Monday, September 22, 2014

TMO: It's (not at all) grim up North

One of the challenges of maintaining two blogs comes when the blogs' worlds intersect. That sentence has the potential to lead us down a pretentious road of me taking me a little too seriously, but that's not where I'm trying to go with it. I simply mean that sometimes there are experiences/topics that I think fit the genres of both my personal blog and my motorcycle blog. And I'll waffle a bit on where that particular post should "live."

Such is the case with my recent trip to Yorkshire Dales National Park. I rode my motorcycle up there earlier this month and spent a day getting to know the park's communications team. Since I rode my bike, that makes it motorcycle related, right? But that trip to a beautiful part of the country that I'd not seen before is definitely a personal experience.

In the end, I opted to record the experience on but I want to draw your attention to it because I feel that my story of that road trip might be interesting even if you don't give a damn about motorcycles.

Going off on a tangent here, what is Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about? In the introduction, Robert Pirsig points out that his autobiographical novel is not really about either thing. Indeed, if you are an individual seeking specifically a book about one or the other, you probably walked away from that particular title feeling a little unfulfilled. Most motorcycle fanatics have tried to read it and will quietly admit they gave up when the narrative was somewhere in Montana and had slipped into chapter after chapter of not-motorcycle-related stuff.

I think about this because I have a book in my head that I am promising myself I will start plotting out soon. The narrative is very loosely based on my own experiences of driving across the United States in 2009. In real life, I made this journey in rental cars. But I have been thinking that for the novel I will have the main character buy a motorcycle in Boston and tackle the American landscape on two wheels.

But does that make it a motorcycle book? I guess for the purposes of sales, it doesn't hurt to have a niche audience like that, but... well... I don't know. Perhaps I am overthinking it.

Another tangent:
I have broken the tale of my Yorkshire Dales trip into three parts. The first is linked below and I'll link the others soon. Writing posts like these, or, rather, the experiences that lead to writing posts like these, is what I love most about motorcycles and motorcycling. Yesterday I was looking back through some pictures of last summer, when I first had my motorcycle, and was thinking of how much this stupid little machine has positively affected my life.

In the last year, I have seen considerably more of Britain than I had in the seven years previous, and that has resulted in my developing a more positive outlook on life. Having the freedom and ability to explore this island makes me hate it less. Yes, I am still eager to move out of Wales, but believe me, the venomous rage I used to feel and spit toward the Land of Song has reduced considerably. And outside of the Welsh context, very slowly (very slowly) I find myself warming again to Britain overall and Europe, and remembering why I was so desperate to move here in the first place.

Just because of a 600cc Honda motorcycle.

Anyhoo, here's the first of the three-part story of my taking that little Honda to Yorkshire, featuring an encounter with a WWII dispatch rider:

It's (not at all) grim up North


Anonymous said...

Viz your twitter post. Norwich is lovely as is Winchester.

Chris Cope said...

Winchester sounds like a good bet, and I think I could make it there and back in day. Saves me spending on a hotel.