I’m often asked: “Why do you ride that motorcycle so much?”
Lot’s of reasons.
- Economy. A $15 tank of gas on the Harley takes me as far on the road as a $75 fill-up in the Wrangler.
- Fun. Riding a motorcycle ranks uber-high on the fun meter.
- Sanity. There’s an old saying that nobody ever saw a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office. Is it hyperbole? I don’t think so.
- Adventure. Cars take you on trips. Motorcycles take you on rides.
- Tradition. My parents met on motorcycles. Without that common interest in their lives in 1945, I might not be here.
I’ve always been part gear-head. From my first car — a souped-up 1957 Ford — through a string of sports cars that included MGs, Triumphs and Porsches, I’ve had long love affairs with road-going machines.
Raced sports cars for a while, dabbled in stock car racing (ARCA) but wasn’t good enough for the big leagues. Served as chief steward for the Potomac Region, Porsche Club of America for several years and as starter/flagger for the group’s Club Racing Series.
But riding a motorcycle is special. It’s in the blood, In 1946, my mother packed up her Harley Knucklehead and headed South from Meadow of Dan to Tampa, Florida, to meet her future in-laws. My grandparents didn’t know their daughter was riding motorcycles until she and their future son-in-law rode up one day on their bikes to announce their engagement.
My dad rode on to Tampa while mom stayed behind to smooth things over. She rode down alone a few days later, much to the surprise of her future husband who thought she was taking the train.
Besides clothes, she packed two extra sets of spark plugs, two sets of points, extra chain links, oil, a file for the points and a carburetor rebuild kit. She rebuilt the carb on the table of a diner in Georgia after breakfast, leaving behind a smell of gas that other diners did not appreciate.
I have her maps and notes from that ride. I hope to recreate it sometime this year.