If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New Motorcycling Quote

Via the excellent Highwaylass, this quotation from Theresa Wallach, in her Easy Motorcycle Riding, published in 1970.
You are on your own. You are not protected by two tons of steel, rubber, foam padding and safety glass. Neither are you steering two tons of guided missile toward other cars, people and property. If you are prepared to accept the responsibility of your own actions, then motorcycling can be both safe and thrilling. Riding is an art as well as a craft and no amount of explanation can take the place of experience.
That pretty well encapsulates in a single paragraph what I have been saying on here from time to time for the last two years.

Theresa Wallach was a true pioneer. She rode at Brooklands (lapping at over 100 mph on a 350cc Norton single and winning the British Motorcycle Racing Club's Gold Star in 1939) and rode in trials. Best of all, she crossed the Sahara in 1935 on a Panther with sidecar, in the company of another ballsy female, Florence Blenkiron. No film crew, no team doctor, no back-up truck with factory mechanics, no satellite phone.

She understood. I leave you with more words of hers, which again strike a chord with me:
When I first saw a motorcycle, I got a message from it. It was a feeling - the kind of thing that makes a person burst into tears hearing a piece of music or standing awestruck in front of a fine work of art. Motorcycling is a tool with which you can accomplish something meaningful in your life. It is an art.

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