I rarely buy motorcycle magazines but… I was flying and I had  local coins left in my pockets and three euros for 240 colour printed pages sounded as a good deal compared with in flight magazines.

This one was not a bad reading nor a good one.

Mostly data information and news that one can get for free in internet. Few  pages of deja-vu novelty, test of the Yamaha Niken a three wheeler that probably nobody needs, the return of Royal Enfield on the stage of “image wise correct” with the new Himalayan.

Standard and good effort of journalists trying to inject soul and emotion into manufacturer’s press releases.

The editorial was different and kept my interest and my attention well after my flight landed.

The editor shared a letter from a reader  who considers KTM390 “the best thing he ever had” in 24 years of life. Not satisfied enough by this categoric statement (best bike from 1984 to 2018) this eccentric rider is ready to go for Around the World with the same bike. Here the proof:  KTM is designed for it, he has money to start, a camera, a drone just in case, all the gear and mechanical experience. 

Now,  you are probably wandering why Federico is spending time emailing a bike magazine instead of being on the ferry to Africa from Barcelona where he is based. And so did I till I red a little further.

Our friendly rider-explorer-writer wants to go around the world but, more than this, he wants specifically to do “something that could be remembered,  something to be spoken about with admiration… something that could be exemplary for the others aggravated by the everyday nagging of life

I was touched by this editorial and by the naive presumption of the message: this rider would like to give a sense to my useless life and, while I toil in a glooming quotidian, he wants to bring a touch of light with his courage, fantasy and sense of adiscovery.

A quick visit to horizonsunlimited.com will easily demonstrate that” around the world on motorcycle” is now no more extraordinary than a weekend in Kosovo and it will also show that the people that do it generally do it for fun,  for adventure, for discovery and for Knowledge. They generally do not write about their intention to go.  They go and they write after unless… unless money is the issue and we are talking note of finding a sponsor.

I do not believe that this rider was fishing for financiers but is point about “admiration, being admired, being spoken with admiration” struck me as a sign of times.

Going to the beach on hot summer is not anymore sufficient: people should know it and should admire it. Sharing a dinner with friends is not sufficiently cool: not invited friends and acquaintances should know it and admire it.

Riding the Alpine passes is not enjoyable unless a large number off contacts instantly place a “I like it” admiring your always-the-same selfies.

Often we say that this is the age of entertainment and the personal reflection of this is that this is the personal age of obsessive admiration. Or obsessive and desired envy.

By Paolo Volpara

"Si sta come d'autunno sugli alberi le foglie"

4 thoughts on “Time of Admiration”
  1. You are so right. Who can imagine Joshua Slocum going to his Twitter account to advise all of his followers that he’s about to sail alone around the world so that they will be able to admire him even more? 😎

    1. “I had already found that it was not good to be alone, and so made companionship with what there was around me, sometimes with the universe and sometimes with my own insignificant self; but my books were always my friends, let fail all else.”
      Joshua Slocum

      1. Solitude.
        Being detached , separated , god forbid – ALONE !
        All the reasons that biking maintains my increasingly thin thread of attachment with sanity.
        And even when I’m group riding , if I have not succumbed to the curse of Harald , I can enjoy the pure and utter delight of detached

        Solitude upon my bike within my own space

        Utter selfish bliss

  2. From J.P.Sartre
    “Hell is other. In life we can still do something to manage the impression we make; in death this freedom goes and we mare left entombed in other’s people memories and perceptions”

    Still, Facebook, Twitter and other social media survive person’s death and can continue to be updated modifying perception after the jump.

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