Rock and Roll and Riding

Richard Foster has posted a fantastic ride report in the BMW Bikers of Metropolitan Washington forums.

Foster authored a short story that appeared in a 1973 issue of Road & Track. That story was Neil Peart’s inspiration for the song “Red Barchetta” from the 1981 Rush album Moving Pictures. Peart couldn’t locate Foster at the time and simply included a credit to Richard Foster’s story in the liner notes.

Foster didn’t learn of the connection until the mid-90s. In 2006 he read Peart’s book, Ghost Rider, about his travels on his BMW GS. I’ve meant to read this for years; by all accounts, it’s an incredibly moving story about Peart’s efforts to cope with the loss of both his daughter and his wife in the space of one year.

After exchanging some letters and emails, Foster and Peart finally met and took a ride through West Virginia — more than 33 years after Foster the grad student mailed off his short story to Road & Track. Foster’s write-up of the trip is just great; be sure to take a look.

I love the way motorcycling brings people together. It’s possible that Foster and Peart would have met anyway, but unlikely that Foster would have spent two days with the legendary drummer if it weren’t for their shared love of motorcycles.

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