I'm not saying that guys like David Allan Coe and others over the years haven't penned wonderful songs that relate to, or centre on, bikes, the love thereof and the attendent lifestyle options, it's piss in the wind to me . . . . this little ditty from the fingertips of Arlo Guthrie, son of the great folky/protest writer/singer/activist, Woody Guthrie, remains the definitive articulation of all that was specifically early/mid sixties counter cultural idealism . . . . .
From back when the entire collective of music, 'fashion', the nacent beginnings or the 'Hippy' scene, bikes, cars, art, films and literature that was a reaction and a rebellion by the "young generation" of the day and age to the rigid discipline and outdated social mores of the previous one, brought all those like minded folk together . . . . even prior to Canned Heat going on up the country, the fans of Herman Hesse being born to be wild, bikers and biking were front and centre of the whole alternate rank and file, having been gifted that standing ever since Hollister and 'The Wild One', particularly in the land of good ol' Uncle Sam and even more specifically, the west coast. This was the prevailing social climate for the gestation and birth of Arlo's timeless sickle song . . . .
For those who wish to wade into the 'he wasn't as good as his old man' bullshit, I say simply, pretty fuckin big shoes to fill, not even Dylan and Cohen et al have managed that, nor Pete Seeger for that matter . . . . if only for the two cherries of "The Motorcy . . . cle Song" and the fabulous tale of the near mythical "Alice's Restaurant", young Alrlo has earned his seat in the pantheon of dudes who felt the invisible hands of the universe on their shoulder.