I must first say that I have been planning this post for quite some time, but fellow motorcycle blogger, FLHX Dave from http://roadgritscafe.blogspot.com/ beat me to it. I’m sure he is not the first to post this story in his own version, and I certainly hope he and I will not be the last. It makes such good reading.
The link to his post is something you should make sure to read as well. It is heartfelt, and funny. http://roadgritscafe.blogspot.com/2008/04/no-one-forgets-their-first-time.html
I’m not sure, but I know before the day I was certain, there were a lot of influences. Some were subliminal, some were not.
My very first brand new bicycle had baby ape hangers. This was just the style back in the early 70’s. In the photo, you can see, I’m the littlest one up front. My sister hiding directly behind me had ape hangers on her new bike as well, and my big brother, well, he wanted a five speed, so he got the beach cruisers. Notice my big brother's Vikings belt buckle! Too funny.
My second bicycle was a Huffy Thunder Road. This was like a motorcycle as far as I was concerned. Couldn’t imagine how many times I put playing cards in the spokes to get the potato potato potato V-twin motorcycle sound out of it. I used to pretend it was a motocross motorcycle too. (No that is not me on the Huffy.)
I remember getting a ride on my older cousin Gary’s Harley like it was yesterday. I’m not sure if he went super fast, or if it was my imagination taking hold because it was my first real motorcycle ride ever. It sure felt fast. I was in love with it and the adrenaline rush it gave me.
I remember getting a ride on the back of one of my older brother’s friend’s crotch rockets. This is when they seemed to be pretty new on the market for street legal bikes, and I know he went way too fast for having his friend's kid brother on the back with no helmet. I also know I egged him on to "go Faster - Faster!". He said we were doing about 100 MPH. THAT was cool. I was again in love with motorcycles and the adrenaline rush.
I never had a motorcycle as a kid. My folks wouldn’t have it. Too dangerous, and too much money. I had a few friends with three wheelers, mini bikes, dirt bikes, and such. I got to ride their stuff plenty. This scratched my itch, until I was a little older.
When I was 15 years old, my folks let me buy a moped with money I’d saved from lawn mowing jobs around the neighborhood. I believe, but can’t say for certain that this was when the true obsession started.
I got my driver’s license at 16 years old, and drove a car. Moped too slow, too dorky, not 18, & my folks wouldn’t let me have a motorcycle. (YET).
My mom and dad said you can’t have a motorcycle unless you are 18. I believe there was implication that I did not live with them as well, but shortly after I turned 18, ( I was 19). I bought a brand new shiny Honda Rebel 250. Burnsville Motor Sports was going out of business. The owner’s wife was selling it. It was hers. She had about 200 miles on it. Mostly from learning how to ride. She was afraid of riding so she wanted to give it up. They said I could take it home for $850.00. I paid cash that day. I had never ridden a real motorcycle on the road or anything yet, and did not really know how to ride, let alone shift. I had my buddy Johnny drive it home for me. I followed in my car. When we pulled up the driveway to my house together, my mother had just come home from work. Se said ”Hey Johnny , nice motorcycle, did you just get it? It looks brand new!” Johnny said, ”nope, it’s Mark’s. He can’t ride it yet, until I show him how.” I think my mother almost fainted when she realized he wasn’t kidding. This was similar to the reaction she had with my first tattoo. She wanted me to wash it off. (The tattoo was exactly three days after my 18th birthday.)
Anyway, back to the motorcycles. More bikes later, more stories to tell, here I am today.
I am a true obsessed motorcycle enthusiast nut. I LOVE EM!
You other motorcycle bloggers out there should share your story. Do your own post on this topic, or please feel free to write it in my comments section.
I’d love to hear your story.