Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Old Irons

"Old Irons" is a literal translation of the Italian phrase "ferri vecchi", which is a somewhat pejorative description for an old vehicle.

When it's used by certain people however, to describe their own motorcycles, it is a loving testament of dedication and of a bond between man and machine that only a special breed can ever hope to experience.

What is fast becoming a fairly sizeable event, started out as a simple trip up the mountains, just a few friends (those "certain people" I was telling you about) on their choppers, a sleeping bag, a few tools and little else. This is them:

They found themselves on a plateau at 5.000ft, nestled between mountains so serene they look like a painting; no trees, no people, and just a couple of shacks that sell some food and something to wash it down with, the incredibly bitter genziana moonshine you can only find in these parts.

I like to think that that first time will remain the stuff of legends and always shrouded in some mystery.

Over the years, more and more people have gone along and it was one of those trips I really wanted to go on for a while now. This year I finally managed, and with the Norton no less.

The morning meet was just on the way out of Rome, and at least 30 motorcycles were present, maybe more, I didn't actually count. When the whole group set out together, it was a pleasant reminder that some people can still ride together without drama, and just have a damn good time.
The distant silhouette of mountain ranges drawing ever closer, and larger, the air finally drying up and cooling down, we slowly and serenly made our way up and over, until we reached the plateau.

Someone broke down, we tried to help but couldn't (when you don't have the right spare drive-belt, you just ain't going nowhere; and when you break a gearbox mainshaft, that's that), others had to return to base before the day was done, but for those who stayed (and got back in one piece!) it was a great weekend.

I doubt our Mystic Trip would eventually evolve into something quite so large over the years (there were 130 motorcycles present!), and it's not at all what we'd be going for, or even want, but just to say that the vibe is very much the same: easy, laid back, appreciative of nature and motorcycles alike; and that's what makes it such a pleasure to hang out with like-minded people.

I think the photos speak for themselves, hopefully there'll be more next year. Perhaps on the Rising Star itself?

Above - you can see Filippo's blue Triumph, a 750 Morgo special.
Below - another 750 Morgo special, this one belonging to Livio, who recently finished putting it together. There are a lot of details that are not immediately apparent, and therefore give the impression of a particularly nice standard bike; then you start noticing the handlebar, aluminium rearsets, the shortened seat, the Asatek rear shocks, and of course the cylinder block.
Apparently both bikes were less than happy to return home, I'm sure these are just teething woes that will soon be sorted.
And here you can see Gianluca's faith-based luggage system. As long as you firmly believe that your luggage won't end up strewn all over the autostrada, it will stay on the bike. Good grief man...


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