delivery of hand-crafted parts and engineering from our oversized shed, parts the mass-pro, standardized tool catalogs can’t or won’t bother with. We make things. Handles and wheels spin to shape cold steel and carbide with fire to produce the finished art. It's always struck me as something worthwhile; honorable and passed down from generations
It’s been three weeks at the time of this writing. Twenty-one days since I briefly escaped the madness of unsocial media and its swirling political rapids to experience life in a way that better matches my expectations. With a good bike under me, in the company of best friends and nature rolling out its beauty for my viewing pleasure. Spending a lifetime contributing to our family business I’ve taken some shots in the self-employment game, but I wouldn’t trade a thing. It’s a cliché but we’re throwbacks by definition; full manual in an automated industry. Decades mark the
If you’re feeling the cool draft of rugged American independence, that’s astute. Still, there’s more new technology in my phone than any old hunk of iron in the factory, and I’d fallen prey to stealing glances during the day…even when commitments didn’t allow. The snowball rolls slowly at first, gathering momentum (and division) when a political post runs up enough backsides to warrant a landslide of cyber jabs and digital haymakers. Some people get paid to post on Facebook but I’m not one of them, and these time stealers can and have taken my mind off far more important things. The insult to injury part sees a net gain of absolutely nothing. Except frustration. Often a victim of my own ego, I can’t afford this BS and it only makes things worse knowing I’m one of the mice racing inside the wheel. Screw that!
Just the opposite applies to the recently purchased Moto Guzzi CX100, partly because I didn’t see it coming. Counted as a wonderful diversion the all black Le Mans 1000 proves it’s always darkest before dawn. Faced with the daunting task of clearing out a sold industrial property earlier this year our shop crew worked under the gun for weeks, but in the process made room by selling off a few motorcycles that no longer fit into the plan. Toss in a spiffy new service bay to boot, but even before taking delivery visions of steering the vintage roundhead eastward into the New Mexico monsoon roamed through my mind, and that was a dream worth saving. Schedules haven’t allowed for much fussing on the De Tomaso twin, save for a day peeking under its skin and pulling the pre-ride wrenches for a tune. More unwelcome baloney filled my lane as summer spooled, establishing a sad routine of reviewing the latest political circus over coffee, forcing my blood pressure down then snapping a mental artery reading (or responding to) Facebook follies.
barge in a mock TT pass those digital hot buttons had cooled, transforming my uplink from bitter harbinger into harmless photo maker. It’s amazing what friends, fresh air and a green chili colon flush can do for one’s productiveness. Once home I avoided those murky waters of public discourse and that focus netted a new Laverda twins review and some real gains on our SP1000 project. More saved energy will be directed to my son's Le Mans build, or fulfilling that Moto-Martin dream.
Simply concluding this moto-therapy solved everything is an over-simplification and frankly, untrue. Instead, it was a real time reminder that reality outside the microns does a splendid job of rebalancing the wheel. Screw your politics doesn’t infringe on your beliefs or observations, it means your criticism of mine lacks substance. Accusations, now in the form of phobias, bigotry, or whatever label is handy gets the roll when the sensitive meets resistance. This strikes at the core; a convenient integrity slam that delights by automatically triggering a defensive reaction and therefore persuading the court of public opinion. There’s rules for other competitive sports but none for the keyboard hero. Effectively insult the opposition and you’ll win the day. Screw your identity politics, respect the police and can we please stop talking about bathrooms?.
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I wasn’t very old when I heard it, but old enough to understand the definition of a retiree as someone with enough free time to complain about politics full time. Included in that was something about waistband levels, but I’ll take high-waters and tan Birkenstocks over those who consider it stylish to walk around with their arse hanging out. If that reads like the dialog of a curmudgeon, you’ve stumbled onto the motivation behind this get-off-my-lawn rant. Confession, they say, is good for the soul so consider this mine. Forgive me for the sins I’m about to commit.
Screw Your Politics
Sweeping through Highway 60’s climbing elevations I note with wonder the deep greens, courtesy of some rare gentle rains. Along on the journey was brother Bill (Billoni) Ross (above ^ left) on an equally impressive 1000 G5, but the group grew as we drew closer to our destination. One-hundred seventy miles into the journey Jonzo Cerilli appears from nowhere, and just up the road we see Andy, Mike, and other locals enjoying the same experience. Moto Guzzis were admired, lies were told and new friends were made, making me wish this mini-moto vacation would never end. Ducking behind the screen to draft JJ’s land
Those still reading have likely experienced something similar, but even bad experiences hold hidden value. If you care to look. People express their love of God and country in many different ways, and that being their right makes me a hypocrite should I forget it. I’ve been criticized and humbled, but it’ll be worth it if I remember to think before speaking…or posting. I’ll admit being called stupid because I refuse to trust a liar is perplexing, but there’s no sanity in an insane world. No doubt those slimy Washington insiders could benefit from some old-fashioned biker camaraderie, but expect more testing of your resolve instead. This game of flip-flopping finds the Facebook phenomenon an absolute revelation for enthusiasts of all interests, closing the gap by bringing together minds and making friendships that would otherwise never happen. That’s the moral here, if there’s one to be had, but moral victories don’t feed the tribe. It’s the best of times for some and the worst for others, but that’s always been the case. Do what you say you’ll do, respect other people’s property and screw anyone who doesn’t feel you’re worth the effort. Nolan Woodbury
*Note: No motorcycles were harmed in the making of this editorial.