I have always had a deep, secret-but-not-so-secret love of motorcycles. I think every little boy grows up convinced their bicycle is an old school British cafe racer or Japanese superbike, especially when a bunch of baseball cards are jammed into the rear spokes. I spent many a childhood afternoon fleeing from the cops during a midday bank heist, or in hot pursuit of the local bandit through the deserted fields of the school behind my house. Time and speed are relative, but I can't think of much that feels faster than bombing a hill as an eight year old, desperately holding everything together as the speed wobbles start to overtake as you narrowly escape death for the tenth time that week.
I came damn close to purchasing a bike my senior year of college, a good friend of mine and I agreeing we'd each get a Ducati Monster when we finished our investment banking internships in the summer of 2007. Sadly neither of us came through on this promise, instead spending all of our hard earned money on beer, girls and football tickets. There is no small part of me that massively regrets that missed opportunity, and every time I pass a bike on the street here in LA there's a pang of heartache. Maybe someday. And if someday ever comes, I hope she shows up with a Ducati.
I finally had a chance to meet up with Paul McKenzie this past weekend south of Los Angeles for some shooting in the early morning light. In tow was his Sport Classic 1000 Monoposto, and damn what a beautiful machine. The Italians get a lot of things right, and motorcycle design is one of them. There are few modern day cafe racers that make my eyes bug out of my head like this.
So don't mind me while I close my eyes tonight and daydream about those moments some thirty years in the past, zipping around in the summer heat on the run from Johnny Law on my very own Ducati, the braap-braap-braap of a homemade exhaust system singing exhilierating notes out the back. Speed on - always on.