Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Good Writer You’ve (Probably) Never Read

Approximately three decades ago, I discovered motorcycle magazines. Until then, I learned most of what I knew about two wheel transportation from my dad, who had ridden since he was a child, and from standing around in showrooms and shops, bothering the folks who worked there.

My cousin, who was seriously into motorcycles at the time as well as the proud owner of a “water buffalo” (or a Suzuki GT750 to youngsters or the uninitiated) had a large stack of such magazines in his living room. After having read them, sometimes more than once, I took the plunge and took out a subscription. The first issue that arrived had a feature article by Peter Egan, a narrative of his finding and restoring an old Triumph Bonneville. The rest of the magazine was okay, but this article, complete with a double page spread photo of the restored bike hooked me on the writer and on Cycle World magazine.

Fortunately for me, Egan took a job as a writer and later columnist for that magazine, and I eagerly read everything he wrote, even the technical “how to” articles, until he jumped ship to write for a car magazine. Time passed, and I quit reading motorcycle magazines or riding motorcycles, mostly due to the ongoing interruption known as motherhood.

Hubby still rides motorcycles for recreation, and he takes several magazines, including Cycle World, where Egan is once again a columnist. Like many modern periodicals, current motorcycle magazines often suffer from a lack of writers who can write or editors who know enough grammar and/or spelling to edit properly, but Egan still produces quality columns and articles. I've included a link to another Triumph Bonneville story, albeit a modern one, on the CW website.

Even if you’ve never read about two wheeled transportation, you might find something to like in Egan’s prose. His current article bears the subtitle “Engine by Shakespeare, Chassis by Michelangelo” which lets readers know that his education and interests go far beyond technical manuals.

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