled. Nobody had presentations to work on or emails to reply to. We were free. 

We drank from canals and streams and ate from holes in the wall. We slept alongside the road, under trees, in trees, in random village homes. We never spoke about where we've been but where we wanted to go. Everybody was made welcome, blokes with inflated egos were kicked in the balls.

We never had 'meets' nor did we spend hours on internet forums - we spent that time where it mattered, on the saddle. We didn't flaunt our bikes wherever or whenever pussy strode past us. Our bikes were filthy with the grime only hundreds of miles of riding can accumulate. We were proud of our appearance. We didn't care what the world thought of us. We respected the law, shook hands with cops and waved at fellow motorcyclists.

Yes, those were golden years indeed.

Friday, May 31, 2013


We men are losing our, erm, manhood. In the not so distant past, if you were a director and wanted to portray masculinity in your film, you automatically asked your prop guy to go find a motorcycle and the costume designer was instructed to conjure up a leather bomber jacket and a pair of good-fitting jeans for the lead bloke.

Today, it seems, you just get the hero a tablet. Not the blue diamond shaped pill that is acclaimed for getting men around the world up and about, but the one that kills your virility if you use it on your lap. I mean, when I meet guys my age, the first thing they want to know is why I don't get myself a smart phone; forget about asking who and what I ride, or which sport I follow.

Sure, I do not expect everyone to dig motorcycles the way I do, but what about the other manly pursuits like cars, guns, aircraft, horses? Even music has lost its hair and ball sac. You want proof? Line up Justin Diaper with Bruce Sprinsteen...

Where have the men gone? And why have the women let them go? They are definitely not out there carving corners on motorcycles and skinning knuckles wrenching on them. And I don't think they're in there with their women either. I read somewhere that the sales of women's 'play things' are increasing. Although I cannot attest the authenticity of that claim, motorcycle manufacturers will confirm that lesser people are buying motorcycles the world over. Except for India but then again, most people here ride bikes because they are cheaper to run and maintain than cars and way more comfortable than the overcrowded public transportation system - they certainly do not ride for the sheer joy that only motorcycles can provide. So what does that tell you? Well, we're getting soft. And flaccid. And soon we'll need to squat to take a whizz if we don't correct what is happening.

My advice to the three people reading this rant is this. Buy yourself a motorcycle, the older and more derelict it is, the better. Buy a set of tools and begin to bring that bike back to its prime. It will give you scars on your skin and strength in your muscle. All that sweating will clean out your pores, perhaps clearing the way for some facial hair to sprout.

Sell off that smart phone, and use the money to get yourself a pair (yes, two) of good helmets and riding kit. When your bike is done, ride off to your girlfriend's place and tell her that she's coming with you for a ride. Don't tell her where, because you shouldn't know either. When you two are actually there, wherever it may be, forget your office. Forget your home. For those few hours. You will thank me. And your girl will love the fact that she got her man back!