Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

My Photo
Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Baby Duc

Unlike the little ducks of carnival games and easter baskets my baby duc isn't yellow. It's red and gold. After working on other people's machines and my old Gold Wing sidecar rig for much of the summer I am finally getting back to finishing the details on the 1966 Ducati 160 Monza Junior. These days we think of Ducatis as speed machines but back in '66 the Monza Junior was built with a top speed barely north of 60mph. It's a beautiful machine that has all the simplicity and style of any of the Ducati singles in a small package. A man of my height looks rather silly on a 160 but I don't see myself on it. I only see it sitting next the the R75/5 and the T3 as shop art. I don't drive any of them much. They are inspiration and comfort machines that are more functional than the Easter Island statues but like those monoliths their prime function is esthetic rather than practical. This is especially true during winters. I drive the T3 in the summer but in winter these three grace my shop as immobile objects of affection. They give the place some class. Since I live where a motorcycle is only practical half the year during the other half I need my indoor space to be comfortable and beautiful. Modern appliances like a fine furnace make it comfortable but what about those long dark cold days when even the idea of going outside briefly is a fearful proposition? It is during those times that I enjoy being surrounded by beauty and reminders that better weather will come again. Few things in my life fulfill that function as well as classic motorcycles, well done and waiting. My other great comfort in winter is to spend more time in the kitchen cooking meals that, in summer, would consume too much of my day. Winter is a time to slow down and remember the smell of the roses and enjoy the scent of beef stew, apple crisp, Persian jeweled rice, aebelskiver, fresh bread. The gentle pleasures of winter are different from the more exhilarating pleasures of summer. Winter up here is a time to slow down and enjoy the simple joys. It's six months of making love, eating well, reading good books, taking naps, enjoying the close company of friends and building new toys for the next summer. In other words as a friend of mine said, it hardly seems long enough. I am lucky in that I do not have a need to go out into the weather much or often. My work is 50 paces from my house and both are well heated. When blizzards arrive I don't think of myself as snowed in. Rather I think of it as the world being snowed out. Such weather isn't here yet but it will not be long. The hardwood trees are bare now, prepared for their hibernation. I have sufficient projects to last more than one winter and a large wood pile. Life is good and baby Duc is looking grand.