Dirtcrashr has a wonderful series of posts on motorcycle racers, specifically those brave and supremely talented souls who piloted the old GP500, 2 stroke missiles. The sheer courage and talent needed to bend those barely controllable, incredible machines can be matched only by the men and women who carve arcs in the sky in high performance jet fighters. I stopped watching years ago, when they went to 4 strokes and called it MotoGP. The magic was gone. PC and the big manufacturers won and we lost something so precious, never to come again.
The photos were taken by a professional race photographer, none other than Dirtcrashr himself. Did you also know he used to pen cartoons for CityBike? There's such a wealth of talent amongst us (I just wish that included me).
The pictures and stories take me back to my early adulthood. CarGuy and I went to Laguna every year. We attended the Keith Code riding school together. To a motorhead, the smell of burning 2 stroke is like Hoppes #9 to a gunnie. It can't be replicated nor forgotten. It evokes visions of fearless men riding at the absolute edge of the envelope, looking for just that little bit of extra speed. A corner refined until it passes without a thought. Braking markers that flash by so fast they can't be seen, only judged by talent, guts and experience. Glory or disaster contained within the breast of a shreiking beast of an engine and the courage attached to a right hand. Men who rode with the incisions still fresh where the steel rods were inserted, holding their battered bodies together for just one more race. Men who raced because they loved it and (as Dirtcrashr so eloquently puts it) because they were "all arrested-adolescents who's childhood was accelerated away from them on the wings of hydrocarbon - their talent was too much." Exactly.
If you love all things two wheeled and haven't yet seen it, stop by Dirtcrashr's place and take a look. And remember what it was like to be young, fearless and invulnerable.
Thanks for sharing brother.