By R. Jeff LeGrand
How Cool is This? Smaller, faster, lighter, more maneuverable.... this is what I hear all the time in the cycle mags and online forums. Occasionally I’ll see a debate about which bike gets better fuel economy, has more horsepower, brakes better or even which one is most comfortable. But the speed, the race ability.. that’s the predominant factor people like to talk about.
But how do you evaluate “cool”? I mean, I look at my fairly unique leather covered motorcycle, and I think it’s cool as all get out. I truly enjoy telling folks about it, and they seem to get off on the story too, so I’m hoping that there’s a little cool factor in it for all.
I’ve met some riders with equal or greater amounts of innovation and inspiration in their rides, and I have assigned different levels of “cool” to their projects, depending on how it appeals to me, and I’ve heard independent confirmation that other sentient beings do the same thing.
And obviously, there’s a whack of cool at the King of Customs show, the Motorcycle Show, and every single show ‘n’ shine out there......but when it comes to competition, how does “cool” get judged? And if there’s so much cool in that room, why the hell does it get so hot in there?
Pondering this to a friend earlier, it was suggested that perhaps the “people’s choice” award is the best indicator of coolness. The more people that like something, the more likely it is that even more of them will appreciate it, and this automatically assigns a certain amount of cool. Certainly, if
nobody likes a particular something, well, we know THAT isn’t cool. And sometimes cool gets assigned for unknown reasons, too, when large groups of people inexplicably agree that something has an intangible, unidentifiable something that makes it “cool”, even if they can’t tell you why. Eventually, though, they think less of that whatever it was (in most cases) and this is described as “feeling somewhat cool towards it”.. but if we add additional coolness, the math just doesn’t work that it’s losing cool because.. what did I just say?
It also seems to me that cool is like ... heat. Something can have a lot of it, but after a certain amount of time, it might go away, Sometimes applying a lot of light will add it.. either “cool” or heat......and sometimes people get too close, and attribute injury or damage to “trying to be too cool”... or, getting close to something hot. But at the same time, if someone’s not sure if they think something is cool, they might say that it is only after they “warm up to it”..... and that’s just crazy talk if you ask me. And I know crazy. Personally I think crazy is cool.
Now, I’m in my early 40’s, so I have to admit that there’s a concept going on that’s a bit baffling, because now, if something’s REALLY cool, it might be described as “hawt”. This seems to fly in the face of reason, but I refer you to my previous point, where actual heat might be compared to coolness, so I suppose it stands to reason that someone out there was just going to skip the conversion and say that the cool thing that had a lot of heat was hawt.
Now, I admit that the altered spelling seems to be able to accurately get across to everyone that the intention of the speaker/writer/author is to indicate that something is SO freakin’ cool that it’s freakin’ hawt baby, but then again, dry ice causes burns too, and that’s just not cool.
In the end, I think we all need to quantify and measure the cool that we find in our lives, our rides, and wherever we can, and see if we have tapped into a hot market, or if it’s merely a warming trend sure to be followed by a cooling off period.
But hey, that’s cool with me, if it’s cool with you, ok? Besides, that chick on that bike was HAWT.
My point? You’re demanding that I have a point??? I don’t have one... I just wanted to have some fun. That’s cool right?
Ride safe. Ride sane.
R. Jeff LeGrand
Calgary Motorcycle Ride for Dad
Reporter – Busted Knuckle Chronicles