Archive for November, 2015

“SUCH A SIMPLE PLEASURE”

November 27, 2015

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Photos by Genghis


TOO COOL FOR WORK: Just hop on and ride, baby!

It’s the Day After. The day after Thanksgiving, that is. Man, it’s great not to have to work today, and harkens back to a day—a long ago day when I was in my 20s, and not yet gainfully employed. That was a distant day when I could just get on the bike, and ride! Today was like that.

Such a simple pleasure.

I’ll tell ya, it’s like I in my 20s again. I was twenty-one years old, when I bought my first Harley (best thing I ever did), and in those halcyon days when I didn’t have to work monday through friday, were so great. Why were they so great? Because I could just hop on the bike, and ride! It’s no wonder so many hardcores are unemployed, so they can enjoy this simple pleasure, all of their lives.

Problem is, I can’t do that, just because I want to be able to keep my Harley 74 the rest of my life. There are also some minor details, such as having a roof over my head, and food to eat. That requires work, man. Besides that, I have a great work ethic, inherited from, and ground into my, by my parents.



22 YEARS OLD AND NO JOB: Hangin’ out on St. Marks place with other bikers.

Today reminded me of when I was 22 years old, and hangin’ out on Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, in the East Village. No responsibilities, except havin’ enough gas money for the day—and shootin’ the shit with other bikers. What a life, man! If my name was Riley, today would’ve been The Life of Riley!

The draw of THE BIKE is always strong. Today, I was able to answer that siren call, with no worries, the day after Thanksgiving. The only thing that’s changed in the intervening years since I was 22, is the bike. Now, instead of hopping on my ’68 XLCH “Sally The Bitch,” I hop on my ’71 Stroker Shovel, Mabel. Me and Mabel, carefree and patrolling the highways, on a moment’s notice! How cool is that? Later.

FINITO

“THANKSGIVING DAY MESSAGE 2015”

November 26, 2015

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Photo by Genghis

WHAT TO BE THANKFUL FOR: What else?

You know the platitudes.

“I’m thankful for world peace.”

“I’m thankful for the love of my fellow man.”

Yet, on this Thanksgiving in The Year of The Lord 2015, there is only one thing to be grateful for, if you’re a biker. And that is…..

THE BIKE!

Let’s get serious here and call a spade a spade. We bikers all know, that underneath it all, we’re all just a bunch of kids, a bunch of kids who have been infatuated and totally involved with our motorcycles, since we were kids.

How else to explain—and if I have to explain, then you wouldn’t understand—that a 68 year old man like me, goes on and on about his Harley 74 as if The Bike were the answer to the world’s problems as far as we’re concerned, and that everything else is of little to no importance?

Sure, we’re just a bunch of kids, no matter how old we get, that flat out love our motorized toys. Yet, when we step into our office that consists of that low seat above those gleaming twin barrels—it feels like an experience of great note. Why is that?

Why is it, that 80 years of the Biker Subculture, begun and continued by our cultural forebears, feels like something to revere, to almost worship?

Man, that heavy rumble when our bikes start up, that lumpy and hypnotic idle, that BLAST! of the pipes when we bury the throttle at 70 per on the highway…..what does it mean?

To the outside world, we’re outlaws of the worst kind. We’re the outlaws that actually think that our motorcycles, are far more important than how well one does on the golf course. We’re the type of outlaws that like givin’ citizens of loud blast of what life is literally like, out in the open air, feet inches from the blacktop.

We’re the carefree, risk-taking, ho-hum-averse boys that girls’ parents warned ’em about, when we were young. We still are, except that we married those girls who were warned by their moms and dads, when they were young.

So, bros and sisses, on this Thanksgiving Day of the Year of The Lord 2015—be thankful for THE BIKE! Later.

FINITO

“BLOCKHEAD OR EVO?”

November 1, 2015

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Photos by Genghis


THE EVOLUTION MOTOR: I call it the Blockhead.

RACEPRES COMMENTING ON “WHAT IS THAT, A SPORTSTER?”

“Making a point of folks not knowing their history, and terminology. and then using the term “blockhead” are very contradictory…Nobody that I ever knew who owned a Harley called the Evolution anything but EVO’s…Blockhead as a Term for the EVO was being pushed by a different School. I don’t think it is nearly mandatory to know any history…on anything…but, I make it a point to stay a bit up on it. I do agree that people who don’t know, shouldn’t act like they do know. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open yer mouth and Prove it!!!”

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Recently, a biker at the SEEDY X-BAR & GRILL said to me, after I referred to the Blockhead….

“I haven’t heard anyone call it Blockhead in a very long time.”

When The Firm came out with the Evolution engine in 1984, many bikers called it the “Blockhead.” The fact that “Blockhead” fell out of favor, to the point of disusage, says a lot about the biker subculture’s lack of love toward the Evolution motor. However, I’ve continued to used the rarely used nomenclature of Blockhead, as a nod of respect to the motor. Certain designations of nicknames, signify the positive perception of motors in the biker subculture.

I wouldn’t know anything about a “different school” pushing “Blockhead” as a nickname for the Evo, but I do know that when the Evo came out, I started using “Blockhead” and continue to do so, as a matter of habit. I also admit to liking being somewhat different from everyone else, who calls the motor an “Evo.” Call it the crazy rebel in me, man….

“Hey Genghis, what are ya rebelling against?”

ME: “Whatta ya got?”

I believe that “Blockhead” was reflexive usage by bikers in the beginning (beginning of the Evolution motor), to include the Evolution, as a familial continuation of the other three classic “-heads”—the Knuck, Pan and Shovel. So, I guess in that sense, this is the “school” of bikers, who have always called the Knucklehead, Panhead and Shovel—“Knucklehead,” “Panhead” and “Shovelhead”—traditional bikers. This triad of righteous Harley mills, proudly carry the “-head” suffix, as a show of respect by bikers for these revered motors. So, as a member of the traditional “school” of bikers—full disclosure—I dig using the term.

Bikers believe in tradition. The fact that “Blockhead” didn’t continue in common usage in the culture, but in fact fell into almost total disuse, unlike Knucklehead, Panhead and Shovelhead did—demonstrates that many in the culture simply did not elevate the Evolution to the same status of it’s three “-head” predecessors—the Knucklehead, Panhead and Shovelhead. If the Evolution motor did reach the same rarefied air as the Knuck, Pan and Shovel—believe me, we ‘d talking about the quartet of classic motors, that were made from 1936 until 1999.

But—I continue to call it the Blockhead, simply as a matter of habit and traditional respect. It also shows, that I just have a very long memory! Thanks for your comment.

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DAVID SNOW COMMENTING ON “WHAT IS THAT, A SPORTSTER?”

“Really nice, Scott. I, too, just give up on the clueless— trying to explain Harley history is casting pearls before swine. Just a waste. I, too, just rely on, “It just an old Harley…” Before I finally got my first HD, I spent years reading about Harleys, going to dealers & bike shows. It’s telling that most newbies are all about form over substance. Twas ever thus.”

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Hey David, great minds think alike, huh? Ha! Later.

FINITO