~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Generation gap?



Thanks to the other bloggers out there (see the blog roll leaders) who are better connected than I, some additional blogs have been added to the blog roll at right.

The majority of the blogs seem to be done by younger riders and in some cases new riders. I have to say that reading them makes me feel young and old all at the same time.

I appreciate greatly the enthusiasm the new riders show for the sport, it really has not changed since "my day" and I'm sure it was the same 100 years ago when motorcycles were a new item. A few years ago I met Jim Davis who had been a factory sponsored rider for Indian Motorcycles in 1915 or so. Jim was a character even at 103 and when he'd tell stories of riding when it really was "the old days" you could see in his eyes and hear in his voice the spirit that seems to be eternal in motorcycing.

I'm not sure what Jim Davis would have thought about the new generation of riders with fur covered sport bikes, wild tattoos, piercings, and defiant attitudes but I'd guess despite the differences in riding gear and jargon, he'd recognize the spirit of motorcycling in their eyes and words also.

As for me, I'm not old by Jim Davis' standards but I'm not really keen on riding a fur covered ZX-10 across Africa to get a tattoo or using the f-word in my ramblings here so I guess to that degree I'm old. Truly though, reading the blogs by young riders and especially the women riders is amazing and grand even for an old fahrt like me.

I think the women's blogs are the most entertaining as they seem more willing to share their outlook about riding more than the men sometimes are. "Us mens" tend to gravitate towards the technical rather than the sublime. The women's blogs can be edgy, in your face, and proud of being different while still maintaining a feminine quality. I'm glad to seem them all riding and writing about it. Having more women in motorcycling is a great thing.

I sometimes ride with a motorcycle group called the Geezers. They are mostly retired people and ride on Tuesdays so a poor working stiff like me cannot get out too often with them. They are a fun group, excellent riders, and have a great sense of what motorcycling is and isn't. It is nice to ride and hang out with folks my own age, people who have a lot of perspective on life and motorcycles and who ride at a pace I like.

Still, I have to think after reading the other blogs out there that it would be a huge amount of fun to hang out with younger riders once in awhile too and experience motorcycling from their perspective. I believe I could talk myself into buying a Hayabusa or Kawasaki's excellent 1200 sport tourer so I wouldn't be too out of place but I'd have to pass on the tattoos and piercing. No fur covered fairings either.

3 comments:

Travis said...

Doug,

Reading your blog and Peter Eagan's columns for Cycle World make me look forward to riding 20 and 30 years from now. I certainly can't imagine what the hot new bikes will be that far in the future, but I know one thing, I'll be one happy rider.

Why? Because I, like you, won't care for the newest and hottest bike on the market and I won't be stunting on public roads or doing burnouts, I'll be riding with a group of likewise minded folks my own age, like your Geezers, and loving every second of it.

Doug K. said...

Travis,

One thing about motorcycling, it's rarely boring and the bikes just keep getting better year after year. Each year it seems like there isn't anything that can top the last generation of machines and every couple of years something comes along to top them and keep the sport eternally exciting.

As much as I love the old bikes there is still always something new to give me motorcycle fever on a regular basis. I saw the new 2300cc Triumph the other day and I want one! LOL

My only regret about getting older is that there are still so many bikes to ride and so many people to meet and there will never be enough time (or money) for them all. I've never owned a Ducati and that is an oversight that I need to correct yet. An early 90's 750 Paso would be just about right.

By the way, like you I'm a Peter Egan fan. I love his work; his writing is always so clear and insightful about bikes and riding.

Dylan said...

Doug-

Enjoyed reading the entry and Travis is right, it is very Eagan-esque!

I suspect that one of the reasons that it seems like most of the blogs out there in cyberspace are written by younger or newer riders is because blogging, just like instant messaging, have become our generation's form of communication. Most of my friends spend all day IM'ing people and writting their blogs and very little time talking on the phone anymore...

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