Nothing is more fun on a motorcycle than a twisty road, and nothing is more difficult to master. In this episode, I talk with former pro racer, riding instructor and million mile veteran Todd Eagan about what it takes to get there. After a steady diet of stern lectures about physics and skills, Eagan’s perspective is refreshingly human. And cornering mastery turns out to be as much art as science, and as much about faith as technique.
If you’re an avid rider visiting Los Angeles, Todd Eagan is a guy you need to meet. You can reach him through Ride Malibu. He’s on Instagram as both @ridemalibu and @rentaguzzi. For a taste of what it’s like to ride with Todd, check out this test loop video for GuzziTech, Todd’s tuning business.
Here’s a picture of Todd’s first bike, the MR 50, in case you didn’t know this Honda (I didn’t, but I certainly would have lusted after one in those days).
Antoine Malye, who let me share his music to close this episode, is on SoundCloud under his own name. He doesn’t seem to have a web site, but here’s his SoundCloud page. If you’d like to own some of his mesmerizing music, it’s available in all the usual places, including here.
The epic long distance ride is as close to the heart of motorcycling mythology as anything except maybe the machine itself. This episode explores why these odysseys tug at so many of us through one rider’s story. After 50 years on two wheels, Terry Bell had never taken that long ride. Then one day, everything changed. The trip would be called ‘The Big Stupid’, and its lessons were surprising.
Besides being a lifelong rider, Terry is also a pretty great photographer. If you’d like to see his work, you can follow him on Instagram @bellman27
DenManTau, who let me use their music to close this episode, are also on Instagram, and you can share their odyssey and awesome energy by following @denmantau. Their web site is at denmantau.com. The track I shared on the show is called “Busker’s Philosophy”. You should buy it.
Long rides have inspired a lot of writing, starting perhaps with Persig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.” The Neil Peart book Terry and I mentioned is called “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road”. Despite its tragic premise, it’s an inspiring and redemptive read.
A few weeks after this episode was released, Quora randomly dropped a question about long motorcycle trips into my in box. If you want to really feel the call of the open road, check out the answer by Paul Turner.