Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Legacies, Tuscany and Motorbikes
I've just had my first bike piece commissioned, for a classic bike magazine. I'm going to write about the bike my dad built. Luckily before he passed away I had a fairly extensive email conversation with him about how he made the bike so the glory of it's construction can be shared with a wider audience. Or at least a little sparkle of what made it special. I'm not really qualified to ride the bike, let alone write about it but I suppose that is the nature of death. It forces us to grow up a little bit faster.
This means I have to rescue the bike from the house of the second wife. I'm not looking forward to that but I suppose it will have to be done. This will require specialist equipment, some sort of van or trailer that can transport two bikes something I don't have but I'm sure on of my friends will be able to help me out with it.
My two wheeled inheritance has also had another effect, I'm finally going to get my bike license. I spent large parts of my youth racing bikes around off road in various events but the practically and relative safety of a car made me get my driving license instead and left bikes as a fond memory.
Getting my bike license would be especially timely because last week I managed to land my first travel piece that will involve spending some time in Tuscany. Going on a plane would be okay but to ride there on a bike, now that would be something special. So the plan is to sort out my licence, get some serious hours under my belt and then go down to Tuscany, spending lots of time playing on passes in the Alps. Playing in a safe way I mean, with no near-death experiences unlike last time.
When I'm back on the Stelvio pass, astride a bike, feeling a hint of the Sirocco wind on my face and the sweeping beauty of Italy in front of me I'll think of my dad. It's exactly the sort of adventure he would have enjoyed.