I wished I’d had a camera as I came up behind this rig
(Phil’s bike and trailer are set up a little differently in this internet photo).
I was headed home from the BMW MOA International Rally in Salem, Oregon with a garbage bag on my chest, experimental earplugs in my ears and my bike’s oil cap securely in place. As I rolled through Portland, traffic-free this early on Sunday morning, I began to overtake an unusual, cigar-shaped object.
Phil Funnell and his three-wheeled rig were heading north on I-5 at a good clip. I drew abreast. We waved to each other. I’d met Phil at the rally a couple of days earlier. I slowly passed him, a man alive, who is designing and living one highly original life
…in other words, an artist.
The Woodstock generation now rides BMW motorcycles. We held a reunion in Salem, Oregon this weekend.
Phil Funnell is a really cool guy…world traveler, author, member of the canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame, former owner of the biggest BMW motorcycle dealership in Western Canada who’s now grown, one might say, a bit eccentric. I think Rosalie fears this will be me in 15 years.
new-media guru and art coach
Seth Godin says we’re all artists…but art isn’t something we hang on the wall. Art is what we do when we’re truly alive. Art is seizing new ground, making connections between people and ideas, working without a map. Art is what it is to be human (from “The Icarus Deception”).
Annie Dillard wrote, “By creating things, by thinking up new combinations, we counteract the flow of entropy…A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, “There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,” is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in those stars themselves.”
I left the corporate world twelve years ago with the intention to make art in a beautiful place. I built a studio in the San Juan Islands. I learned to paint and to cast bronze.
…I’ve also been messing with a small fairing
for my BMW R1200R
According to Godin, the house I’m slowly building is also sculpture. Give and take in a business meeting is jazz. Riding with keen attention to the contour of the approaching pavement is dance.
Motorcycle “Art” A bunch of photos follow, some embarrassing, showing the evolution of my first fairing project:
The ultimate enduro setup
This Greek drinking vessel, a kantharos, painted before 700 BC, bears the first known image of a centaur.
The notion of fusing a horse’s speed and power with a human “front end” blossomed into a colorful herd of characters in Greek mythology.
It’s certainly a better idea than riding a horse.
To climb atop a flighty 1,100 pound beast with an alien mind and plans of its own, whose instincts as a prey animal scream “Repel boarders!” …seems unwise to me.