Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Obscure Heroes of Motorcycling- #2 Ernesto Guevara
Perhaps he is not so obscure since the movie "Motorcycle Diaries" but Guevara's love for two wheeled transport is less appreciated. His journey across South America is truly epic from both a physical and intellectual standpoint. This journey took place in 1951 lasting 9 months, covering 8000 kilometers, and culminated with a stay at the San Pablo Leper Colony in Peru. However, this trip was not his first. Exhibiting a certain amount of mechanical skill, Guevara in 1950 completed a trek through Northern Argentina of 4500 kilometers on a motorized bicycle he had built himself.
I believe that his penchant for two-wheeled transport was rooted in large measure to practicality and affordability. But I don't think I am wrong in saying that his choice involved the same romantic notions that many of us in the hobby are afflicted with. We all find enjoyment in the connection with the world around us as the wind blows through our hair. No doubt that this connection took on greater significance for Guevara. With his senses heightened, he became acutely aware of his environment eventually crystalizing into his personal philosophy. While I don't agree with the political endpoint, I do admire the foundation of Guevara's philosophy. He was a man of conviction and true adventurer both of which are marks of a true man. He also had good taste in motorcycles. Norton's are truly unapproachable.