The Last Motorcycle on Earth: A New Dramatic Three-Part Series

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“Motorcycles are outlawed. Gasoline is $20 per gallon. Self-driving cars are taking over. Silicon Valley and the United States Government have collaborated to push society toward a fully-autonomous transportation system. Motorcycles and riders are an easy first target in the drive to ban human-operated vehicles. Impossible, you say? Not so fast.”

Could motorcycles be outlawed in our lifetime? This is the question with which we are confronted in The Last Motorcycle on Earth,  a dramatic series by Eric W. Ristau, a director, cinematographer and editor of independent films, documentaries, and television commercials. This series is co-produced by Geneva Ristau, who has co-directed numerous works with Eric, and Neil “Morto” Olson, who also plays the story’s central character. An Indiegogo crowdfunding site has been established for The Last Motorcycle on Earth, which has already been in production, albeit on a limited budget.

I have been a loyal and supportive fan of cinematographer Eric W. Ristau since 2013. That’s the year The Best Bar in America was released. Produced and directed by Eric and his brother Damon, that movie resonated with me in a big way and I wasted no time telling anybody who would listen about the film. Eric acknowledged my enthusiasm and thus began our casual acquaintance of the past five years. We attempted to meet for a beer once, but Eric was in Canada the one time I had managed to ride my motorcycle through Missoula, Montana. I would still like to have that beer, though. I believe that someday, we shall do so.

How feasible is the scenario presented in this dramatic series? Eric submits the following.

“Our current youth culture is largely focused on virtual experiences rather than the tangible, physical stuff past generations were drawn to– in this case, motorcycles, cars and expression of personal freedom through travel. More young people than ever are deciding against getting a driver’s license and interest in ownership of vehicles by that group is at an all-time low. It is said that the last person to receive a driver’s license has already been born.”

As an active member of three distinct Motorcycle Rights Organizations, I’ve read various position statements on the topic of autonomous vehicle technology. Before reviewing the background information and video footage from The Last Motorcycle on Earth, though, I never gave serious thought to the possibility of the rise of autonomous vehicles causing the end of the motorcycle hobby as we know it. Now? I’m not so sure.

Let’s think about this. The technology is moving forward at a faster rate than most of us would have expected. There is no small amount of corporate backing for the advancement of autonomous vehicle technology. Countries, as well as companies, are vying to become the clear dominant player in this arena. And today’s youth are tomorrow’s voting majority.

Displacing conventional automobiles will surely take time, but based on our smaller population and lesser popularity, the motorcycling community seems like a feasible target for elimination by those who stand to gain the most from our loss. Think about that.

Please take a few minutes to view the following video. Perhaps you will consider helping to fund The Last Motorcycle on Earth. If you ride or are a fan of the hobby, I would also urge you to consider joining one or more motorcycle rights organizations. And as always, thanks for hanging with me.

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The Generous Heart of a Biker

I’m writing this having just come from a very well executed biker charity event, but what I want to talk to you about is not this event per se, but about that which drives events like this and makes them special—the generous nature of the motorcycling community at large. So while I show you pictures and talk a bit about what I observed today, I intend to go way beyond that.

So yeah, my wife Karen and I wen to Gippers II in Coal City, Illinois, where a benefit was being held for a friend of the family, of whom we are both quite fond. Apparently lots of other people share that sentiment, becaus this event seemed to be quite well attended. But I have come to realize that’s not so unique in the biker community. On the whole, we are not rich people. We just have big hearts.

For what it’s worth, Gipper’s II is a cool venue. I’d never been there before. It’s big—certainly bigger than it looks from the parking lot.There’s a main bar, a courtyard area featuring a somewhat sheltered outdoor bar, and another facility, on the order of a banquet hall, beyond that. Friendly, helpful staff, nice atmosphere… I like it there.

So Karen and I show up, and some people know us, but most don’t and that’s okay. We ate. We drank. We listended to the first band (alas, we weren’t there long enough to catch the second one. Those who know either or both of us would stop by and exchange hugs and talk a bit. Some who didn’t know us still engaged us in conversation and shared some laughs. That’s a biker thing. In any case, it was a great environment in which to find ourselves.

But again, there’s more to the story. Just a few days ago, I learned of a biker chick from another group, out of state, with whom I am affiliated, who had gotten hurt in a bad crash with a truck. Probaby before she even got her cast on, word was being passed along within our group. A PayPal account was established and everybody stepped up and pitched in. The recipient was overwhelmed.

Folks, I see this all the time within the biker community and it makes me proud to be a part of it. This is who we are! This is what we do! Thank you for hanging with me.

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