Home and Away

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - REN­NIE SCAYS­BROOK Edi­to­rial guest

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.

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