I’ve probably written enough over the years to fill several books, but much of it has been lost or misplaced. When I was Senior Editor at 2Wheel Tuner, I wrote a monthly column called “Head Case.” Today I came across this editorial from the February, 2008 issue, which never got published because I wrote a second editorial that I used instead. It made me laugh, so I thought I’d share it.
As a writer/editor type, people always assume that I have a staggeringly impressive vocabulary. But no matter how many thousands of words might be ingrained in my not-so-sane brain, and how many more I can pull off the online thesaurus, I get stuck on certain words just like everyone else.
We were at a hockey game last week when I looked at Ed. “You say ‘Really?’ a lot,” I told him. It’s become his latest catch word. When somebody tries to cut him off on the road, instead of the normal traffic expletives he’ll just look at them and say, “Really?” in a condescending tone. The same applies for unfair referees and hockey players who left their brains in the locker room.
Of course, as soon as I said that to Ed, I realized that I’m just as susceptible to using one word over and over. For me, it’s “nice.” I have found that I can use the word in almost any situation; it’s all about how I say it. I can exclaim “nice!” when my favorite racer makes a pass during a race.
Conversely, I can sarcastically say “niiiice” in that “hey, dumbass, you launched a bottle rocket from your mouth so don’t even pretend to be surprised that your face is on fire” sort of way. And believe me, I’ve had plenty of occasions to use the latter term following fireworks-related incidents. There’s something about motorcycle racers, illicit fireworks from South Carolina, and New Year’s Eve that doesn’t mix. Throw in a guy wearing flip-flops and you’ve got a recipe for disaster: a friend of ours will never live down last year’s celebration, when a stray bottle rocket got lodged between his foot and his flip-flop. Niiiiice.
Oftentimes I find that I use the same words again and again when it comes to talking about our niche of the industry. Custom, aftermarket, one-off: they’re terms you see regularly in our pages. It’s time to break out by finding some new words to describe the bikes and the lifestyle that we cover. Can some of these custom bikes be called art? Do you look up to one of the industry’s most accomplished builders as a sort of high-tech Picasso?
During a recent trip I visited a special exhibit about Leonardo Da Vinci. There wasn’t a lot of his artwork there – most of the exhibit featured the many little notebooks in which he’d record ideas, inventions, notes and who knows what else. I was struck by the tiny drawing of a two-wheeled human-powered machine: a bicycle. Typically, the bicycle’s history begins with an invention made in 1817, but DaVinci had the drawings more than 300 years prior to that.
Years from now, as sportbikes evolve, I wonder who future enthusiasts will look to as the founders of customizing, and the true artists of the industry. I don’t know what bikes will look like 10, 20, or 30 years from now, but I’m sure they’ll be… nice.