The power of bike compels you.

As riders, we all come to the bike world for different reasons, and from different places. Issues like family, work, everyday life, and mental health are often involved in one way or another. Sometimes, all the parts get so tangled up it’s hard to untie them. An Australian documentary called Growing Old Disgracefully is the filmmaker’s attempt to do just that with his own family. Both Dominic Bourke and his dad ride, and both hope to take a journey that can bridge the massive divide between them. Will it work?  

You may already have experienced the fact that bikes can be sweet and easy to work on, or they can be absolute maintenance nightmares. For those who either know or are willing to make the effort to learn, as well as have the patience to source parts, it’s possible to fix an awful lot of things that go wrong with bikes. Families, on the other hand, are often nowhere near as easy to mend.  

That’s probably why the bikes in this movie serve as a framework. Dom had a bad crash several years ago, and he’d been off of bikes ever since. Nevertheless, his dad was determined that he should get back on a bike and go for a long ride together to finally talk about the Big Things. So, the two rode down past Adelaide, and took a ferry over to Kangaroo Island to camp and talk out their issues.  

Dad, of course, had been working on bikes since time immemorial, and naturally fixed up the Yamaha XS750 he stuck his kid on for the ride. He also proudly informed his son that he applied the graphics to both the tank and helmet himself. In the spirit of kids everywhere, Dom seemed unsure how to take any of it after being somewhat estranged from his dad for so long. Still, he took it in stride, and also kept the camera rolling the entire time.  

To paraphrase the wise words of one Dominic Toretto, it’s all about family. I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s a lot of journeying in this documentary, and only some of it is done on bikes.  

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