There are moments on a motorcycle when all the glory of motion is distilled into one purposeful package. Chasing curves over a swelling landscape, a motorcycle enters the pure expression of physics and is bound to the road in a way no car will ever know. The rider and machine are literally balanced on the infinitely thin line where centripetal force meets gravity. Despite this state of suspended disaster, the sensation of risk is largely a sensation; the motorcycle is in harmony with the road, and risk comes overwhelmingly from other drivers. Any moment of travel on a motorcycle is a light and essential moment, an agile rebuke to a life conducted in one place. The raw force of the engine is not hidden beneath a hood, but alternately purrs and growls a few inches from the knees, demanding the consciousness of power. Sealed behind glass, insulated by climate control systems and music, the driver of a car knows nothing about the directions of the wind, the lay of sunlight, the small changes in temperature between a peak and a valley, the textured noise of differing asphalts, or the sweet and sour aromas of manured fields or passing pine forests. Engaged in all the senses and elements, balanced in the present tense, a rider on two wheels can taste moments of oneness with the road.I'm not a fan of Che Guevara, who had a very murky history and does not deserve the adulation given him by the ignorant and naive. And I haven't read the book, so I don't know what Symmes' take on his 'hero' is. But that passage says something that resonates with me.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Quote of the Week
Via Canajun, I found this quotation which I thought worth sharing, as it explains something that is hard to put into words. It's from Patrick Symmes' work Chasing Che: A Motorcycle Journey in Search of the Guevara Legend.