Thursday, 15 July 2010

bikes and beards

We used to have a bit of an infestation of bikers, in the basement of the big house in Portsmouth I used to live in. Nice chaps, though their taste in music was a bit narrow, and they weren't all the shiniest apples in the bowl; I remember one watched an ad on TV for Shredded Wheat, which claimed that 'no-one can eat three' .

"I could," he said, and suited the action to the words.

And then there were the lads from West London whom I sailed with in the North Sea back in the 80s. They were mostly into Laverda Jotas and Kawasaki Z1000s. Nice chaps all of them, and most of them still alive too. There were always great plans being made for getting bigger, better, faster bikes (I peaked with a dinky little Laverda Alpino, personally). And bike magazines lying around everywhere.

One of the magazines had small ads in the back, which were reputed to be a sort of gay dating site. So, for a joke... some of the lads put in an ad on behalf of young K. And, lo and behold, he got a letter in reply, complete with a photograph of a middle-aged bald chap in one-piece leathers unzipped far enough to show off the winky that was protruding....

Time passes.

I met up with the chaps at a reunion last year. It was a happy occasion, and entirely free of discomfort about my transitioning. That was simply not an issue. Because we're grown-ups. You know.

Someone pointed this out to me yesterday. It's on the website for SuperBike, one of those magazines that we used to have lying around on the ship.

Finally we have good news from Yamaha in WSB. We reckon if you have the attributes (i.e. you are not a bloke/transsexual/transgender type) you're in with a shout! ...Great news if you are one of James Toseland's many stalkers or have a hankering to get up close and intimately personal with Cal Crutchlow! A press release from Yamaha confirms that – assuming your not a bloke who dresses as a lady – you could be in with a chance of wearing skimpy kit and holding a brolly. Now read on...

Well, quite. And of course all motorcyclists are heterosexual men without gender issues, too. And bikes are never used as beards. Never, you hear?

Do you get the feeling that those very manly journalists at SuperBike may be just a teensy bit insecure?


  1. Natrually I am gutted, I had my heart set on holding Valentino Rossi's brolly!

    I was pleased to read earlier this morning that Yamaha appear to have taken a dim view of this. The Golden Rule of magazine publishing: don't annoy your advertisers.

  2. Just when you think we are evolving, something like this makes you think we may actually be devolving. Check out the Miller Lite ads on The DonnaBlog.

    Love the drawing of the guy on the bike, but then I always love your artwork!

    Melissa XX

  3. Well - I'm not a bloke/transsexual/transgender type but I AM a size 20 in my 50s. Do you think I'm in with a shout?

  4. It's a rather challenging job, of course. It takes years... well, minutes of rigorous training to hold a brolly over some sweaty erk on a bike rather than say "get your own ruddy brolly"....

    ...but yes, Jenny, as you point out, SuperBike do not speak for Yamaha, who are apparently displeased at the spin that SB have put on this story. Still, perish the thort that they should admit they're being daft and change what they've written, even if it does leave them with egg on their face....

    thanks for the link, Melissa. Great ads, aren't they? Nothing like a bit of enforcement of gender stereotyping. Do Americans really think that Miller Lite is worth drinking? It's kind of like flavoured water, as I recall. And not nicely flavoured either.

  5. People who want to drink a lot of beer, but don't want all the calories and carbs, drink light beer. Miller Lite has a bitter hop flavor for those who like a Pilsner style beer, but no body at all. Once it passes the pallet, the taste is gone, but very few American beers, light or regular are as good as what you have. Everybody in the world makes better beer than Americans do.

    Melissa XX

  6. Sorry for the hijack Dru, but Melissa I'd like to take issue with that assertion, there are some fantastic and truly world-beating beers made and drunk on your continent. They just aren't drunk by many of you. Germans go on about the rheinheitsgebot as some amazing standard but in fact it's held us Europeans back, you lot are the innovators.

  7. @ Jenny

    Well, you are correct. There are some smaller breweries that make some pretty good beer, but please don't ever offer me a fruit flavored beer. Sam Adams makes some excellent beers.

    Melissa XX

  8. Hey, my kind of hijack!

    I rather like fruit beers Melissa, though more in the winter months. Just at the moment though, ginger beer is the order of the day. Nothing quite like it for a summer drink.

  9. I had to watch the Miller Lite ad twice before I even began to understand it. And I'm still not sure the SuperBike thing is even in English. My personal theory is that we have drifted back to 1975 somehow.
    Still, here's a beer the USAans can be proud of: