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Meeting with a Duke

2 years ago

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Joana Fidalgo | Engineer


2 December 2021

I won’t be the first to observe that the world often works in mysterious ways. I don’t know exactly how I found myself in this very fortunate position – realising a dream on two wheels – but I’m so glad I get to share some of these moments with the readers of The Intercooler.

Today’s story is one of those, one I’ve secretly imagined for many years. Some of you may remember the iconic 2011 Chanel advert starring Keira Knightley. If not it’s still on YouTube and well worth a view. In it, Keira struts confidently towards a motorbike, keys jangling in her hand. The motorbike: a Seventies Ducati 750SS with fairings painted in beige to match her catsuit and Ruby helmet.

She rides through the streets of Paris, eyes set on the road. At one point she stops at the traffic light surrounded by men in dark suits and newer bikes as Joss Stone sings a cover of It’s a Man’s Man’s World. The lights go green and Keira’s gone, leaving them in her fumes. I remember watching in awe. In a world where women are so often depicted as damsels in distress, Keira was a heroine riding the most beautiful motorbike I had ever seen – and God did I want to be her.

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