View Full Version : Displacement Activity: Motorcycle fiction

Roger Hicks
11-12-2008, 13:11
Motorcyclists (and some non-motorcyclists) may be amused by the following piece of fiction, 'Elysian Fields', on my 'other' website:


I just re-read it for the first time in a couple of years (I wrote it 15-20 years ago). If you like it, tell your friends: maybe I can make millions from the movie rights. Read the disclaimer below, especially if you have no sense of humour.


This is a work of fiction and all characters are fictional, bearing no intentional resemblance to anyone alive or dead. In the interests of the narrative, liberties have been taken with the location of McDonald's and the bar at which the principal character sits. Anyone who wants to try organizing a race on the Champs Elysees should not blame me if people get hurt and property is damaged. That's what fiction is about.

If only I spent less time on this forum, I might even finish a novel, but the forum is such a wonderful excuse for not working. What 'should' you be doing when you're on RFF?



11-12-2008, 13:23

Hey, that's pretty good! It reminds me a little of New Yorker fiction from the fifties--with the whole story taking place in the moment, with no flashbacks or distracting context. Love the McDonalds' bit. You really have an eye for detail, Roger. Though, being a photographer, I guess you should...

I actually write novels for a living, BTW. Well--the market's pretty dry these days for the kind of stuff I do, so I mostly make a living teaching college students how to write novels. This winter I'm starting one about...of course...a photographer...

11-14-2008, 10:16
That was a wonderful story, Roger. Being a Yank, I had to bone up on my obtuse motorbike references after the read. Much fun.:)


11-14-2008, 10:41
I want to see the movie !

Roger Hicks
11-14-2008, 10:50
I want to see the movie !

Me too!

(And thanks to the others for their kind comments).



11-14-2008, 13:05
That was extremely enjoyable. Of course, we all know you are the Godhead incarnate of the story, because you arrive on a Vincent!

(sadly, never progressed from pillion to front seat. But as I'll never afford that Black Shadow, maybe that's a good thing?)

11-14-2008, 13:33
That was a fun read Roger, thanks! There were some nice turns of phrases, like the "cammy Norton".
(It was predictable though that the _____ would win.)

Roger Hicks
11-14-2008, 13:37
That was a fun read Roger, thanks!

Dear Frank,

HEY! You've given away the ending! [Bit about the ending cut out here]

Well, yes, but then, you know James Bond is going to save the world. The only entertainment comes in HOW.



11-14-2008, 13:43
...and that movie they made about the Titanic. :)

I'll edit out the spoiler in my previous post.

11-14-2008, 14:42
Thanks for that fine story. There is something just so wonderful about a well told tale.

11-25-2008, 18:02
I don't know if they are available on Cycle World's web site, but I wrote what may have been the magazine's first published piece of fiction, "Officer Delgado," printed in their December, 1967 issue. As a short fiction writer (and a then motorcycle racer) I used a rather standard cops and robbers plot and simply put them on motorcycles in San Francisco. Lots of chase scenes, bad guy on a stolen Velocette Thruxton, later a Honda 450, our young cop on a Bultaco Metralla (guess who does better in the twisties).

Again, in the August 1969 issue, Cycle World published a second story of mine, "Mr. Bisby Changes his Style," about a meek, mild-mannered sort of Casper-milktoast mid-level management guy who always takes a cab to work. One day the cab breaks down, and as he's attempting to hail another cab a guy on a Triumph Bonnevile pulls to the curb, orders him to "Get on, hold on, and shut up," and of course this changes our protagonist's life. Gets his huevos back, arrives at the office and orders his domineering secretary to shut up and get the Triumph dealer on the phone, etc.

Anyway, they were harmless, entertaining and fun to write, as I'm sure you had fun writing "Elysian Fields," which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Especially as I had lived in Paris on the Rue Dubac for a month in 1971 and so could sort of follow the racers' course. Great story with lots of tension and suspense.

11-26-2008, 00:22
In the first James Bond book, I think the licensed to kill spy shot someone while riding a 500cc BSA side valve single. I learnt to ride on one of those in 1962 or so.

02-06-2010, 13:06
Just found Elysian Fields, a fun read. Made me miss my baby V-Max, a 1986 Yamaha Fazer, 700cc Genesis powered beauty. The fastest I've ever moved across the earth was on that machine, speedo past its 150mph limit. Scary stupid. It's been sitting under a tarp for the last 13 years...sigh.

Thanks for sharing it.

Also reminded me of this, it's the real deal-just a guy and his car:

02-19-2010, 23:01
Thanks Roger - brought Paris to life - amazed as a baby Lambretta rider how I was ale to picture every machine - I obviously retain more than I thought - now we need an illustrator .... could be cool with setches !
Oh , and Velo should be French Ld 125 LOL - parfait !

02-20-2010, 05:29
Speaking of Paris, I took this in 1971.

02-20-2010, 06:16
Frederick Seidel (http://us.macmillan.com/author/frederickseidel), one of the greatest living American poets, writes about motorcycles constantly.

02-20-2010, 06:45
Roger: Great read! (You should write for a living :rolleyes: )

Ted: Can you post those stories?

02-20-2010, 07:19
Hi, Rick. Well, maybe I can figure out a way to do it (aside from laboriously re-typing them from the magazines - I don't have the originals). Do you have any suggestions as to how this might be done in a way that involves less work?

Roger Hicks
02-21-2010, 00:52
Roger: Great read! (You should write for a living :rolleyes: )

Thanks. I'm working on it. It's a lot easier than photography!

It's good to see this old thread revived. In 2009 I finally did finish one novel (Chain of Events) and am currently looking for an agent, and another, co-written with Aditi for the young adult market (Pass Mark/Faut Passer ton Bac, in parallel in English and French), is effectively finished.



02-24-2010, 09:34
Great fun, Roger! I'm glad the cammy Norton made a good show of it. And to encounter a Hesketh, even in fiction, was a delight. And for you, a standard Rapide would have been just fine... but hey, it's your story... :>)

My 850 Commando sits quietly waiting for me in a warm, dry barn... for someday.

02-24-2010, 23:21
Thanks Roger, for this very entertaining read!