Ride Life

Stories From The Open Road

All The Things I Shouldn’t Do

Standing at my workbench beneath the glow of my shop lights I washed the lingering taste of stale taco out of my mouth with another pull of moonshine from the mason jar, a solitary thought ricocheting around my head like the last, lonely ball on a pool table. As I fumbled for the drill that sole thought was that what I was about to do was wrong, way wrong, so wrong that it could either be the best thing I had ever done, or the worst.

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My Ace In The Hole

I pondered the unfriendly hand of cards life had dealt and the solitary thought poking through the fog of agony surprised me. It wasn’t about can I keep my job, will the surgery hurt, will insurance cover my illness, or will my dog still love me, it was this: Will I still be able to ride my motorcycle?

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The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Celebrates 10 Years

The worldwide Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is marking its 10th birthday in grand fashion this year, in spite of a continued international pandemic. As countries around the globe try to return to some semblance of normal while still fighting COVID, the DGR plans to renew their global campaign to bring “dapper riders” together to enjoy a day ride together and raise funds and awareness for men’s cancer and mental health causes, via the Movember Foundation.

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The Little Guys

While the large dealerships have so much to offer, not only in bikes, but in apparel, accessories, parts, and great service, I admire and applaud the small shops, the family and individually owned establishments, for their passion, dedication, and personalized attention to detail. The big enterprises get all the attention, but these “Little Men” as Alan Jackson once immortalized in song, are in many respects the backbone of American motorcycling, and certainly of our national economy. My father, before giving up riding in 2019, always carried his ’03 Harley Heritage to a small one-man shop in Sparta, Georgia, owned by Mike, a retired certified H-D mechanic, when he needed service or parts. They’ve become friends, and Pops completely trusted his bike to Mike. “I’ll never take my Harley to anyone but Mike,” Pops once declared.

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Strider & All Kids Bike

As a kid growing up in south Florida and later north Georgia, my bicycle was my life. I’m unsure what my first starter one was, and my parents can’t remember either, but I perfectly recall the bike that defined my childhood. It was a metallic blue Schwinn Stingray with a pearl white banana seat, a high back “sissy bar”, and a serious ape hanger handlebar, at least for a 2nd-3rd grader. I’d clip playing cards (always the Jokers) to the forks and frame, fore and aft, so it would clatter against the wheel spokes and mimic the sound of my dad’s Triumph TR6. No hand brake, but slowed/stopped by reversing the pedal action. I rode that bike all around our small community, through the woods behind our home, and took quite a few spills on it, always getting back up and rolling on. I remember teaching our own girls how to ride, each when they turned about 5. And like their father, they rode those little bikes all over the neighborhoods we raised them in.

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