"There is no beauty without some strangeness." - Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve never really considered riding a motorcycle. In fact, the first thing that comes to mind is that rather mean-looking, cigar-smoking antihero from “Raising Arizona.” (see Exhibit A.) It came up recently, however, with a phone call from Harley-Davidson.
It was lunchtime, and I was standing in a Whole Foods parking lot, when they said the words, “We like your work. We want to give you a bike and teach you how to ride.”
They went on to explain how they were trying out a new program where they invite interesting people from different walks of life to learn how to ride. We’d be put through a motorcycle boot camp of sorts, and Rider’s Edge (where we actually learn), and we’d each get our own custom bike, all for just sharing what the experience is like through the usual social media channels. Woah.
Now, if you're familiar with bikes, that probably sounds awesome as all hell, but for someone like me, it’s a bit like hearing how NASA is recruiting a few people to learn how to fly space ships - something totally bad ass, but foreign, scary, and completely out-of-character. Which is why I said, “yes.” And as a friend who rides put it, it's somewhere between driving a car and flying a plane, which to my mind, makes perfect sense to try.
Then I had a chance to meet the incredible people I’d be learning to ride with. The UFC fighter Mike Chiesa, the illustrator Ray Frenden, the prolific musician Astronautalis, and the pro-skater Greg Lutzka. Crazy bad-ass, independent people with such a refreshingly rare humility that if you weren’t immediately familiar with who they were, a quick Google search would make you shrink in your seat while saying “Oh... THAT guy.”
As the dude who just takes pictures, I feel completely honored to get to know them over the next few months, and super excited to share this new experience with you. Wish me luck.
Note to self: Always follow the arbitrary road. Never mind the fading light, the waterfall, the cold, the black sand wind. Distant blips are hidden shipwrecks.