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           Lenin, Sushi, Guggenheim

So I am driving in my cagewaggon, rolling down some NJ highway near NYC, approaching an exit and about to merge into Rt. 4, and the day is nice and sunny. And then I hear what sounds like a missile - hissing and whining, and I am confused. And then I look in the mirror and I see a blue Mirage gaining on me. It is a light blue car and the morning sunlight is so bright and the whine is terrifying and I am scared because it is gaining and I see that it is traveling perpendicularly to the traffic. And smoke is pouring from the two tires on the side of the car that I plainly see in the mirror and I see debris of rubber that is being thrown up behind the car which continues sliding - perpendicular to the direction of the road - and then its tail begins to pass the nose, but then the nose evens out and the car remains behind. Split seconds. I roll on along at about 60 MPH, never to know why that car went into such a slide, but then...

Then I remember the day before, when I visited the Guggenheim.  What can I say: when such attention is paid to our hobby, something will certainly come of it. Even NPR jumped in and devoted some time to the event. At the show, however, one can certainly feel reassured that the ephemeral beauty of our favorite bikes is not so fleeting after all. The museum is jam packed with people who feel safe in responding to the allure in a socially "acceptable" way and the bikes - from a meaty Sunbeam to a clockwork RC161 (a 1960 gift from Soichiro to the H. Ford museum) - are magnificent. Many fashion periods are represented in both the bikes and the type of clothes the museum goers wear and in the early seventies, when the MV Augusta 750S rolled off the line in its subdued and powerful red, women were wearing miniskirts... The display is overwhelming and were I to attempt listing the bikes by name and model and were to attempt describing the magnificent orange of a Laverda SFC 750, I'd fall flat on my face.

Sushi later in SOHO. The menu lists a "Suzuki" - a single piece, Bass. Not bad. Then driving away, east on Houston, a ten story building on the left has a clock tower on the roof, with a patio in front. The 30' tall man, standing on that patio is V. I. Lenin. Left arm raised and outstretched in an inspirational gesture points in the direction of the twin towers as if he wishes to say: "We were always afraid you'd do this." Such is the expression on the bronze face of a man who ruined it for hundreds of millions, for seventy years. Oh yeah, the numbers on the giant clock behind him are all in a complete random array; only the hands correlate to the real time...

So as I was saying, everyone who wanted me to get you a catalog - I am ready to send them out. Also, I brought back about fifteen Guggenheim Museum Guides - highlighting "The Art of The Motorcycle" exhibit. There is a beautiful picture of a 1965 Kreidler Florett of W.Germany on the cover; a wild Britten V1000, a BMW R32, a Triumph T120 Boneville and a well balanced MC essay, in proper English, and other museum-pertinent info inside. Free to whoever wants one. Send me your address and I'll mail one off to you; FCFS. I also grabbed three or four "Family Guides." Yes, they too are themed out with a 100 year span from Michaux-Perreaux Steam Velocipede to the Easy Rider Chopper; outrageously chromed and lewedly elegant. Gaudy and gorgeous. Let me know which you prefer.

Michael Stoic
August, 1998


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