Head Shake – Basement Epiphany

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By Chris Kallfelz

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

—David Foster Wallace, 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College

I just had an awakening of sorts in my basement while taking stock of old crashed helmets. I was sorting through some shim tools and shims that I had neglected to put away and glanced up at my old lids, most battered in places like Pocono, Rockingham, Summit Point, and elsewhere, their tech stickers and scars attesting to past efforts, some successful, some not. I’ve wanted to make a floor lamp out of them, stack them one atop another and run a pole through them with a lamp on top with an old FZR wheel for a base. Every winter I have intended to do so, and every spring arrives with my old helmets still lining the shelves in the basement, dust covered and unmolested.

There are few distractions for me down in the basement, and my mind can wander without domestic interruptions. The Daytona 200 had just run, untelevised again though it was live streamed, and as it has in recent years, it always gets me geezing about all manner of lamentable things most all of which boil down to the future of motorcycling, where we are going, and what that future might hold. I don’t really enjoy my company when I get like that, so I go down to the basement and do things like sort shims until it passes.

Except this time it didn’t pass. This time I realized that …read more

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