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June 2010 Vol 10 - No 6 PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 09 June 2010 07:05
Article Index
June 2010 Vol 10 - No 6
June Bike of the Month Winner
Safety Equipment: Individual Choice or Social Responsibility?
Motorcycle Diaries: Riding The Okanagan
Video of the month - Star Riders Portugal Egg Run
All Pages


Editor’s Letter: What words don't tell


By Anton Popov,

Star Cruiser Co-Editor,

Star Riders Russia


This thought struck me when I was sorting some of my old pictures lately. I suddenly realized that my most impressive rides were practically undocumented on film (Yup, I still use a film camera. Good old magic, you know). Then I thought that most such rides also remain untold, un-described. When I tell my non-riding friends about my adventures, I always miss something important. “I rode day, night and day again”, I tell them. What do you think they say? “Wow, doesn’t sound like much fun”. Damn!


It’s so strange that a whole journey fits so cozily into just one phrase. Day, night, day… Strange that there’s not much to tell, although I saw and felt a great deal. For instance, do you know that the summer night sky, at least at our latitude, is never completely black? There’s a thin line – a gradient from dark blue to subtle red – that just moves from West to East, from dusk to a new dawn. Do you know that even in the hottest summer nights can be so utterly cold that the engine is icy and sputters even at high rev? I guess you know. But what would I tell a non-riding person? “The sky was black, but not really black… The air was cold… so cold you can’t even imagine…” Words suddenly become helpless, and I just miss the whole point.


Riding gives you a totally different set of impressions, which are sort of… non-transferrable. When you are just a tourist with a camera, it’s easy. What do we have here? Coliseum? Click! Next! Eiffel Tower? Click!... When you are just clicking, you are an observer. I don’t say it’s a shame. That’s what I do for living as a journalist, after all. But these impressions are easier to share

with others. I guess Coliseum is Coliseum and Eifel Tower is Eifel Tower, even on the worst picture.


But when you ride, you are not an observer anymore. At least, not just an observer. You somehow become a participant in what’s happening around. It feels like the world is passing through you, not passing you by. And this is the thing that changes you – ride by ride, bit by bit. I wouldn’t say that it changes my life (though it might someday), but it definitely alters the way I see some things, the meaning of some things. When I say “night”, my body remembers the cold. When I say “sky”, I remember the thin motley line moving around the dark horizon.


No wonder that these things cannot be told. It’s my personal, maybe even intimate experience. The only people that can understand, are the fellow riders. “Remember that night ride across Belarus?” I ask the guy who was on the other bike on that trip. “Wooo, was that cold”, he replies with a genuine shiver. And you know what? That is why I am so glad to work here for the Star Cruiser. Because it means speaking to people who know The Thing. The one that words can never tell.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 23:59
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