I thought I could do it... Give up
my bicyclist lifestyle and exalt in the thrill of petrol powered
THE XJ900 Diversion (JAPPA II)
I thought I wanted it. But I do not.
It used to be that the motorcycle
represented freedom and mobility for me. When I got my licence I
turned to my motorbike as a means of escape and the key to another
world, a time machine that burned the troubles of my life into the
past, I would look at the road disappearing in my rear view mirrors
and knew that a brighter, more exhilarating less restrained future
That was nearly thirty years ago, I
haven't owned a motorcycle more than 15 years, I've missed having a
bike but life goes on and I have delayed that particular
gratification successfully in my more responsible married with
Somewhere along the way I have become
caught in a combination of dread of the present state of my existence
and nostalgia for the life I once knew...
Escape by twist of a throttle seemed
like the perfect solution for an emasculated wage slave as I had
become. But in those years I have grown and come to know myself
The motorcycles is not the fix all it
used to be.
I've changed and the magic of the
motorcycle has changed too. Once I could blast off down the road
thinking that I'd left my problems behind me... Now I know too well
that wherever I go, I bring myself with me and there layeth the
problem! What is my bigest problem? Well of course whatever it is,
dwells within me.
I also realise that after decades of
living a reasonably austere lifestyle, enjoying the quieter more
present speed of a bicycle.
My conversion has not been so much an
ideological opposition to smelly gas guzzling machines; it just feels
I've melded with a different reality,
through the metal frame and downward force of my legs against the
pedals of a bicycle. The dream of a fast getaway is a false
promise... My rejection of the powerful 4 cylinder machine is a gut
thing, like the body rejecting an organ transplant. It just doesn't
feel right .
I ride my bicycle. I get there late and
wet and sweaty, I miss appointments because I don't have the time to
get from home, to Darwin, to an appointment somewhere miles away in
the time needed. I thought I'd fix that but now I realise I don't
Well I can say "I too have been standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona". But there was no girl... My Lord.
No flat bed Ford...
There was a desperate drunk with bruised knuckles
He tried selling me Hopi silver from a used deal bag.
Someone kicked a dog, it let out a yelp
The glass rattled in the rickety wooden frame of the servo door
No service since 1978...
No smiles, plenty dust
Feathers of an eagle crushed under the tyre of a cheap hire car scuffed against the gutter.
Hey KEEP your plundered silver and
TAKE it Easy.
The sound of my own wheels driving me, not crazy but outa there. With eyes open, it's America.