Thursday 29 January 2009

I don't want a pickle....

I'm sitting here reading motorcycle blogs, checking CraigsList for deals (i.e. looking for idiots who don't know what something is worth), and generally just wasting time.

And there's lots to waste here in the frozen northland before riding season comes around again.

Anyway, got the tunes cranked up in the background and this song came on, so I just had to share.


Sunday 18 January 2009

"What's wrong with the bars you've got?"

Yesterday I got caught flagrante delicto by the spousal unit. I just wasn’t quick enough putting the catalogue away when she came into the room. Not the Victoria’s Secret catalogue – that I could probably have explained away – but this was much, much worse. It was the new Harley-Davidson Accessories Catalogue and she instinctively knew (or at least hoped) I wasn’t shopping for sweet nothings for her.

“What are you looking at?”
“Um, Harley catalogue?” Asked like a question, thinking I might be able to get away with something here.
“You’re not buying more parts are you?”
“Well I was thinking about putting drag bars on the ...” Didn’t even get to finish the sentence.
“What’s wrong with the bars you’ve got?”
Now the answer to that last question is, in all honestly, nothing. The stock bars are perfectly fine except.... well, these other ones look nicer, and for me, that’s a perfectly good and understandable reason to get them. For her, that’s a stupid reason.

And I didn’t even get to the new seat, quick detach saddle bags, forward controls, and paint job also on the wish list.

Truth be told, I’m not much of a customizer, never have been. But at this time of the year when the snow is on the ground, night starts at 4 pm, and there’s no riding for at least 3 more months, I get my fix by reading every biker magazine I can find, fantasizing about the new models (thank god she didn’t find me with that 2009 H-D price list), and dreaming about what I could do to the ride I have to make it a bit different, a bit unique. Few of those dreams ever see the light of day because once I get riding again I realise how much I like my bike just the way it is.

But in the meantime, it’s going to be a long winter....

Friday 16 January 2009

Dave Nichols' One Percenter - a contrary view

Having read nothing but positive reviews in various biker blogs about this book, I decided to pick it up over the holidays and give it a go.

Big mistake.

First let me say that Nichols obviously has a pretty good understanding of outlaw bikers and the one percenters among them. He also has a pretty good understanding of (or at least an opinion about) pirates, Harley-Davidsons, berserkers, the US motorcycle industry, biker movies, biker books, Easyrider magazine, the wild west, motorcycle clubs (“not gangs”), the RICO Act, environmental responsibility, reality TV shows, and just about anything else you can imagine that might be even vaguely related to motorcycling. The problem is he tries to tie all those together in what becomes, as a result, just a jumble of words in need of some good editing.

There is the potential of a good book in there, but not without some focus and much better writing (“... the muddy trenches of World War II”???). As it is, Nichols throws so much ‘stuff’ at the reader that nothing sticks. Everything is very superficial and, as a consequence, very unsatisfying.

It seems, according to various bookseller reviews, that readers either love or hate One Percenter – there’s no in between; it’s either 1 star or 5 stars. Count me in the 1-star category. There are far too many good motorcycling and motorcycle-related books out there to waste time on this one. But, if you are one of those people who must read every motorcycle book ever written, then save some money and wait a while; One Percenter is on the fast track to the bargain bins and should be available for a buck or two long before the summer riding season begins.