Toward the end of the Summer, when the first cold and wet weather makes again its presence felt on the roads of Turkey a certain feeling of tiredness permeates my old bones.

It has been a satisfying season with lots of rides, miles on roads and off roads, many new and old friends passing by and riding with me. Another good collection of memories and experiences created by that splendid tool called motorcycle.

All this keeps my spirit young and my body awake, bringing back every year the same sensations I had when I was a boy and this was the time for returning to school: I would look at my 125cc bike knowing that I will see “her” again only during holiday times. It was a long, struggling goodbye that I do not have to suffer anymore in adult age.

Now I can keep biking throughout the winter, into the spring to the new summer: I only need good health, good engines and time to spare. Sometime one of these requirements is not available but the important one, “passion for biking” is always there and it helps in overcoming most of the obstacles.

So… where the sense of tiredness comes from? I have no problems in wearing again thermal underwear, thick gloves and rain suits. I almost enjoy going back to my heavy clothes and waterproof booths, I already prepared the bike for the muddy season.

I am really tired of “good common sense”, of the seasonal advice from friends and relatives suggesting to put down biking (at least for the ”bad” season). These banal advises come now from so-called bikers and nonbikers, they come in “friendly conversations”, by e-mail and by letter. They come sometimes in subtle form (… at your age…) or in a more brutal configuration (… only masochists ride in winter…).

These “don’t” keep coming from different sources.

It is time to go back to Ogri and repeat with this unique character “Bikes are for life… not just for Sundays … or Summers” On his naked twin (surely British) Ogri is the minimalist of bikers: a winged old helmet, the same black leather, tough booths: two wheels, one engine and the “right” attitude.

At this time of the year, as Ogri, I am fed up with good common sense. I am fed up with my own good common sense too. While preaching safe riding and responsible behavior, a little demon inside keeps reminding me that the beauty of Biking is in a sort of craziness built into the activity.

Nobody, in full possession of all his faculties, can call “normal” wearing a stiff leather suit, booths, padded gloves and restricting helmet, mounting on two wheels over an engine with absurd horsepower, riding among metal boxes speeding in opposite direction on surfaces designed for four solid anchors… no serious human being, I said, can admit that this is a rational behavior.

Bike is the last glorification of Madness and Madness makes Biking attractive.

Madness in different forms … but… take out madness from biking and you will end up with a very boring activity, a monotonous going from A to B, better done with more bourgeois vehicles.

Madness is the spirit that moves us and it is also the element that we have to control .

Be a mad biker but be a good bikers too: take out your bike for the winter… even better… do not leave your bike sleeping at the end of the summer, continue biking in all season and live the “sensible recommendations” behind.

Nobody buys bikes guided solely by brain and machines branded as “very sensible, rational… a good choice for everyday use” are normally left to collect dust in showrooms. We buy bikes following the passion of our hearth: in a world of sleepers Motorcycles are one of the last, crazy dreams. In the same way nobody without “madness” can keep using a bike.  Madness is the spirit that moves us and the element that we have to control …but madness is still the difference. In this frame of mind please leave each biker free to decide, after taking advice, what they can and can’t do. Or join the anti-bike league and fight for safety belts on two wheels.

Keep the madness alive, ride safe but keep the fun.

By Paolo Volpara

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