Say what you will about William Shatner, the guy’s setting an incredible example of how not to go gentle into that good night.
Last week, he announced his plans to ride a custom-built three-wheel motorcycle across the United States at an age — 84 — when many people aren’t astride anything more adventurous than a rocking chair. His path will more-or-less follow the 2,400 miles of old Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, with planned stops in St. Louis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Vegas. There will be a film crew along for the trip (naturally), and an eventual TV show chronicling the adventure, and the whole thing is being done to raise awareness for the work done by the American Legion nationwide on behalf of veterans.
As for Shatner’s new trike… man, it’s something else, a wicked-looking, V8-powered, one-of-a-kind (for now!) machine called The Rivet. The press materials claim the design was inspired by the B-17 bomber, but it looks more like something from the Mad Max movies to me:
The Rivet was built by a Chicago-area custom shop called American Wrench; they’ve set up a dedicated website for the trike here, if you’d like to know more about it… or look into getting one for yourself! (I’d kinda like to have one, but I have a hunch I couldn’t afford it. The “Reserve Your Own” page is suspiciously lacking any price indicators!)
Shatner’s cross-country trek (sorry!) is scheduled to begin June 23 at the American Wrench shop, and wrap up in LA on the 30th. I haven’t seen anything about when the television series might air, or on what network, but I imagine it’ll probably be on cable by the end of summer or early fall.
I hope I’m still dreaming of doing things like this when I’m 84, if not actually doing them… and yes, I’m perfectly aware that Shatner probably won’t really be in the saddle of The Rivet all that way at his age, that there will be some Hollywood illusion-making for the sake of the TV show. But I do believe he’ll be making the journey, one way or the other, and doing something pretty damn interesting and valuable as well (the American Legion angle), and that’s the thing that counts. He just doesn’t seem interested in slowing down, no matter what the calendar says. Captain Kirk was an inspiration to me when I was young; Bill Shatner is inspiring me as I face getting older…