Get them started early

Get your kids started early.

In our digital age, some of us question if whether or not the appeal of things like motorcycles are quickly losing ground to the appeal of new, shiny technology, such as iPads and MacBook Airs.

Yes, a generational shift has clearly occurred, and it’s great to see someone else addressing the topic. In the past, people got excited about the release of new bikes and cars. These days, everyone’s attention on innovative industrial design has clearly shifted from the automotive to the computer world.

The public “oohs” and “ahhs” over whatever Apple will turn out next, and deservedly so. Although I’m no fan-boy, I’ve been a huge Apple devotee. In fact, I’ve been a Macintosh consultant for over 16 years. However, new computer technology isn’t everything. More than ever, one should unplug and go seek adventure on the road, away from the virtual worlds presented on a computer screen.

Yet, these developing trends should come as no surprise. New sleek and sexily designed motorcycles and cars, particularly in this down economy, are out of most people’s reach. It’s no wonder that younger people aren’t racing to purchase new bikes. Who has the money to? I can understand some people feeling comfortable racking up some debt for a $500 iPad, but surely not down payments on a motorcycle that costs $5,000 plus.

Heck, a “Big Wheel” (and Evil Knievel) started my fascination with motorcycles back in the 1970s.

Maybe automobila isn’t so much a part of our DNA anymore. For a few generations now, many have grown up not knowing how to fix their cars or motorcycles. This just breaks my heart, as people are becoming increasingly separated from their relationships with their vehicles. It’s as if technology has become disposable and worthy of only the shortest of attention spans, as opposed to the longer-term commitment of taking care of a vehicle.

A key reason why I ride a vintage motorcycle and drive a vintage car, has been the education of learning how to fix them through instruction from one’s elders. There’s nothing more empowering than learning how to work on an old car or bike, taking it apart, putting it back together, and then driving for hundreds of miles. It’s something far intimate than hacking an iPhone.

It’s also no surprise that the generational shift has impacted how we see the culinary world. Younger generations today not only have little interest in fixing or hot-rodding their cars or bikes, they also haven’t much of an interest in learning how to cook. It’s too easy to grab a cheap burger at the fast-food joint drive-through.

Again, my feeling is that we should mentor and encourage people younger generations, and teach them the joys of the rumble of an engine, and how to fix the rumbling’s in one’s stomach.

Finally, if you have kids, buy them toys like Big Wheels. The solution is to inspire the imaginations and wonder of younger generations… especially with two (or three) wheels to start. Show them the joys of the real world around us, as opposed to the virtual worlds on a computer.