Friday, November 30, 2007

First Post

I've decided to do a blog about motorcycling in addition to Mike on IT Stuff. I started riding bicycles when I was four, like so many others and thought that having a bike and the freedom to range around town was the best thing ever. When I was five my Granddad came home with a new Honda CL350. The image of chrome pipes gleaming in the bright Utah sun has stayed with me for over forty years. He took me for a ride and I can still feel the way the wind tickled my crew-cut as I put my hands on the tank. He went through a few ever larger Honda's and I got to ride with him on all of them till we moved away when my Dad returned from Tailand.

I didn't get on another bike till around the seventh grade when a friend of mine somehow got his hands on an old pot-metal honda of some sort. Moto-cross was huge for us in those days, we would draw CZ and Butaco emblems on our notebooks and dream of being Roger DeCosta. That whole deal - the bike, not the fantasy - was short lived because the little bike literally fell apart when faced with the abuse of three twelve year olds. I was living in Hawaii at the time and skateboarding was just blowing up so we turned our attention to skating, surfing, and trying to get girls to talk to us.

After I joined the service at eighteen I bought a beater Honda 350 twin with bowling ball hard tires and a leaky tank. I rode that thing all over Fort Worth, revved out and screaming through the rusted out pipes. Finally it gave up the ghost right in front of the Kawasaki dealer and I bought a brand new 1980 LTD 440 - pull back bars, fat rear tire, low slung seat. After changing the bars to some from a KZ 550 and complaining about the pegs being too far forward the dealer dude helpfully steered me to a new for 1981 GPz 550 in the only color available - arrest me red.

I loved the GPz. I rode it all over Texas and eventually from Texas to South Carolina to ship it to Germany where I rode in the snow, dragged my pegs, the Kerker pipe, and eliminated the heartbreak of chicken-strips. I'll chock up to the foolishness of youth that I didn't do more motorcycle travel the three years I was in Europe.

I'll post more later.

Thanks for reading - Mike