Love the work you do: Blitz Motorcycles

Hugo and Fred build motorcycles. They build them from discarded older motorbikes, curating their builds using the frames, engines, petrol tanks and handlebars from machines of another time. They call their company Blitz — as in giving new life, new energy, new purpose, to old motorcycles.

Photo credit Laurent Nivalle

Possessed with an aesthetic vision of how these motorcycles could be reclaimed, then reborn as something new and exciting to ride, Hugo and Fred laboured a”er their love. For them, motorcycles, and motorcycle mechanics, are

a passion. The preservation of a time of motorcycle engineering became their quest. Kick-started from the place that makes the heart beat a faster — the sound motorcycles make, the way they feel riding through Parisian streets or through the dusty back roads of another country — wherever they are, Blitz motorcycles speak to the soul. If the existentialist poet Thom Gunn was alive today his poetry would thrum to an engine hanging in the heat of a Blitz motorcycle and the leather-jacketed riders directing their trajectory forwards.

Hugo and Fred taught themselves about motorcycle mechanics, learning through trial and error. It took a little time, as it always does to become a master of your craft”. They persevered, knowing that time is earthed. You can’t rush to greatness, you can’t guarantee it — you can only work towards it by practising your craft” every day, directed by your passion, by your purpose.

Sacrifice can involve money, and time doing other things, but that all adds up to realising a purpose which gives much greater rewards. The reordering of happiness, work and play. Hugo and Fred speak of working joyfully together, they speak of the joy of continuously learning. Surely this is the true mark of the pursuit of craftsmanship, the revelation of beauty and its rewards. And they speak of taking an autonomous position, a place where one can live and work without debt and the many life challenges debt can create.

Simply, these machines take time to build, as each one is unique; there are no timesheets, only love as the arbiter of good work and a day’s toil. Fred and Hugo say they have met more interesting people in the few years they have been working as Blitz than in the previous ten years: ‘They are more interesting, because they have a passion like us.’ They treasure every day.

Watch people who love what they do. Feel their passion. Listen to how they describe their work.

Investing in loving what you do always costs time, money, and sometimes the odd scar and bruise. It repays that love with personal satisfaction, and in turn it inspires, guides and nurtures the spirit in others.

If we invested in more things that give us a meaningful life, our world might feel a little different. And our work might even outlive us.

As a good friend said to me, ‘Invest in love, it pays well in the end.’

Extract from Do Design. Why beauty is key to everything. Published by The Do Book co. May 2016. Pre order UK & US. Copyright Alan Moore 2016.

The Do Book Company