2. Tattoos. Yep tattoos. I don't mean flamed sleeves, tribal arm bands or the infamous Harley Shield. Nope. Vintage riders don't get tattooed for the sake of looking tough but they get tattoos as pieces of art. The finished tattoo is almost as satisfying as the bike you just finished bobbing the tail on. The tattoo is as personal as the one off machine they ride. The tattoo is ritual and deeply personal. Having got my first one about a month ago you really realise how much effort goes into the creation, the style and the meaning. Its an exercise in self examination, a voyage of pain that ends with beauty. No wonder they are addictive.
4. Whisky or a bold red. I'll say it for clarity...we do this after the ride. This also goes hand in hand with the cigar. The amount of great whisky out there now is crazy. As much as the craft beer or artisan wines have taken over the market for people who drink for an experience (as opposed to get drunk) the whisky scene has really blossomed. There are more delicious and drinkable whiskies out there then ever before. Whisky is a social drink much like the cigar. It takes time to drink a whisky and time to smoke that cigar. Each glass is an experience. Ok so I put a bold red in there too...honestly a hardy bold red wine and a cigar is magic. They compliment each other perfectly. The cigar brings out the tones in red and the red refreshes the pallet for the cigar. They are social indulgences.
5. Music. Music tends to be where ever we are. We listen to it on our ear phones and at our get together. It doesn't matter what type or style but from Mozart to Black Keys nothing adds to the act of blasting through the curves than music. It has an emotional impact on you. When I know I have a very intense stretch of road ahead I'll put something on that is calming and helps me focus. That focus allows me to ride with total concentration and get the most out of the bike and the road. The road from Creston to Crawford Bay is 80kms of the most technical road probably in the country. It is also one of the most dangerous roads wrote with tourists and drivers who have no idea how to handle a road like that. Passing lanes are a dare and corners are more than plenty. Music to help you focus is just what the Doctor ordered.
When we socialize with those cigars and wonderful whiskys music is always there. It sets the tone of the afternoon.
There are probably more things that go with motorcycling but I think these are the important ones and ring true to all of us. Motorcycling now more than ever is a way of life. Harley riders have always had their Tim crawls but those of us who loath Harley underwear and bikes that way double the ones we ride are starting a counter culture of what a riding lifestyle means. I am not even sure if we have a name, maybe post modern or revived vintage. We are a modern version of the 60s cafe culture and have a passion for the finer things in life but pieces and portions that make us very unique. We wear fine suits but have incredible ink underneath our perfectly pressed white shirt. We don't ride Ferrari's on two wheels but we ride hand crafted vintage motorcycles that have no equal. We take off our Omega watches to finely tune 40 year old carburettors. To us a Porche is a beautiful car but a 1974 Norton Commando or a 1949 Speed Twin make us weak in the knees. We drink our whisky or bold reds while sitting in our garages around beautiful motorcycles in various states of rebirth. Vintage Revival