On motorcycles, and taking things (and knowledge!) apart

Craig: I think those who know you, know that you really love motorcycles and I’ve noticed with a lot of people, myself included who are really into parkour are also really into fixing things or taking things apart and understanding the nuanced details.

I’m wondering, first of all how you got into motorcycles and what your thoughts are and how those two loves sort of dovetailed so well.

Elet: [00:15:30] I got my motorcycle when I was 17 years old. I had seen this particular Nighthawk 700 that I’m working on right now in a book at the age of 10 or 12. It was a book, The Beginner’s Motorcycle Guide. I read a section on … it was printed in the ’80s this bike was new at the time, this was a 1984. They were saying, here’s the top 10 beginner motorcycles. This was on the list. For whatever reason, I was 10 years old, I don’t remember the details but it just [00:16:00] stuck in my mind.

Craig: It became iconic, right.

Elet: I loved the way it looked, I knew it was a good beginner bike and then one of my best friends bought a motorcycle when he was 18, I was a year younger and I rode it a few times and I decided, “Hey, I need to get my own bike.”

I’ve ridden dirt bikes on and off and stuff but never like really, really into it. I bought this bike from a guy up in Pennsylvania and fell in love. It was something that I just continued to pursue all over and I didn’t have a big budget [00:16:30] so I started to work on it myself and I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I needed some experience. This particular bike got ridden for four years, thrown in my parents garage and Then ignored for the next five or six. I’m just getting back to it now.

It kind of grew from that and I think the big thing that attracts me to working with my hands, whether it’s motorcycles, whether it’s bushcrafting, whether it’s building, woodworking, I kind of do all of this different stuff with my hands is [00:17:00] the understanding of the world around you through the nerves in your hands. This is a big thing in parkour.

Craig: … tactile feedback that physical knowledge.

Elet: Yeah, we crave that. We crave contact. Contact with the physical world. This is a very intricate process but one that is very understandable when you get into it.

I don’t think … There’s no mystery to being a mechanic. There’s no mystery to woodworking. There is just getting in touch with a process, embracing that process and the beginning to understand where you are and just getting familiar. [00:17:30] It’s so nourishing mentally.