After a long wet winter, I have been grabbing sunshine and spending much less time at the keyboard. This can only be a good thing. My daily images on Blipfoto tell a story of warm weather and escape: on canals, on two wheels, on golf courses – some might say an unlikely combination but the stereotypical biker is a myth. We are all differently made but we ride for the same reasons.
My good lady recently bought me a digital subscription to Iron and Air, an American bike magazine which combines images and words verging on the poetic. In my usual compulsive manner, I am working my way through every back copy – this from Dave Karlotski, Season of the Bike, in Issue 1:
“At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it’s as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me … “
Riding the arrow-straight Military Road that runs parallel to Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland you cross paths with heavily laden lumber lorries carrying timber south from the forests at Kielder. At 60mph they create a bow wave, an invisible wake of air that unsettles the bike at a combined speed in excess of 100mph. For a very brief moment in time the air turns warm and heavy with the scent of diesel – it is an oddly intimate and uplifting experience.
“Cars lie to us and tell us we’re safe, powerful and in control. The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, “Sleep, sleep.” Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that’s no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.”
This post dedicated to Ian Bell, supplier of this Yamaha.