I met this war veteran turned motorcyclist last week; we had some good conversations on various themes all starting from me owning an old bicycle from the 1930's. I told him about my background of being a mechanics student turned writer and then Ebike enthusiast. Then I went on to tell him about how I founded a design database and community on electric cruiser bicycles, which he thought was really cool too.
I responded by saying 'I don't think my tutors will think the same'... He said they'd think otherwise; they probably be proud of the journey you've had and what you discovered. Surprising I've never once imagined they'd give such praise. (Que cheesy smiles )
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It’s been said that young people (such as my twenty-two year old self) cannot truly grasp the appeal of early bicycles (or motorcycles too!) mainly because of the fact we didn’t grow up with them, that all we know is modern advances on the originals. To which I replied: just because a person doesn’t grow up around a specific item or movement, doesn’t mean it offers any less appeal; if anything this mystifies them further.
Like the great quote from ‘Cyril Pedrosa’ says “Back then life was simple and sweet. Everything was simple and sweet; the taste of cherries, the cool shade, and the fresh smell of the river. That was how we lived, in a vale among the hills, sheltered from the storms. Ignorant of the world, as though on an island peaceful and untroubled, and then everything changed.”
I believe that’s something a lot of people, especially young ones are coming to terms with; that the past is not irrelevant or to be forgotten, and in doing so makes it possible for things to be better remembered, respected and most of all - cherished.
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Take for instance me and my dad; we always debate about ‘The Electric Cruiser Bicycle movement’ and how the appearance of vintage 1920-50’s motorcycles is being repackaged for a new generation of riders. He tells me that its sacrilege to early motorcycles and it devalues their originality and that we shouldn’t try to relive the past even if it’s in a new format. (*Unsurprisingly, this is the same guy who refuses to accept the future of standard/modern looking electric vehicles too)
The main reason that I love owning an old bike (Such as my 1935 British Hercules Bicycle) is its infallible ability to invoke personal stories and memories; everything from smallest mechanical details that you wouldn’t normally be aware of, to why they hold such unique appeal despite the age differences of their owners.
Anyway… basically, I’m saying they’re worth getting!
- Jaimes Lewis Moran.