Freedom and Rebellion — The Joy of Motorcycles

Once part of pop culture Motorcycle riding is declining fast

Ever since man first jumped on a horse we have wanted speed.

The feeling of freedom.

The danger and exhilaration.

Since the early 20th century we have been able to pursue these feelings on 2 wheels or 4.

A motorcycle at 15/16 years old, was the gateway drug.

The boardwalk racers of the ’20s, the ton-up boys of the ’50s through the rockers of the ’60s and ’70s. They all embraced motorcycles as a gateway to freedom, rebellion, and speed.

Today this once iconic form of self-expression is disappearing. In the last 30 years, new motorcycle sales have dropped by over 50%. So has the amount of young people taking the bike test.

There are many reasons for that, the tests are harder. The bikes themselves are more expensive, so no big advantage in cost over a car.

But the number 1 reason is that Motorcycles are no longer seen as rebellious.

There is no shock factor in riding a bike anymore. Your parents may not like it, but it’s not shocking.

As we know every teenager wants to shock. So we move onto the next thing.

I can’t help thinking though that generations are missing out on the real fun.

Freedom

As a biker since my teens, I’m biased, but for me, there is nothing like the freedom of being on a bike.

Just you, the bike and the road. Time to think, space to grow.
Plenty of time to open the throttle and enjoy the feeling of speed you can only get on a motorbike.

There is a sense of space and freedom on a motorbike that you don’t get anywhere else.

As the world moves forward so do bikes into electrification. That freedom can come guilt-free in an environmentally friendly form.

If you have ever thought about getting into motorcycling, I would say go for it.

As a biker since my teens, I’m biased, but for me, there is nothing like the freedom of being on a bike.

Just you, the bike and the road. Time to think, space to grow.
Plenty of time to open the throttle and enjoy the feeling of speed you can only get on a motorbike.

There is a sense of space and freedom on a motorbike that you don’t get anywhere else.

As the world moves forward so do bikes into electrification. That freedom can come guilt-free in an environmentally friendly form.

If you have ever thought about getting into motorcycling, I would say go for it.

There is a risk, yes, but the rewards are huge.

After all freedom and rebellion are two of the cornerstones of the human state of mind!

Lost in the love of music

A simple story of music and the power it has

Music, it’s one of the loves of my life.

I love to write, painting is also a passion. Nothing though comes close to music.

I can’t play an instrument or read music. My entire enjoyment of music comes from listening.

Over time my tastes have evolved and changed. I listen to and get lost in music which I wouldn’t have before.

As I get older classical, opera, country. They all fight for space and attention with rock, blues, jazz, and more.

It started for me when I was nine years old. I heard the song “supersonic” by the rock band Oasis. Suddenly the world went from back and white to full technicolor.

Nothing has been the same since. I spend my days lost in the music. Constantly exploring new and exciting sounds.

I also use music as a way to make sense of the world. If I want to replay a part of life in my mind, often I’ll use music as a tool to access those memories.

I’m fascinated by the science of it all. How those noises make sense of emotions, strengthen memories, or affect mood.

As I get older I feel a stronger connection to my life through music. Each of us has a soundtrack that accompanies our lives and all that goes with them.

I’m interested if you take the time to read this, what doe’s music do for you?

Please leave a comment, I’m really interested in your opinion on this subject!

Watches — How to collect on a budget

Watch collecting should be fun, but it needn’t break the bank

There is something so cool about the way a wristwatch tells the time.

Whether its a beat up thing your wearing for work or leisure or you have a statement on your wrist.

Mechanical watches never go out of fashion.

Smart watches have been and pretty much have gone.

The old faithful remains, unaffected by fads and fashion.

Another thing that remains the same is the belief that you need money to collect watches.

Sure if you want to collect Rolex, Omega, Patek or any of the big boys, you need deep pockets.

That shouldn’t stop any of us collecting watches though. A $10 dollar watch that looks good on your wrist is as good as a $10,000 watch.

Its not the name that’s important, its the what the watch does, how it looks and how you feel when its on your wrist.

With that in mind, lets take a look at the ways we can build a watch collection on a budget.

1. Cover the basics

Basic watch maintenance can get expensive fast.

The first essential for watch collecting on a budget is covering the basics.

– Invest $10 on a basic watch maintenance tool kit. Ebay and Amazon have 1000’s of them.

Once you have this kit next stop is you tube.

Adjusting watch bracelet lengths, by adding or removing links

– Changing watch bracelets and straps

– Changing watch batteries for your quartz collection

These are the small jobs where costs add up.

Once you have your tool kit you can learn to do these tasks on you tube.

You will save a fortune buying batteries yourself before the labor costs for example.

No more paying for a watch bracelet sizing or replacement or a new strap. Which brings us to point number 2.

2. Welcome to the world of customization

This is the real secret to collecting watches on a budget.

One watch can have many different looks. A bracelet, different straps, a NATO band. Each changes the look of a watch.

I have a Seiko Prospex which I have had for years and its my go to daily driver.

It has a yellow face so its easy to change up and give it a new look. As a result that watch rarely looks the same 2 weeks in a row.

That actually goes the same for the rest of my watch collection. The $50 cheap used watches through the Tag’s and Omega’s all get the same treatment.

One watch has so many different looks.

My favorite watch is a 1950’s Tresso dive watch. It’s dressed up for weddings and other fancy gatherings. Likewise it gets dressed down for other occasions where I need a casual look.

All it takes is 2 minutes to change the strap.

You can buy 1000’s of high quality straps and bracelets online for less than $10 each. All you need to know is the width of the strap where it fits into the watch. This known as the “Lug” width.

Once you have the straps, the tools and no-how, one watch has many looks.

3. Know where to buy them

I very rarely if ever buy a new watch. Almost always I’m a second hand buyer.

Likewise I don’t use watch clubs.

Where I do buy is ebay, gumtree, and dedicated watch sites such as Chrono 24.

Because I can do the basic maintenance myself. I don’t care if it needs a new battery, the bracelet sized or even a new strap. Ill do that myself.

If I like the watch and it works ill buy it, its also cheaper that way.

I have also picked up rare watches that need parts. Much cheaper than buying a functioning example. All it takes is time to track down the parts that I need.

4. Do it for the joy of ownership

Colleting watches on a budget is not going to make you money. The people making money from watch investment are buying rare watches worth $1000’s.

If you want to collect watches on a budget, its best that you know upfront that its not going to make you money.

Final Thought’s

There is something so effortlessly cool about a really nice watch. Like anything mechanical and seemingly old fashioned. They have a feeling all of their own.

All you need is some basic skills and the use of the great resources online. Once you have those, you too can own a great watch collection without it costing you a fortune.

Buy, hold, sell — wealth creation and investment in these strange times.

It’s a big question right now, with some commodities and the majority of share prices at all times low what done do for the best.

Well alot of people are saying keep your power dry and continue to hold cash, I dont think that’s bad advice at all actually and it’s also advice I’m sticking to for the time being.

Obviously any investment decision anyone makes is deeply personal and I’m in no way qualified to help anyone with their investments or finances but I do think there are a number if interesting things going on in the market right now that are worth us knowing about, even if it’s just for fun and to pass the time.

If you want to then explore those further then that’s up to you as an individual.

Energy shares and particularly oil and gas related shares, have as demand for oil and gas has fallen through the floor just crashed. Many of the stocks have lost 70 percent plus of their values since January. Typically these shares come back as the commodity price comes back and the market settles out, which with everyone across the world in some form of lockdown will still take some time.

Now could be a good time to take advantage of the low buy in, invest in these stocks for the upside as the markets rebalance or hold onto them for the dividends they regularly pay. As energy stocks are generally seen as dirty or tainted today by environmentalists these companies will keep paying premium dividends to offset that outlook and keep the big institutional investors interested.

But what about assets, well depending on what those assets are and where they are in the cycle it could be time to buy, continue to hold or to sell.

As an avid watch collector I’ve seen values of some watches hold pretty steady and others soar, big impact brands like rolex, panerai and patek to name just 3 are either not on production or are operating at a limited manufacturing capacity. This could therefore be a good time to sell, certainly some of those watches are going up in value right now so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Classic and or collectable cars is also a market worth looking at right now I think based on some of what I’ve seen. While the bubble burst sometime ago back in 2019 we still hadn’t really witnessed a huge rebalance of the market although I think we are staring to see that now, which is great of your buying, although obviously terrible if your selling.

What’s interesting about this market is parts and accessories. So many of us are at home right now and those interested in cars and bikes, are digging out old projects, this is starting to take a grip on parts and accessories values and so those are actually going up. A good time to see what you have stuffed in the garage or shed and get it online perhaps.

The point is that in these uncertain times, it pays to look at the various markets and outlets, some of us will continue to hold our cash, some will look at opportunities and see investment potential and yet others will find they have riches long ago buried that are worth alot more than they paid for them…

Even if you just take a passive interest right now like myself, spend a couple of hours digging around, it’s a fun use of your time and I guarantee you will be surprised at what’s going on right now.

Creativity, something for the weekend sir?

No matter what your hobbies and pursuits are, chances are that right now you can’t indulge in them at the weekend the way you normally would.

To effectively break the weekend out from the rest of the week during these times, we need to break out our creativity and do something different.

Luckily for us all there are literally millions of options here, most of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of our very own lockdown cell, sorry I mean home…

The internet has a big role to play here as we can search for how to guides and video content to help us start well just about anything.

Being creative and using the artistic sides of our brain and personality has huge physical and mental health benefits and also has the handy advantage that it distracts us and takes us a usefully large portion of our time once we are in engaged in a creative activity.

It could be photography, after all your smart phone give you all the options you need and an app such as lightroom or others gives you alot of creative possibilities for those photos for free.

You could take that final step and get writing on medium, on your own blog or even just in a journal.

You could learn to play that instrument that gathering dust in the attic.

You could even indulge in some drawing or painting, got some paper, or wood or plasterboard etc in the garage? Got some household paint and a kitchen knife even? Great you can now have hours of fun creating abstract art.

The list of possibilities is endless, but what they all have in common is that they are all tremendously good fun, great for your mental and physical wellbeing and easier than you think to get started.

This weekend give it a go, I guarantee you wont regret it…