No more rockers

I was raised in a small country village in Jeolla-do. I think I started to have a thing for riding, around the age of 5. Every now and then, my grandpa would kindly call me out, sit me on his bicycle basket and say, “let’s go have some cutlet.” But I remember this particular day; cherry blossoms were in full bloom, the petals were falling down like snow, and the sun was shining on my face being touched by warm breeze.

In the memories, I can still relive the day I first felt the happiness in my life. There’s this moment when you realize you become the scenery, and it happened to me when I was on a bicycle. I loved riding things ever since then: a bicycle was always there during my childhood. Oh, and I still love pork cutlets with demi-glace sauce.

As I grew up, the life was slowly weighing down on me, and all those little happiness seemed to be disappearing from me; that was when I stumbled upon the picture of an actor / racer Steve McQueen on his Triumph, and it possessed me in a matter of seconds. Like many others, I thought the motorcycles were dangerous. For a whole year I tried to swallow up my desires for them, looking at pictures was all I could do. Motorcycles were to stay a dream.

One day, my friend Woo-chang Kang showed up in front of a coffee shop in the neighborhood, on a Triumph Bonneville.

The first time I laid my eyes on the Bonneville, I couldn’t help but wonder how a man-made machine could be so sexy and beautiful. I was mesmerized by its glistening look. I bought one for myself on that very day.

I know this sounds too much of a cliche. Nonetheless, by riding motorcycles with friends, I was able to escape and be free of concerns and rediscover the happy memories I had with my grandpa.

I know I am not the only one feeling that way. The bunch of us met up in a while on this day. It was chillier than expected, but the thought of gathering up and riding together made me feel warm already. In a warehouse near Hong-dae, one by one we started to share our stories and all we were talking about were motorcycles. These are the friends who were together that day.