Daily Archives: April 5, 2011

Cycle World

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[Today’s Run: Limerock 4.0 miles]

Back when I was a motorcycle rider I subscribed to Cycle World magazine.  After going back to four wheels I still read it in the library or the doctor’s office or whatever.

The new shiny motorcycles are interesting.  But the best part was the writing from two columnists.

Peter Egan is a good writer.  His column is like a printed version of a blog.  He talks mostly about what he has been doing and what his friends have been doing.  He and his friends would always be restoring a Vincent Black Shadow or going for a month-long cross country ride on some old BMW or something.  His writing reminds me of Jerry Pournelle in the old Byte magazine; or John Gierach on fly fishing.  They make me feel like I’m getting a peek behind the scenes, like I somehow scored a stage-pass to hang out with the band.

Kevin Cameron writes a column which covers all sorts of engineering, building, tuning issues. After reading him I feel like I actually know a bit more about how a motorcycle works and why any particular model was built the way it was. For example, I learned from him that liquid cooled engines can be more closely machined than air cooled engines leading to higher compression and other nifty things. He is one of those technical experts that know how to communicate the complexity of their craft so as to make it interesting to everyone.

But I don’t have a motorcycle any more and I don’t have  a subscription to Cycle World.  Just as well or I would be wanting another motorcycle.  I don’t want to want another motorcycle. It’s like those other magazines I can’t afford to subscribe to: Wooden Boat, Hemmings Motor News, Fine Woodworking and any aviation magazine.

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Apr 5, 2011
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