There's a song from a band by the name of New Model Army that goes like this: "Four o'clock in the morning, still we cannot sleep, turning over, turning round, twisting in our sweat. They say there is no rest for the wicked ones, dear god—what have we done?"
Most times when I am up typing into this MacBook deep into the night, these words from my man Justin Sullivan seem to pop into my head.
Yes, I love what I do, but making a living reporting on a lifestyle that is mostly looked on as a hobby by people who don't ride puts me in a very precarious position sometimes. Explaining to friends, family, and people I have just met, what I do, and the style of bikes Street Chopper caters to can be quite a hard thing to explain to somebody on the outside. Shit, it's even hard to explain to most other people who ride Harleys.
As most of you know, being a big, tattooed, ugly biker dude also has very few advantages when it comes to daily living and even the people I work with in the same office seem to think I look like a homeless person who broke in or a ex-con maintenance man walking the hallways. But this is what being white collar white trash gets you.
Sure, I get to see the world by my company Amex and have access to some of the coolest parts to build my bikes with, but that's the bright side of this job, and one I don't ever take for granted.
Believe it or not, getting this magazine together and the others I do for your reading pleasure is a shitload of work. A lot of care and love goes into every issue of Street Chopper. I am my own worst critic and that is what keeps me doing this daily. I comb through our archives unearthing treasures from our past to keep you readers hooked on our good stuff. I even go as far as dealing with hundreds of people per week who want their bike in this magazine, then setting up photoshoots and interviews for only the handful that make it. Sure, it's all a ton of hard work, but it's rewarding and I love it.
Not to mention I am harder on myself than any reader who lambasts me for poor grammar or spelling. I am also up most nights with my mind racing regarding just what bikes I should run in the next issue and which ones will work to make this magazine better as a whole. I even go as far as to worry about when people buy old copies of this magazine years from now. Yes, I'm losing sleep wondering if the current issues I am working on now will be as timeless as the ones from decades ago I pluck weekly from eBay.
I gotta go. My bleary-eyed, six-year-old daughter just wandered out of her room from her slumber and is dragging me back to bed by my hand. She's mumbling something about how daddy never sleeps. If she only knew how wicked I really was…
By the time you have read this, Chris Richardson from LA Speed Shop and myself will have taken our Sailor Jerry Rum, S&S Cycle, and Carhartt Workwear-sponsored land speed bike to Bonneville and given it a bit of a thrashing on the salt. To see how we actually faired with this Knucklehead-powered race chopper, you can log on to www.streetchopperweb.com or http://rumrunnerracing.blogspot.com.