Motorcycles Anonymous

Feb 25, 2012 View Comments by

My name is Chris, and I’m a motoholic. It might be a corny sounding word, but I looked it up and it is legit – sort of. -aholic (also –oholic) is an accepted suffix that “denotes a person addicted to something”. For me, the vice is bikes, and it has been ever since I abandoned my rocking horse. The past forty some-odd years are full of wonderful enablers and almost no (thank God) interventionists. The short list below is tribute to a few of the most memorable.

• Mom and dad – Parents – Enablers. Dad took me for my first ride on a borrowed Honda. I think I was in kindergarten. The seed was planted. Six years later, Mom reckoned I would never save up enough money to pay half on a brand new Honda XR75. I’m sure the neighbors were absolutely thrilled to see a minibike arriving home in the trunk of the Volvo. Thanks to mom, I’m still a cheapskate and spend nearly everything I save on motorcycles.

On  Any  Sunday  – Documentary  film – Enabler. No explanation needed.

• Bert – childhood friend in West Virginia – Enabler. This is the kid that taught me how to ride a bicycle by pushing me down a hill on his sister’s Schwinn. I quickly determined that baby teeth were highly overrated. Several years later, Bert’s older brother discovered girls. That left the other XR75 undefended for the summer. Bert’s motorcycle orientation matched his bicycle training. “Gas (point), clutch (point), brakes (point-point), shifter (point), now follow me”. A West Virginia “learning curve” means “you better be learning, here comes a curve”.

• Fast Freddie – high school pal in Maryland – Enabler. He lived on a boat, had grease under his fingernails, and always smelled like gasoline. The first time he let me ride his ’73 Triumph Tiger, it caught fire before I got out of the driveway. He patted out the flames, tweaked a couple of wires, and told me not to wreck. Thus began my fascination with old British bikes.

• Tammy – college girlfriend in Maryland – Interventionist. Our brief relationship culminated in her expressing disdain for motorcycles. I think her name was Tammy, or maybe it was Lisa.

• Yates – current riding buddy in North Carolina – Enabler. A man whose ideas are most often crazier than mine and he has the talent to implement them. His most oft used quote, “What’s stopping us, we have a Sawzall and a welder”. His current project is a ’72 Norton Commando. My fascination with old British bikes has been reignited.

Yes, I’m a motoholic and darn proud of it. And if you’re reading this you probably are too. Stand up my fellow addicts; be proud. Here’s your chance to pay homage to your enablers and throw eggs at your interventionists. Who got you started? Who tried to break you? What and when was your “first”?

Do share: we’d love to hear your stories.


Tags: , Categories: Motoholic

About the author

At 16, I got my motorcycle license and cut my street teeth aboard a Honda MT250 dual sport. I quickly discovered that motorcycle touring was an excellent antidote for acute wanderlust.