Sunday, April 7, 2013

Seasonal Menu Item: Motorcycles?

 *My Grandfather (approx 1948) on his motorcycle.

This weekend was the first nice weekend of the year for Central Illinois.  On the behalf of the motorcycle population, today was an exceptionally perfect day to ride-very little wind, sunshine and early 70 degree weather.  Cool enough for the leather jacket, warm enough to go anywhere.  Cruising through town on the back of the V-star, I could smell people cooking on their grills and it made me think about why I love to ride a motorcycle.

Motorcycle culture, largely because of Harley-Davidson, is Americana.  The vast majority of us are not 'bad-ass bikers', but I think all bikers are a little bad-ass, so I'll leave that riddle to you.  What I mean is, most of us ride when the weather is reasonable: warm (enough), no rain and little wind.  And all year long we wait with baited-breath heavily monitoring the news to see when our next ride will be.  So you see, when we ride, the weather is nice, people are outside and in good spirits-Americana in all its glory.

But what does this have to do with food?

The motorcycle represents the freedom to go without reason.  The pure enjoyment of your surroundings.  There are places that are just more fun to go to on the bike, like Green Gables on Lake Bloomington or the Paris, TN's World's Biggest Fish Fry!  Motorcycles represent summer, travel and friends. 

*My Grandmother (far right) and some friends heading from Illinois to Mexico on their bikes (grandfather was taking the photo).  My guess this was taken around 1960.

Growing up 5 miles from the famous Route 66, Americana was what we had to grow up on.  Flat-top grilled burgers, apple pie and world travelers coming through for a slice of classic America.  What we took for granted as children is now something we utilize and cherish by going back home (on the bike) and meeting new world travelers and reliving the enjoyments of the burgers and pie.

Maybe I'm not talking so much about food, but as tradition or heritage...but in the food world we hear nothing else than of 'classic', 'traditional', 'nods to home', etc  For me the enjoyment comes from the whole experience, the ride there, the smell of the air, the sounds of the wind and the sights of home.

Tell me about some of your favorite spots to stop on the bike in the comments section below!

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