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.
Caught reference of this piece rifling through all the blogs I follow and I am completely amazed at the beauty of this piece. Turns out this small animated film titled Parigot is a graduation project from the Georges Melies Film School depicting a motorcycle chase in a fanciful Paris at the turn of the last century. As an aside, Georges Melies is credited with many special effect innovations of early cinema. Parigot as the short film is titled refers to slang term used to refer to a parisian by those of "province". Anyway, here it is and as an interesting juxtaposition I included the most noted Melies film Journey to the Moon filmed in 1902.
My French grandfather was a motorcycle fanatic and like many genetic conditions it skipped a generation to me. I made the plunge into vintage motorcycling by coming across a magazine that rekindled a passion that I always had as a kid. I purchased and started refurbishing a 1951 Norton Model 7, which is the departure point of this blog. While motorcycling is my hobby, I have found that there is a convergence of many different motor cultures. This blog is dedicated to camaraderie, sharing knowledge, and having fun while exploring the world of classic motorsports. I also encourage others who want to contribute to drop me an email.