Last Saturday I went up to Markam to meet another rider interested in the Argentina ride I’m looking at in a few years. We were meeting at the Timmies up there and as I was about an hour early I went on up the road to take some photographs of a Cathedral I’d been driving past on the 404 for the last few years. It has the classic gold plated onion dome roofs of the Eastern Orthodox. When I got to the main drive I was surprised to find cracked asphalt and weeds growing everywhere. Turns out the Cathedral had been decommissioned by the Catholic Church (for political reasons – Google it). But the exterior work was still pretty spectacular and with the sun at my back I made the most of it.
Back at the Timmies and still early for my meeting, an Asian guy pulled up beside my parked bike on an older Yamaha Triple. The neat thing about true bike culture and by true I mean people who ride because that’s what they do, they’re not trying to fulfill some missing portion of themselves with new identity on a two wheeled death machine or curry jealousy because they can afford that rare (insert country here) street / sport / cruiser. I mean they’re guys who just ride what they brung because that’s what they like. The guys (and gals though it’s still a pretty macho culture) like that are just happy to talk to other riders about their bikes, where they’ve been and who they know. So yeah, me and the Yamaha guy talked and then my guy showed up and we kept talking bikes and it turned out that my guy and the Yamaha guy knew another guy who was out in the parking lot and so it goes.
But the real point is, I could have been anywhere and the end result would have been the same unless the guy in question was on a newish Harley Davidson. Those guys are too cool for school but then posers always are. As luck has it though, you can smell poser from a ways off and avoid them as much as is possible. They are not to be confused with the guys on the older but pristine Harleys with interesting paint jobs and even more interesting chrome or the even more rare, guys on old Harleys with very little chrome but a lot of the road embedded into their bikes. Those guys are always cool to talk to and always have some interesting stuff to say about the bikes they ride. You know this because they’ll be the first to talk to you in the coffee line or if your standing outside by your bike trying to get a hot chocolate down your neck.
Those are the kind of people that make riding fun and worthwhile.