June 7, 2002
It was a beautiful summer day. The air was still, as quiet as it could be. You could hear the sound of a magpie’s tail as he was flying by. People were sitting on the lawn, the tent was full. Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto’s second movement, the Andantino was at a slow quiet passage, it was a beautiful flute solo.
In the background I could hear it, the unmuffled motorcycle. He must have been in fifth gear. First I heard a quick throttle to shift down into fourth gear, a pop pop sound, then the slower broooom brooom brooom broom – the cylinders backing off, then a quick throttle – pop pop – then the backing down into third gear, then the slower broooom brooom broom – a slight lull around the corner at eighth street and varoom pop pop pop accelerating back up into fourth gear, and another pop pop, then the backing down again – broooom brooom brooom broom as he approached Hallam Street, a quick two revs – pop pop and then down into third, and another broooom brooom broom and a lull around the corner and then varoom up into higher gears, a pop pop pop, back up into fourth gear, a quick pause, then pop pop pop, up into fifth gear. It was a deep low gutteral sound, he knew how to shift. Then the Cemetery Lane light must have changed to red, because I could hear the quick throttle, pop pop, to down shift into fourth gear and – brooom broom broom, then the light must have turned to green, because the accelerating engine sounds resumed – varoom.
And then a few minutes later another biker, but this time it was a different sound, a different pitch – it was a big Ducatti. You can also listen for diesels.
Will I miss the religious experience of those fantastic S-curves?