It’s somewhat common vernacular to say that some well-informed so-and-so “wrote the book” on a given subject. But in the case of Melissa Holbrook Pierson and her portrayal of motorcycle enthusiasm, you can actually make that case.
Pierson’s breakthrough “The Perfect Vehicle: What Is About Motorcycles” book was a breakthrough on many levels. Since then, she has added other intensively focused works to her lexicon, and now has a new anthology entitled “Motorcycle Are Magic” showcasing her writing talent as well as her focused and also broad view of an activity she has enjoyed now for more than 35 years.
She recently joined Rider Magazine Editor Greg Drevenstedt on the Rider Insider podcast to recount her love of motorcycling and her incredible books. You can listen to the full 36-minute podcast by clicking here.
An Ohio native now living in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, Pierson started riding motorcycles in 1984. She contributed to some motorcycle publications, including Rider, over the years, but her “The Perfect Vehicle” – which is somewhat focused on the Moto Guzzi community in particular but speaks to the broader love of riding and riding lifestyle overall – in 1997 is what brought her the most notoriety.
“I can credit motorcycles themselves for giving me a career as well as all of the most meaningful relationships in my life and on-and-on,” Pierson said in the Rider Insider podcast. “I know that’s a really common experience that we all have, that motorcycles are literally the beating hearts of our lives – of our psychic and spiritual and physical and relational lives.”
Followup books included “The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing,” about marathon high-mile riding, and her new “Motorcycles Are Magic” which pulls together many voices of other motorcycle writers from around the world. As much as anything, you can tell in the interview that she “gets it” when it comes to this strange affliction we all share.
“I think we choose the bikes we ride for a number of different reasons that we can’t necessarily articulate,” Pierson said, and later added, “I think we use motorcycles as a subtle code to tell the world who we are, who we think we are and who we want to be.”