What reminds you of the adventures in your childhood? What inspired your love for Harley motorbikes? Did you still remember the time when your dad or uncle or neighbor rode a motorcycle? Many little boys dreamed of being a motorcyclist, especially after reading the book called The Mouse and the Motorcycle written by Beverly Cleary ,an American writer of children's and young adult fiction.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle & American Motorcycling Culture
From the 1960s to the 1990s, small two-stroke motorcycles took the world by storm, because East German MZ's Walter Kaaden's engine worked in the 1950s. In America, motorcycles played an unignorable impact on American culture. Motorcycles were first developed in the late 1800s, and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, one of the most popular motorcycle brands in the world, began producing motorcycles in 1903. Harley-Davidson motorcycles with V Twin engine became a patriotic act. By the late '80s and early '90s, American middle-class men started buying Harleys because motorcycles became an increasingly popular and reliable means of transportation during the World Wars because of their efficiency and ability to navigate rough terrain and narrow roads. In many cases, motorcycles have become symbols of freedom, fun, and power nowadays. Motorcycles have a decidedly sexy allure, mostly from the ride itself. Riders straddle large, often loud, vibrating machines between their legs, under the explosion to the elements of sunny or inclement weather, feeling the rush of high winds, the thrill of going fast, and the sense of danger that comes with riding oneself and roads.
So The Mouse and the Motorcycle was regarded as a daring idea as it was 5 years earlier On Any Sunday made motorcycling sport a pop culture hit at that time. It is a book that tells a story of a little mouse Ralphie saving a little boy's life by riding a motorcyle under great risk. Many adventures await the boy and the mouse, both of whom feel frustrated by being treated like children. It balances the joyful innocence of childhood with the excitement of making your own choices in a world that is both dangerous and rewarding.
Ralph lives in a small hole in one of the rooms of a hotel with his mother and two younger siblings. He is a young 'boy' mouse whose mother always forbids him to go outside, describing the outside world as scary and dangerous, but Ralph, who is naturally adventurous and wants to try to get out of trouble, is endlessly curious about the outside world. it wasn't until one day, when little Keith and his parents walked out of the inn, that Ralph got his first chance to venture beyond the first floor, even outside.
A curious Ralph realized it was the sound of a red toy motorbike in Keith's hand! The motorbike looked interesting and was just the right size for him, so Ralph vowed to ride it. So one day, when Keith left the bike unattended in his room, curiosity got the better of his guard and Ralph gave Keith's toy motorbike ago.
Little did the willful mouse know that he was in danger and all he wanted was to ride the red motorbike.
Freedom, joy, and speed are like nothing young Ralph has ever experienced before. Whether it was dodging noisy beagles or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph left it all behind and enjoyed the moment and the sound of the engine.
Unfamiliarity with the motorbike caused it to fall into the wastepaper basket and Keane happened to come through the door to find the scene. Fortunately, the boy understood what was going on. He didn't blame Ralph. When Keith rescued Ralph from the wastepaper basket, Keith and Ralph became good friends. He even taught him the simple trick of starting a motorbike.
Rats are often frowned upon, but Keith proved to be friendlier than the other boys. Ralph survived his initial adventure on a motorbike. He helped Ralph get out of the wastepaper basket he fell into on his motorbike and taught the frightened rat how to start the bike's motor.
Keith cherished his motorbike but let Ralph ride it in the hotel corridor at night as long as he parked it under Keith's bed during the day.
Keith also brought 'room service' to Ralph's family, picking up a selection of snacks from the hotel's breakfast room and delivering them upstairs. They grew closer, teaching each other to see life from a different perspective. This is a story of kindness, responsibility, trustworthiness, and forgiveness.
the motorbike in the novel i think it's a Triumph Speed Twin 500. it's regarded as the first truly successful British parallel twin, setting the standard for many twins to follow. 500cc OHV Triumph Speed Twin was a good bike because of its good ride quality.
Movie The Mouse and the Motorcycle
If you're interested in this cute, funny, creative book, i recommend you watch the 1980s movie "The Motorcycle Diaries," in YouTube- a pleasure from start to finish. The scenes of Ralph zipping through the rooms and halls of the rundown hotel on his motorcycle are worth seeing for those alone. actor Gael Garcia Bernard is said to have spent months preparing to play Ralph. In recent years, the book was excluded from The New York Times' 10,000 Greatest Books of the 20th Century, spawning a support group called "In the Heart of the Mouse.