I recently purchased two pieces of outdated, forgotten technology. The first thing was an old Remington portable typewriter. The second was a Buell Blast, one of the most laughed at motorcycles ever put into mass production.
I also couldn’t be happier with either purchase. The typewriter doesn’t have other browser tabs to distract me… I just write. There is also no easy way to move paragraphs around or otherwise edit, which makes writing a more pure pursuit. I can’t really explain it to someone– even someone who has used a typewriter– other than to say technology comes with trade-offs.
Without having to do things like “keyword-stuff my front-end” I don’t need to do anything but craft each sentence. It’s real stream-of-consciousness stuff and mistakes just get some X’s thrown over them and I move on. It’s brought back a joy in writing I haven’t felt too often as someone who writes for pay.
And the Buell Blast is also an unexpected way to reconnect with something basic: that basic feeling of keeping a motorcycle running so you can get around was long-lost to me. So much time keeping a race bike running meant garage time was loathed for years. Add to it the fact that my street bike (a 2001 Yamaha FZ1) was a complicated mess full of smog equipment and 20-valve fancy-pants technology, you can surely see why I long ago forgot it could be fun to spin wrenches on a greasy pile of bolts.
I plan on writing more on the typewriter, and I also plan to write about the Buell. It is going flat track racing, it’s going to Mexico, and it will end up at the drag strip. It will also become my daily rider once I get a few more things sorted. I’ll do some installments about the joys of beater-bike ownership, but for my personal blog I’m less interested in crafting words and more interested in sharing stories.
So grab your reading glasses and take a look at the hand typed, stream of consciousness writing that you can only get when you have a lazy Saturday and a typewriter.
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