Home and Away
You may be wondering whose voice this is, and why it’s been given to the front page of this issue’s OBA. It’s Mr and Mrs. Old Bike’s offspring, Rennie, here, and I’m back from the U.S. for the briefest of times before climbing the bird again to a land that hopefully won’t have lost its mind and elected that bloke who will set the world back 100 years.
I’ve been living and working in the U.S. for nearly two years now as the Road Test Editor at legendary American mag, Cycle News. It’s been quite the whirlwind, a mix of never-ending plane travel, testing, racing, and generally living the motorcycle dream, as my mates here constantly remind me.
The U.S. motorcycle industry is much like ours – it’s basically run on passion by a body of individuals who love what they do and manage to eke an existence out of it – except it’s on a much, much larger scale. A population of around 320 million means if you can’t find a subsection of motorcycling that appeals, maybe biking isn’t for you. There are some of the world’s finest classic motorcycle festivals, races, and a custom scene that commands the attention of everyone from Hollywood stars to literally the U.S. congress, with many of the top decision makers on U.S. and indeed world policy, riders themselves.
Motorcycling’s renaissance that sprouted from the café racer explosion a decade ago in the original Deus workshop in Sydney has spawned sections and sub-sections of young, energetic and optimistic riders, all working to ensure this way of life is not just secure but continues to thrive. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the U.S., but the culture I love so dear is also firing on all cylinders here, even if it seems the powers-that-be continually try to legislate us out of existence. If you like your riding, a road trip across the U.S. must be on your bucket list and perfect for a couple with a bit of time on their hands. A trip to the staggering Barber Motorsports Museum, a quick jaunt to Laguna Seca for World SBK, or a week for the Race to the Clouds at Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs – it’s all stuff that gets the blood pumping and makes you glad you’re alive.
Bikes are my life, but Australia is my home, so I’ll be back here at some point in the near future with the aim of starting the next generation of Scaysbrooks. But the U.S. has more to offer riders than can possibly be printed here, so if you’re thinking of hitting it up, do so. Like when I packed my bags and left with nothing but my wife and two suitcases, the contemplation of taking the plunge is a lot scarier than actually doing it.