Motorcycling

Other than that cool time in the 1970s when the guys with the ice chest ran across the track at the Carlsbad motocross Grand Prix and got T-boned by a hapless racer, the popular media hasn't much cared about motorcycling. In hindsight, maybe that was a good thing.

Today, anybody with a blowtorch and some attitude can have themselves a cable TV series. Maybe America is catching up on lost time, gorging on motorcycle junk food to compensate for the bike diet we've endured for so many generations. This would explain the emergence of "American Chopper"`-two generations of Teutuls bitching, posturing and occasionally building custom motorcycles on our 16:9 wide-screens for six long hours per week. We keep naively wanting it to be a show about bikes, when in fact it's just angry intra-family rants, Alpha-male stare-downs and rampant window breaking with bikes as backdrops.

So it was with some bemusement that we came across this characteristically graceless image of a red-faced Paul Senior getting seriously out of shape while nearly motionless on yet another glistening jewel fresh from the Over-the-Counter Choppers iron works. If we're reading our Teutul Spotting Guide correctly, that looks like Paul Jr. lunging in to assist Pop. Rideability is not a high priority at OCC, and with the sum total of testing typically occurring during a quick celebratory blast for the cameras, mayhem is sure to ensue.

These days, Paul Senior could fart in an OCC-logoed bag and it would be eagerly foisted on the public by the remorseless, atomic-powered marketing machine that drives pop culture. The Discovery Channel-sorry, The Learning Channel; we forgot they got demoted-would certainly tape the bag-filling process, and you just know the episode would be a ratings bonanza. We always wished for more motorcycles on TV. But somehow, this wasn't quite what we imagined.