Two schools of thinking about the “after-pandemic” and both agree on a bleak economic period ahead: for States, for Companies and for Individuals.
Both schools of thought push for a rapid but controlled reopening of the social and commercial life: nobody is anymore ready to take risks with Covid19: to have high bodies count on CNN can ruin the chances of election (or re-election).
Where the two schools differ is in predicting social behavior at the “return to normality”, or, better, to define the impact that the time of confinement will have on the humans.
The first school is the one that uses constantly the expression “return to normality”. In this vision, the after-period (AC19) will see a convulse return to the consumer society rules: men and women and teen are already at the starting blocks waiting for the referees of shopping, consumption & entertainment centers to fire the starting gun. Isolation, despite e commerce, boosted the desire of party with friends and peers. Only the economic contraction will limit the repetition of the “roaring twenty” as it happened after the much serious pandemic of Spanish Flue. Countries and communities will go back with joy to the lifestyle of “before”.
The second school deeply believes that Covid 19 is a sign to be taken as warning for change. Sent by God or by humans, sent by nature or by Gaya, sent by history or science, pandemic has a message: humanity cannot go back to normality because time “before covid-BC19” normal was not. The follower of this school demand to take lesson and to modify policies, relationships, consumption, behavior, beliefs in one word modify the System.
Ready to take lessons, while contemplating the bike standing for many weeks immobile on center stand, I kept asking what lock-down, home confinement, social distance, traveling restriction and all pandemic shackles are changing in my way of biking.
I consider changes in MY WAY and I do not, even for a moment, suggest that such changes should be considered by other riders. If we accept the lesson, something must change but this something varies from rider to rider. Keep questioning and you will find your personal answer. For me, motorcycling will never be the same as BC19; because time slowed down and, with more time, came more information and, with better information, came a deeper understanding and, from knowledge, comes a different action.
My “why do I ride?” was found lacking of meaning.
For many years while in young age I rode bikes as a competitive sporting activity, considering that sport build up a spirit of discipline and a total respect for the people involved. Club racing was a good school and a great place where I met some of the most important people, contributors to my growth.
I still admire club racers on road, circuit and off road but the advancing of age placed a stop to my involvement. I lost as well the small interest I had in following professional racers in GP or SB in the same way I lost interest in watching any of the idols of professional sports fighting for a fist of dollars.
Nevertheless, I can still swing a leg over the saddle without great pain or dislocations and biking will continue to play a good role in my life.
But… I will not anymore take the bike for a ride just for the sake of riding: the major change, brought by pandemic in my discipline, is that, from now on, I will verify in advance the “reason for” the ride and I will not accept any more empty self-answers.
- I will continue to use the bike as my first transportation, staying away, as much possible, from four wheelers and similia. To understand the value of giving priority to biking for work and chores is sufficient to visit www.ridetowork.com and celebrate on this 15 June 2020 the Ride to Work day.
- I will restart the marriage Motorcycling, History, Art and Traditions that inspired many of my rides in the past. Retracing the Persian Imperial Road in Anatolia, linking the Osmanli places and palaces in their road to Constantinople, exploring the Roman Egnatia road to Albania or the Medieval Painted Monasteries in the ex-Yugoslavian republics were ride of the past. I am now studying and planning three rides for the time where riding will be “legal”: as returning to university.
- The long period (almost 12 weeks) of inactivity has surely placed a dent in my riding skills and I plan to take at least three 200 Km. rides just to re-test in severe form riding techniques and the capacity of respecting of the RoadCraft System for long stretches. After that, I will dedicate one ride a month specifically for self-training purpose or for observed riding when trainer available.
- Biking has always been a social levelling tool: generally speaking bikers are free from snobbism and classism mixing, on two wheels, people from different experiences, cultures and professions. It is true that inequality infiltrated motorcycling with the growing cost of vehicles, accessories and gears but we can still enjoy the sense of equality that a meeting of bikers inspires. For this reason I will use the bike to visit friends and to attend few MC meeting celebrating the friendship and the comradery.
And this is all: time to be serious about what is serious. We ride for fun but nobody can deny that fun is a serious reason.