In This Is­sue

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Chris Can­tle

when road­racer randy ren­frow lost his thumb in a crash, he had his big toe grafted in its place. Bel­gian off-road racer Gas­ton Rahier was not a tall man. At 5-foot5, he had to launch his BMW rally bike by run­ning along­side it, but he won the Dakar all the same. Bessie String­field started ad­ven­tur­ing on mo­tor­cy­cles at 19 by toss­ing a penny at a map and rid­ing where it landed. By the 1930s, she was cross­ing the coun­try solo on her Har­ley-david­son, a young black woman on the road in a coun­try that wouldn’t guar­an­tee her the right to vote for an­other 30 years.

Acts of en­durance sep­a­rate mo­tor­cy­clists from com­mon trav­el­ers. A thou­sand miles in the car? You might mea­sure it in pod­casts. On a bike, it’s enough to push Lily Brooks-dal­ton to the edge as she at­tempts an Iron Butt ride, on page 70. Every mo­tor­cy­clist learns that our ma­chines have de­mands, and their abil­ity to per­form re­quires we im­prove our own. At the high­est lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion, they even dic­tate the shape of our bod­ies, which we in­ves­ti­gate on page 46. And they ex­tract a toll, too, as we learned af­ter vis­it­ing rac­ing icon Mal­colm Smith on page 62.

But they re­ward and in­spire us too. Whether you’re do­ing hard time, like the au­thor of Mega­phone on page 98, or hard miles like An­drew Ol­dar, who tack­led one of the tough­est roads in the United States, our shared sport pro­vides no short­age of new sto­ries. That’s why our mag­a­zine has en­dured since 1912, has re­mained im­por­tant to us through de­pres­sions, re­ces­sions, and world wars. It’s be­cause every ride ex­poses us to the world, and be­cause mo­tor­cy­cles make en­durance rid­ers out of every one of us.

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