When I first tasted the need…
At a very young age, I was exposed to motorcycles by my uncle and his club friends. They were loud and fast… the bikes too… my dad was the (cool one) when his budget allowed him so in 1975 he purchased a Honda 70 three speed automatic trail bike.
Of course I was in awe when he brought it to our summer house for us. Being the youngest of three boys, I had zero chance of ever getting any riding time let alone being able to sit on it for 10 seconds before being told to “get off of it you will break it” by my two older, stronger, smarter and bigger brothers, you get the idea… So playing the proper part of the (baby), I threw all of my cards on the table with no thought of the repercussions later on that day and went to my father and told him that they would not let me ride the trail bike. With disbelief in his eyes, my father came with me and told my two brothers to instruct me on how to operate it properly and let me ride it. Well, both of my very pissed off brothers, “with dad in the background” did just that and told me I was dead late.
So a very happy yet scared 11 year old got to crap in his pants for the first time and still smirked because he took the bull by the horns. I am sure that was only 3 laps in the front (yet big) yard seemed like eternity but was only for a few minutes. This was when I first tasted the need ... the need to ride...
Fast Forward… to 13 years old.
Leary yet practical…
My father,“being the ex-military strict one, taught me one important thing ... never question (his) authority, which meant respect (his) wishes. So, when I asked him “how come you never grow a mustache or a beard”, he told me that his mother told him to never grow on your FACE what grows on your ASS. So off course I started to try and grow a mustache. Hey, my mother said it was ok but, she liked my clean face better.
Back to motorcycles: Now, I always liked motorcycles but, my father said they were dangerous. Check this out; my dad, being the (cool one) when his budget allowed, must of liked them too because he went and bought three mopeds. The minimum age for riding them was 15 years old.
So of course one was for him and the other two were for (dumb and dumber) you know, my two older brothers. When they were forced to take me places, I got to ride bitch on a rear fender “wup dee doo dah”. I now realize that I had two years to read and learn all about these awesome mopeds knowing that one day soon, one of them would be mine ... right… WRONG…
My father sold all three mopeds two months before my 15th birthday and again my dreams of riding were squashed. Ugh… I did learn a lot about them though and this incident is what had started my quest for practical purchase method.
Fasting forwarder… to 31 years old ... 1995
The Shark is about to attack the swimmer
My dad had passed away for three years before. My mourning was over and it was time for me be bitten by the Great White.
I was at the office one day with Julio, my immediate supervisor, where he was reading motorcycle magazines and talking about getting his license. I started to read the mags when he was done with them and this re-lighted my passion for the double yellowed curvy bends… So, I wanted to know everything about all the parts of the different motorcycles to see what would fit me the best.
After months of reading we had both decided to take the written exams for the permits. Holy cow, we both passed and I got a 98. I then met with my uncle (you know, from the first paragraph) and he sold me a 1987 Kawasaki ZL1000 (very fast cruiser) that they had only made for one year. I called my best friend George who had a Honda Shadow 500 and he proceeded to teach me to ride. We went every day after work. George was a great teacher. Julio took the NJ Riders Ed Course with his Kawasaki Vulcan 500. When we were both ready, we called Freddie’s road test rentals to use his Suzuki 125cc to take our road test together for our license. We both had passed and now were ready to ride.
Fasting forwarder… to 32 years old ... 1996
Time to match the leather to the palm
Putting a ton of miles on my ZL1000 all year round (yes, even in the snow and ice) I had decided to research another bike to acquire. After doing the three R’s “reading, riding, and more reading” I decided to purchase a Harley. I narrowed it down to three different ones. Well, I called my Uncle (the same one) and he took me to a private dealer in North Jersey. While we were standing in the store looking at a lot of bikes, this short guy comes in with an orange side car. WOW, what a color; I could not wait to see the bike.
He brings in the bike, the tour pack and all the accessories too. It just happened to be one of my three choices. He was bringing it in on consignment and I just happened to have the deposit money in my pocket. Talk about being at the right time in the right place. It was love at first sight. This baby fit me to a “T”. It said Tiny all over it. (Tiny was my biker name back then.)
The owner was the first one so he gave me all of the original paperwork and told me that it has never been ridden in the rain and had low mileage. Well that was going to change real soon. It is a Metallic Orange 1985FXRSC Low Glide. It is a numbered bike that is now 25 years old. I kept the ZL too and rode both bikes all year round for quite a few years. I reluctantly sold the ZL in 2001 to a person that I knew would appreciate it.
Super fast forward… to 42 yrs old ... 2006
Bypassed but, did not miss the highway
I was doing major changes in my life and to my Harley as well. All bikes should have a nickname in conjunction to its owner. My Harley is named the Pork Chop Express. I named it after Jack Burton’s Rig in Big Trouble in Little China. I changed the bike a lot to my likes and wants and then changed myself as well. On November 5th of 2001, I had an Open Gastric Bypass. That was nine years ago and that was when I realized that Holy S@#*, my Harley is fast…
Ok back to the summer of 2006. I wan a lean, mean riding machine and my Harley was too. I was on the lookout for an evil twin. That is when I met her ... on august 20th 2006... Ms. Janet Dale Rich. To make a long story short, we celebrated one year of marriage on 10/10/10. She is my bike and I am her highway... I am here for the long haul…
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