Memorabilia — More Than Just Trinkets and Trash

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially if you chronicle your keepsakes for posterity.

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by Dain Gingerelli
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially if you chronicle your keepsakes for posterity.

Whether you’ve been riding for 50 years or five months, whether you’re a seasoned racer or a dedicated rail bird, or that you happen to be a lone biker who simply enjoys pointing a bike’s headlight into the wind, chances are you’ve collected some motorcycle memorabilia that’s meaningful to you. Those trinkets, trophies and souvenirs typically represent what we’ve ridden or raced, others document landmark occasions in our biking lives, and still others simply chronicle lesser adventures that might have taken you beyond the horizon and back. No matter, they’re all part of the archeological dig that helps define and describe our individual pasts as motorcycle enthusiasts; the older we get the more layered our individual memorabilia strata layers become.

I’ve been riding for 55 years now, including 50 spent as a motojournalist, and throughout I’ve gathered more than a few meaningful wall-hangers and such. The collection includes items autographed by notable World and National Champions, group shots that include me posed alongside more meaningful industry players than myself, and an abundance of motorcycle carnage, much a result from overly exuberant riding on my part.

We collect our memorabilia in many ways, too. Race trophies and personal glory photographs are the obvious icons, and event paraphernalia such as souvenir shop rags bearing company names and event dates, key fobs identified by brand logos, and of course the ubiquitous trophy queen posters (hopefully autographed by said model), are the obvious memorabilia stalwarts in our collections. T-shirts and hats rate high on the list, too, along with race programs and posters.

Other more personal items like bent or broken motorcycle parts (I have more than a few of those survivors … ), discarded number plates (I saved two from my championship race bikes) and well-worn helmets (I kept three of my favorites) fill the clutter, too.

And this raises the question: What to do with all this gear we’ve accumulated from our bygone days? My suggestion is to pass it on to friends and family, — even fans, if you have them — to enjoy when it’s time to move on with your life.

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