I’m writting this article trying to explain what you can’t see behind the motorcycles builders’ lifes, or at least behind of my own life that I think is no so far from the other builders’ lifes.
I ride motorcycles sinde I was 14, my young years were full of experiences, I raced first in dirty specialities and after that with two strokes sport bikes, were golden years until I crashed with my bike and suffered severe injuries that putted the end to my life as a racer… but I continued riding motorcycles just as a rider, lot of time normal motorcycles and after that I started to fall in love with classic bikes, then I started to built restorations in my shed, lot of time I done that as a hobby, I was a corporate worker almost all my life with a relative success, I earn some fucking money, I reach a medium high level in the corporative scale, I travel a lot for working, I lived in a lot of different countries with a lot of different cultures and I saw all the shit that exist behind corporations, at my advanced age of 46 I decided to leave that world because I felt that I was creating fucking nothing and I create Bandisca together with my wife and I started to build custom bikes as I understand them.
Ok, this souds cool!! on fact this is the tipical cool scenario… the glamourous man that leaves the corporate life and became a handcrafter…. so hipster!!! what the fuck!! but believe me, that not was the reason, the true reason was I needed to create something that makes me happy… because I wasn’t happy in that corporate world doing things that produced me a deep shame for earning good fucking money. Now my life is my small workshop and my store, this sounds as a cool history, lot of people say me that they want that kind of life, but not all is so cool and glamourous and I will try to explain you why.
After almost 3 years of Bandisca and around 10 builts, the store, the shows, the events and all that, I must say that I’m happy but I’m paying a price. Building motorcycles means you put your whole life on that, I mean that irons sucks all from you and become the center of all. Is cool when you see one of our projects done and looks pretty amazing but behind of each one a less glamourous history exists.
What nobody see is when I wake up every day and feel my body tired, my back broken and need two coffees and a Nurofen to start to move, yes… that’s it, when you build you penalize your health with the dayly phisic effort and that send you an invoice, so my feeling every morning is the same, I have pain… that goes out when I go out and take my motorcycle for going to the workshop, that early morning ride put me on!!
What nobody see is when I come back home at the evening with my wife and I’m broke, I smell like a tank of grease, my hands are dirty and full of small injuries, the only think then is to take a bath and go to bed, some days I’m not able to play some minutes with my daughter or talk some time with my wife about other things not relating motorcycling… simply after the bath I fall on the bed and sleep as a pig.
The events seem also something really cool, seems I have a lot of fun going to the Shows and events, sounds really cool when you see our pics from Glemseck 101 or The Rotten Race… and on fact yes I have fun with that but what you can’t see is that going The Rotten Race, Glemseck or other shows, events and cools places has a price, I need to drive thousand of kilometers with my van full loaded, with heat, with cold, with rain, sometimes sleeping when driving, sometimes with problems and risks, and spending also some good fucking money… what you can’t see is that we don’t go to the events just for fun neither for promotion, what I seek in each event is to see new things, to learn new things, to meet new people, that is the only way I can build new things, otherwise I would remain stacked. But the highest price of the events is that me and my wife leaves home for some days, leaving our little daugher with her grandmother, and she feel that we leave and don’t want to take her with us…. believe me, that feeling when she says “dady why can’t I go with you?” is something that really makes you feel so bad.
Also a project is not a full of satisfactions thing… in a project developing I trip on a lot of problems, some of them believe me that makes you don’t sleep, thinks that don’t work, parts that can’t find or not come, desingns that I wrong… yes, exactly that, a lot of things I projected don’t work in the reality… that is the human nature, we have knowledge and we try to apply it, but a lot of times we are wrong…. and that’s a question that you can’t also see when watch the cool pictures of a finished project. Lot of discussions with my wife because I did something that she didn’t want or I use a color that she didn’t choose… yes, sounds trivial but when a built became the center of your daily life believe me that that kind of discussions erase your desire of continue….
The relationship with customers is one of the most difficult things to manage and the one that could drives you to the madness, is cool when you see the pics with “the happy customer” receiving his bike, but unfortunately most of times I need to manage relations and discussions with people that don’t understand nothing at all about this world, don’t appreciate it neither your work, just want to buy a cool bike because is on fashion and, of course they want it cheapest as possible, I need to fill me up with tones of patient for discuss with that kind of people in a civilizated way and avoid them also in a civilizated way…. that causes me a lot of stress that I need to dischargue… and where I discharue it??? …. Obviously… at home with my wife, with my daughter… they supports all… are magic!!!
Sometimes I think about if I must get a “real job” again, sometimes I think that I’m hurting my family with all this, sometimes I think that I’m doing something wrong building bikes and I renounced to a welfare state for my family and they are paying for my sins….
But at the end we became a builder’s family, when we finish a project we get the hapiness, and the feeling of everybody worths!! And if you ask to my daughter what she wants to do when she grows up for sure she will reply “to build motorcycles like daddy”.
This article is a tribute to my beloved wife Mihaela and my little sweety Sara.