What a pleasant surprise and what an honor to be chosen for MOTM. Thank you so much!
I can recall wanting to ride a motorcycle as a young boy. They were fascinating to me and thought one day I will want to own one. I still remember the first day I rode a yellow Yamaha 60cc for the first time. It was at my uncle's farm house. I had talked about riding that motorcycle for a long time, but for whatever reason he made me wait for long time before giving me permission to ride. Then that fateful day came. Funny now, thinking about how I was talking up a big game, but when I was actually atop that bike, and it was idling, all of a sudden I wasn't as good as I thought I was. Hands started trembling, got really nervous, heart racing... he says, "Let?s go!" So I pull the clutch, drop it into first, and stall it. Well of course! Now on top of all the flying emotions, I was embarrassed too. But he insisted I try again. This time I'm off and running, in first gear; since I wasn't allowed to go to second gear, yet. So driving around the huge yard I was learning how the bike handled and enjoying how elated I was to be finally riding a motorcycle. Around the yard a few times and he tells me to bring it in. All done with the first ride.
A few days later, we get the bike out and he says "Follow me..." He's on a road bike, probably a 750cc or the like, and he goes around the yard and behind the house and barn. I'm doing pretty good staying with him, though I'm still only in first gear. He leads me up a slight incline at an angle. Oops! There I go. Laid the bike down. Ha! No harm no foul. He laughs and I quickly get the bike upright and off we go again.
Ah, what fond memories. You too, probably have something similar.
Years pass and now driving cars on my own, I spot a motorcycle for sale down the block from me. I inquired and fell in love with the bike. Fantastic looking Suzuki GS550L. I get the money and she is mine! Whoa, what a heavy bike that was. But no matter, I learned to ride it and loved every minute of it. Now one bike wasn't enough; had to have another. And, really only because friends of mine had one, I got a Harley Davidson Sportster 883cc Shovelhead. It was fun to ride with my friends who rode HD's (which were much bigger than mine). Cruising together through town or country was such an intimate time. The wind, smells, rumble of the motors; it was so memorable. But as good as that was, I was in the need for speed and the Sportster just didn't satisfy like the Suzuki. Sold the HD and rode the GS550L, off and on, until I got married.
Fast forward a whole lot of years and I'm itching so badly for a motorcycle, I settle on a little Honda CM450. Nothing special, but it ran and I starting having fun riding again. BeST part was I found this forum with a quest for learning more about the ST1100 shortly thereafter. There within, I found that there were riding games. What a hoot! I was hooked. As much as I could (though it wasn't much) I would like to participate in those games.
In the forum, I enjoyed welcoming all the new members. I also enjoyed posting about the times I was able to assist fellow riders and about my own encounters with gremlins. Then came along the time when I could get an ST1100. I watched the classifieds here and wouldn't you know it, a bike came up that looked good to me. What a thrill to do a bus & ride. Met Bigmak96 at the depot and he took me to see his ?01 ST1100. What a great guy, as most of you know! He showed me the bike, talked about a few things, then off for a test drive. As I follow, I remember that awkward moment of not knowing how to cancel the turn signal. HA ha! Geeze, I can only imagine what he might be thinking. ;o) Afterwards, we made the deal and he showed me where my hotel was located. I remember thinking, ?How exciting; I actually own an ST1100.? Sleeping wasn?t really possible. I managed to get a couple of hours, but I was wanting to beat the storms in the forecast for the following day, so I got an early start for home.
Being the maiden voyage home on the biggest bike I?ve yet to ride, I was excited and nervous. The wind was something fierce that day, however I?ve been in much worse; just not on a bike. It was tiring to say the least. Chicago was okay considering how bad that can be. The traffic didn?t bother me much at all, but the stop and go part was the worse. At one time I was just about to pull off to the side to let my clutch hand recover when the traffic jam finally broke loose. Then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way home. The bike performed flawlessly and was a joy to ride.
Through the years, enjoyed wrenching on the bike and posting write-ups for some of those repairs. Always appreciated the awesomeness of this forum. The knowledge and helpfulness is second to none. I hope that I was able to assist in that regard and to give back to the community in some small way.
And now, alas, my riding days have ended. As many may recall, late October of 2016 I had an encounter with a good size buck. How fortunate I was being spared from a lot of injuries! I?m currently doing physical therapy with my left wrist and my left hip is almost back to normal. Prior to the accident I was looking at GL1800?s, early models; but since having a couple of discussions with my wife, I have decided not to pursue riding in the future. Not to say something doesn?t change with that line of thinking years down the road, but for now no new motorcycle in the stable.
Thanks so much to all the wonderful people here who give of their time and talent to help others and who enjoy the same passion of riding in the wind. I pray for safety of all motorcyclist every day.