There’s no doubt that there was symbolism in the air. We were at the Handlebars Bar and Saloon in Silverton, Colo., enjoying an authentic western lunch, celebrating the 25th anniversary of our first ride together. Of course, this time, rather than two-up on a 1981 Yamaha 550 Seca in Southern California, we arrived on a Ducati ST3 S ABS and a Moto Guzzi Breva V 1100.
The creation of a hand-built motorcycle is a series of philosophical milestones on a path of many forks. Some lead to the circus of today’s custom bike world, others to obscurity, with fortitude and integrity the only companions on a route to transcendent reward. “Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values,” wrote Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead. The works of builder Jesse Rooke would have enriched her lexicon of individualism, for this is a happy man.