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.