In the small film gem, “Solus”, Lossa Engineering’s beautifully executed Yamaha SR500 cafe racer is ridden through empty LA streets late at night. The film was created by Ricki Bedenbaugh (someone I’d like to meet). The musical score is from the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony, and it is marvelous. There have been 69,350 views to date. I predict a steady rise in both viewings and nighttime urban motorcycle rides.
Ben Bostrum on the Lossa Engineering/Solus SR500 in California sunshine
In a recurring Sunday morning daydream, I’d ride a mini-bike up and down the four carpeted aisles of John Hus Presbyterian Church; one bored kid’s response to long sermons. The mini-bikes I imagined took many forms. They had reclining, sit-up or lay-forward riding positions. They had high bars and low bars. Each had a characteristic fat and smooth mini-bike rear tire, a foot in diameter and about five inches wide.
I never got a mini-bike. The closest I came was helping Gary Svobota test a two-wheeled contraption his dad had helped him built. An airy frame supported a flat seat covered with a rug. A slipping V-belt connected a Briggs & Stratton motor to the back wheel. The belt slipped somewhat less when a lever was thrown–with much excitement–to press an idler wheel against the middle of the belt. The machine would creep tentatively ahead–hot, vibrating and loud. It needed a push up any sort of incline. Brakes were still in R&D.
These are the seeds of CarpeMoto.
Carpe = Grab it! Do it! Pin it!
Moto = Two wheels whimsically propelled by exploding dinosaur residue
A few years ago, at age 54, I bought a neat little Suzuki DRZ400SM (SuperMoto) and learned to ride it on the rural roads of San Juan Island. It sounded like a lawnmower but it was easy to ride and was a great-handling little bike. I was hooked.
More than the other sports I’ve tried, riding motorcycles has been consistently rewarding: It makes me feel alive.
CarpeMoto.com is my motorcycle diary and running inquiry into why we ride.
Carpe Diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC), more widely known as Horace, that has become an aphorism. It is popularly translated as “seize the day”. Carpe is (the second-person singular present active imperative of) the Latin verb carpō, which literally means “To pick, pluck, gather”, but he used the word in the sense of, “enjoy, seize, use, make use of”. Diem refers to “day”.
Rock singer & songwriter, Warren Zevon, fought a fatal mesothelioma in his middle fifties. Appearing a final time on David Letterman, when everybody knew his time was short, Warren famously advised, “Enjoy every sandwich!”
Seeing Haynes Point, the effective start- and end-point of my parents’ lives together, stirred me. I was challenged to savor each day I’m given. So, until I’ve become the dusty contents of a small box labeled “Scott”, I aim to enjoy every sandwich…to Live hard, Love well and Ride! This blog is mixed up with that.
Hains Point from National Airport
I saluted Keith and Jane. I could see their shared, unmarked grave from the United Airlines Red Carpet Lounge. Hains Point is a long, bent finger of sediment that points downstream in the Potomac River near Washington DC. The Jefferson Monument dominates its wider upstream end, and it tapers to a slender tip a half-mile north of Reagan National Airport. Dad proposed to mom on Hains Point shortly before being shipped to Italy in 1943. Dad had been an ROTC cadet. Mid-way through his senior year at South Dakota State University, Pearl Harbor was attacked. After graduation, he was assigned to Washington DC (the Pentagon was under construction). Jane was single and living at home in Huron, South Dakota. Selecting from the diverging threads leading into her future, Jane took bold action. She found a wartime job in DC to be near Keith. They married. They shared youthful hopes and adult fears. They felt alive. Dad was ordered to Italy…a daughter was born…the war ended…he came home…other siblings arrived…Keith and Jane grew old and too-soon died. Later, my sister Mary and I tipped two small cardboard boxes, one labeled “Keith”, the other “Jane”, to form a small stream of mingled ashes at the water’s edge at the tip of Hains Point.