The Snake, Mulholland

Meaning. There is so much meaning in it that I cannot begin to write what it means to me. Countless times I try, and countless times I fail. It is a motorbike- plastic on the outside; aluminum, steel, titanium and composites thereof on the inside. She is it. “She,” because she is a she; She is my she. She is a motorbike, any attempt to write about her is mostly in vain.
And, after being away from her for nearly five months, we are together again. She & I. Today was spent tinkering in the front yard and riding to the ocean. The air snowing with poplar cotton, and warm with ocean breeze.


And so, in my attempts to write to you about the meaning I find in her, my motorcycle, I’m lost, and cannot convey much. So I leave you with the words of Ted Simon on his 1973 Triumph Tiger :

The movement has a complex rhythm with many pulses beating simultaneously. Underlying it is the engine with its subtle blend of sounds, eighty explosions a second, cams on push rods, push rods on tappets, rockers on valve stems, valves on seats, ball bearings revolving and racing, cogs meshing and thrashing in oil, oil pumps throbbing, gases hissing, chains whipping over sprockets, all this frenzy of metal in motion, amazing that it can last for even a minute, yet it will have to function for thousands of hours to take me round and home again.

Through all these pulses blending and blurring I seem to hear a slow and steady beat, moving up and down, up and down, three semi-tones apart, a second up, a second down; as I listen it grows clearer, unmistakable. Is it there, or am I inventing it? Is it the pulse of my own body intercepting the sound, modifying it with my bloodstream? Try as I will, I hear no other pulse, no other pitch.

Ted Simon, Jupiter’s Travels (1979)