There’s exquisite danger in youth–the time when the greater balance of your life is supposedly ahead, and yet you have the balls to push your limits and truly live every day like it’s the last . . . risking freedom and limb just to prove that your brand of crazy is more perverse than the next guy’s. If you’ve been there, than you know what it means to be the most alive in that moment of flirting with the line which will bring disaster if overstepped. It’s what HST referred to as “The Edge.”
This video from French DJ crew Birdy Nam Nam blipped on my radar a few days ago, and it’s been permeating my mood and thoughts ever since–the word “haunting” would not be hyperbole. About a decade ago, I rode for awhile with a sport/stunt crew, and the images within summon vivid memories of being in the midst of dozens of literbikes doing standup freeway wheelies and midnight parking lot practice sessions. The snow is a nice touch, just in case the dance-edited spread-eagle 12 o’clocks and flaming burnouts didn’t have enough sensual impact. Gorgeously shot in the blue hues, it makes a cold-cocking impression of a surreal montage not readily forgotten.
Posted in Bad Ideas, Fast Life, Motorbikes
Tagged 12 O'clock, Birdy Nam Nam, Defiant Order, Dirtbikes, DJ, Electronic, Motorcycle, MotoX, Standup, Stunt Crew, Stunting, Wheelie, Youth
The only fathomable reason for doing a 2300-mile Monday morning commute was the inaugural Texan MotoGP race, which happened the preceding Sunday at the recently-built Circuit of the Americas (COTA) over the weekend. I gave Texas fair warning with my post about The One Show in Portland that I had bad intentions concerning the event and my presence; and indeed made good on it. Despite my longtime infatuation with the mad godmen of racing for hurtling themselves around tracks at two-thousand mph on the premier-class GP rockets in utter defiance of fear and physics, I had yet to actually witness one of these wild spectacles in person. It was high time to remedy the matter. And on that note, I needed to see my all-time favorite #46 Rossi do his thing.Naturally, grades and finances would take a heavy toll for making such a trip in the middle of a school quarter, so it absolutely was imperative to happen. A number of cramped standby flights dumped me in Austin around midnight on Thursday without the hotel I hadn’t bothered to book, since I wasn’t really expecting to make it all the way before Friday with the entire continent of North America flying to ATX that weekend. After about an hour of fussing on the phone to find an open room, and rental car secured, I had nothing to do but explore the town, check out the first Austin One Show, try to avoid incarceration for cattle rusling and not miss the race due to a Digger Darren moment prior to Sunday. For legal reasons, I can’t discuss everything that went down during my three days in TX, but I did take photos, at least.* Doing my wandering vagabond routine, I roamed up and down Austin, found a few of the good spots, a swingin coffee/bar called Spider House thanks to a recommendation from a trusty source, and pretty much everything on South Congress that was worthwhile. Oh, and of course there was BBQ. To round things out, on race-day, my amazing pilot/flight coupon-sponsor big-brother made the trip from his home in Houston to watch the GP with me.
Read on . . . full post here
Posted in Bad Ideas, Motorbikes, Photography, Racing, Uncategorized
Tagged Austin, Ben Spies, Circuit of the Americas, Colin Edwards, COTA, Dovizioso, Ducati, Hayden, Honda, Kawasaki, Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Motorcycle Racing, Pedrosa, Repsol, Rossi, TX, Valentino, VR46, Yamaha
I wasn’t sure if I had just stepped out of reality and into David Lynch’s mind, or if I was sleepwalking through a bourbon and gasoline vapor-infused dream. Either way, I was once again faced with the hard reality that all the good things were going down at The One Motorcycle show, and there was no possible way to absorb them all. It was imperative to try and act cool–not to freak out or draw attention–just keep taking snaps and act like I was supposed to be there (meanwhile the voice in my head going ZOMGZOMGZOMGadlkfjdsalkfj%#11!!!!). After all, I was lone-wolfing it in Texas, and who knew how the locals would take to some speed-fetish Seattleite squirming around like a toddler on Redbull between the displays of hand-crafted veloexotica. Fortunately, I was quickly reassured that I had found a home away from home among my people–surrounded by folks with the same sickness. This place was motorcycle paradise, and my neural receptors were on overload from the moment I entered the building and was immediately thrown into a stare-down with Spike–Shinya Kimura’s ’46 Knucklehead masterpiece that I met with the man at Bonneville last year. No foreplay, no dancing, no drinks to soften my inhibitions… just BOOM, SPIKE–and the ensuing explosion of my brain all over an adjacent Vincent Blacker than Black Lightning. I remembered a couple months prior at See See hearing Tori George mention that they were teaming with Revival Cycles and going to be doing a One Show in Austin during the MotoGP weekend, and I thought to myself “dang how cool would that be? Wish I were going.”
Read on . . . full post here
Posted in Bad Ideas, Fast Life, Motorbikes, Photography, Vintage
Tagged ATX, Austin, BMW, Bobber, Chopper, Custom, Ducati, Guzzi, Handmade, Harley, Knucklehead, Moto Guzzi, Motorcycles, See See, Shinya Kimura, Texas, The One Moto, The One Show, Triumph
By now, the buzz from fourth The One Show that See See Motor Coffee Co. put on in Portland last month is beginning to subside. At least, on a personal note, I’m finally coming down from the affair. And, just like any other self-respecting addict, coming down is the time when we fiend hard for the next thrill, feel the urge to rip that front wheel skywards One last time even as the short road ahead is terminating with the same rate that your eyes are widening. The addict knows full-well these tendencies bring no good-comings of, yet with a beautifully savage device such as a powerful motorbike at one’s disposal, hooligan antics have a way of becoming disturbingly commonplace.
Posted in Bad Ideas, Fast Life, Motorbikes, Photography, Stuff I See
Tagged Builders, cafe racer, Coffee, Custom, Deus, Deus Ex Machina, Ducati, Motorbike, Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Portland, RSD, See See, The One Show
OK, by now I’m convinced. Jordan Cook must’ve had his guitar tuned by the devil like Robert Johnson. Of course the reports of his performances this year have been feeding an internet blaze, but there’s something burning in this guy that can’t be explained any other way. I mean, there’re technical players, but then there’re guys whose skill and connection to the guitar and constant improvisation can’t be explained merely by years of practice. It seems as if half the time his hands aren’t anywhere near the guitar, yet the licks keep coming as if his heart and soul are electrically commanding the vibrations.
Whatever it is, Reignwolf is simply one of the best shows you can catch out there if you even remotely dig blues and rock ‘n roll the way it should be – gritty, soulful, deep, thrashing, crooning, growling all at the same time, each incoming sound-wave washing over the listener with the delivery of amplified sustenance and strengthening the hunger for the next one. To put it another way, listening to his music is aural addiction in action.
I’m not proud to say that I narrowly missed his Capitol Hill Block Party show last month – which was apparently one the best to date – so it was really swell of the nice folks at Linda’s Tavern to headline him at their 2012 Linda’s Fest. Free show, too. Really really swell. This time I was armed with a faster lens than on Record Store Day, so a few of the snaps turned out. Your next chance to see him in Seattle will be on September 3rd at Bumbershoot; and if you haven’t yet, I highly recommend getting there.
For a blog titled “It Never Got Fast Enough For Me,” there could be few grails holier than that of the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats for all of its historical significance to the world of land speed racing. In fact, take a gander at the header picture… that’s a less-famous shot from Life Magazine of the event in September 1948 that produced the most famous motorbike shot of all time–Rollie Free making his legendary bathing suit run on a Vincent Black Lightning at 150mph. If you’re reading this, I’m sure you already knew all of that.
Speedweek is – you guessed it – a week-long pilgrimage to the great salty altar where local denizens and travelers from far regions alike come to to celebrate their weirdness for things that go fast in a spectacular gathering of motorbikes, sports cars, hotrods, ratrods, lakesters, streamliners, diesel trucks, caterpillars and did-I-just-see-an-SR71-Blackbird-with-faired-in-wheels-and-no-wings type creations piloted by the finest maniacs among our global speed tribe. Last year I made my first visit to Bonneville, but had missed the week of speed by one due to a very poorly scheduled Final Exam week on behalf of my University. I mean, despite the fact that we are nine-hundred and fifty miles away, you would think any up-on-things scholastic administration would give credence to such sacred events. Regardless, I wasted this entire Summer by not overloading myself with school courses, just so that I could be sure to make it this year.
Shinya Kimura and your humble author
Posted in Bad Ideas, Cars, Fast Life, Motorbikes, Photography, Racing, Vintage
Tagged #Getsalty, 2012, Bonneville, Guzzi, Land Speed, Racing, Ratrod, Salt Flats, Shinya Kimura, Speedweek, Triumph, UT