"Motoring brands don’t come much bigger than Harley-Davidson. In fact, brands in general don’t come much bigger than Harley-Davidson. It’s a name that transcends industries, cultures and the seven continents. And probably Mars when we colonise it. "
Stripped to fly: A Harley Haven
In life, there are challenges. In fact, many would agree that life itself is a challenge. On the day-to-day, whether it’s financial, familial, circumstantial or emotional – all of us face a degree of uncertainty when it comes to taking the next step.
Troy Stringer (32) from Newquay, Cornwall highlights this as he talks about surfing and using his Harley Davidson along the coast: “It’s like a kind of meditative feeling, riding a motorcycle and surfing. And I think they definitely translate perfectly, really.
“Gliding on a wave to riding on a big open road with no cars around and just opening that thing up and having that raw power… You just feel like you’re in control and there’s nothing else. There’s no one else to ruin that for you.
“You can just shut your mind off and just relax for once,” Troy continues: “It could be just for that day. It could be that one time in the week when you can only just get your bike out, and it just, yeah, it kind of makes you feel like… if I can surf and ride my bike in one day, that’s… you can’t beat that. And a nice cold beer after that makes you feel good.”
We all need an outlet, and in our ever-evolving society; we need nature. It’s important to spend time in the places where we evolved. Whether we spend that quality time alone or not, is up to us.
Troy often shares his time with his motorcycle.
“It’s a Harley Davidson 2002 Sportster, and it’s just a ratty chopper kind of thing going on,“ he describes fondly, “It’s a Softail. It’s been stripped down to the bare minimum and I’ve made it super skinny, lightweight, and it just goes like stink. It’s got a racing cam on the bottom, and for an 883 it’s pretty pokey at high ends.”
Time with others, too, is important. Troy reflects on his childhood, especially the times that he’d visit Cornwall on his father’s motorbike.
“I grew up around motorcycles with my mum and dad taking me to motorcycle weekends from as young as I remember, like six, seven, just strapped onto the back of my dad’s bike for a weekend at a campsite. It’s just this big culture and everyone comes together. It’s brotherhood, sisterhood, whatever you want to call it. Everyone’s just chill and happy. Everyone wants to help each other out as well. If you got a problem with your bike on a weekend, everyone’s like: ‘Sweet man, I’ve got the tools, I’ve got this, I’ve got that.’”
More importantly, the Harley Davidson is an iconic motorcycle – and it has its reasons, Troy claims.
“There’s nothing like it. If I’m on the motorcycle, going like 75, 80 miles an hour, especially a Harley – that thing’s vibrating,” he describes, “It feels like an angry mule trying to kick you off at some point. Especially if you hit a pothole, that thing is going to send you flying out your saddle and it just feels good. The wind hitting your face, taking a bug to the face… it’s just so fragile and makes you feel like you can definitely break.”
Pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone is crucial for our own growth, and the growth of the world that surrounds us. As much as comfort is what we desire as a culture, it’s the opposite that actually gives us a real sense of fulfilment; it gives us a real sense of what it is to feel truly alive.
“You’re not invincible, but at the same time, it makes you feel invincible.”
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