When I was in kindergarten, dad borrowed a little Honda 90 from a friend and took me for a ride through the hills around our home in Elkins, West Virginia. From that day on, two-wheel doodles augmented my schoolwork, Evel Knievel toys abounded, and the Schwinn Stingray became an impromptu motocrosser. I caught my first whiff of the intoxicating aroma of trail mud evaporating on a hot engine aboard a friend’s Honda XR75 when I was nine. In a successful attempt to teach me fiscal responsibility, mom promised she would go half with me on the purchase of my own dirt bike. After a couple of years, and many mowed lawns, I took ownership of a brand new 1978 XR75. Thanks for the confidence, mom.
That little red gateway drug led to a Honda CR250M (the human lawn dart machine) at age 14. At 16, I got my motorcycle license and cut my street teeth aboard a Honda MT250 dual sport. The Mighty Turtle could barely keep up with traffic and was a dog in the dirt, but the little two-stroke delivered freedom in ways my VW Beetle never could.
I quickly discovered that motorcycle touring was an excellent antidote for acute wanderlust. A number of bikes, including a Yamaha 550 Seca, a BMWK75S, and my present steed of choice, a Suzuki 1200 Bandit have experienced extensive travel duty. Today, I count my blessings that my lovely wife Kathy, the world’s greatest copilot, shares my unquenchable passion for exploring the finest motorcycling region in the world, the winding Blue Ridge roads of our nearby Appalachian Mountains.
When not out riding for pleasure or “in the office,” I can be found brushing up on my Tae Kwon Do skills, playing bass guitar (poorly) with a degenerate combo of middle-aged miscreants known collectively as My Cousin Walt, or just enjoying a frosty beverage on the back porch. And with early lessons of off-road folly woefully disregarded, my riding buddy Gary and I regularly revel in loading up the dirt bikes for another round of Emergency Room Bingo.