February 2017

From the Editor

Well, an interesting month it has been, the BMR AGM, minutes at the end of this newsletter, a talk with Grayson Perry after a ride around the town following a camera car, report to follow, a quiz night, a report to follow.

Why do you ride a bike? Have you ever given it any thought, has it just been one of those givens in your life ,like breathing? I have spent many hours through out my life trying to get a handle on what it is about motorcycles that has kept me interested, needing to ride one. What is it about me that differentiates me from the majority of the travelling public that makes me want to get on a bike rather than in a car.

Recently I came across the following description of why one person rides a motorcycle, and in large part he or she sums up a lot of my thoughts. So with out further ado from an anonymous source.

A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes’ and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time, entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.

On a motorcycle I know I’m alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of sun that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than Pana-Vision and IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard. Sometimes I even hear music. It’s like hearing phantom telephones in the shower or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind’s roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock ‘n roll, dark orchestras, women’s voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed. At 30 miles per hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree- smells and flower- smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it’s as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it. A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb, but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane.

Transportation is only a secondary function. A motorcycle is a joy machine. It’s a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It’s light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it’s a conduit of grace, it’s a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy. It’s flying three feet off the ground.

It seems so contrary to say that something that requires as much concentration as riding a bike can allow the mind time to forget the stresses and daily grind that can leave us feeling low and appreciate the world around us in such detail, whilst still having time to negotiate pot holes, mud, car drivers texting or dealing with kids in the back of the car, all of which seem so common on the roads that we use.

When I get off of my bike I am always a more relaxed and happy person than when I got on it.

Why do you ride a motorcycle??

Grayson Perry and brexit pottery

If like me you are an arts and crafts Luddite then you probably didn’t or haven’t a clue who Grayson Perry is. He is, for your information an artist, potter, transvestite and all around odd guy, he also happens to ride motorcycles. We were invited to meet up with him, to have a ride out to the Red Lion at Reevesby for drinks and sandwiches. All the while being filmed.

We met up with Grayson at the Burton Inn on the Wainfleet road. There were two surprises for me, first, having googled him before the day, he was less than I expected, average and unkempt, a typical bloke who was attired in waterproofs, boots, unshaven and in need of a hairbrush, come on guy we were going to be on TV., second was the bike, bless him, was that the best they could find, a Zontes 125cc., as it turned out, it was more than up for the job, following a van with a woman in the rear with a camera is not something that happens at speed, especially with the back door open and harnessed in. Setting up cameras and getting organised are not things that happen with any speed in the film industry it seems. Hanging around was a large part of the day. So after a period of chatter, off camera, we all lined up 2 by 2 behind the camera van, then set of for a lap of the town, taking in of course West street. Back to the Burton and then repeat it again this time without the van, the camera team had gone ahead and set up in the market place to get a ride by shot. Interestingly, whilst at the Burton we were tracked down by the Police, apparently a member of the public was concerned by the woman with the camera hanging out the back of the van or was it the bikes following, the police man was placated when it was explained that she was not actually hanging out the back of the van but rather strapped in with a safety harness, (bit of a shame they are not as quick when we have shop lifters in our shop). So two trips around the town and then to Reevesby, I think we may have made it to 40mph along the seven mile straight, that Zontes was well up to the job and the weather, well it was too, it precipitated and the woman in the back of the van must have spent 7 miles eating road spray.

At the Red Lion over a pint, coffee and sandwich the cameras continued to roll, our opinions on brexit were the subject matter, especially those of the leave voters. We spent an hour or so under the watchful eye of the cameras whilst the director kept the discussion on topic, prodding and chivvying the unkempt guy, who it became apparent was fleet of mind and able to stop and start mid sentence, chopping and changing direction in the discussion at the demand of the director. It seemed that the director was looking to get beyond the gut reactions of the leave voters and to the emotive aspects of the decision to vote to leave. I am not sure whether we were able to fulfil that remit, as it is even now difficult for me to quantify and put into words.

The project that we were part of was to create a film/video looking at two parts of the UK where the Brexit vote was at odds, Boston, massively in favour of leave and Hackney equally in favour of staying. Grayson is also making two vases, one to represent the leavers and the other to represent the remainers. I hope that it will as a complete project, be neutral and not judgemental.

Quiz night

Organised by PaulT the quiz format was picture questions, lots of them. DaveT and I, as a team managed a creditable 4th or was it 5th out of 6 for our efforts, Clive and Mick took the honours with an unbelievable score. I have to say that there were many calls of “that is a bit harsh” whilst the marking was carried out, to say that no quarter was given would be a slight under statement. It was, when all was said and done, a great evening. Thank you PaulT.