Why do I love motorcycles (and ATVs) so much? Recently I’ve thought a bit about this. In the early eighties I became aware of and very lustful for Honda’s ATC three wheeler. In particular at my young age I thought I could probably handle the ATC 90 or 125. In small town Utah these ATC’s looked like the perfect all season fun machine. I will never forget perusing the brochure I got at the local feed and power sports shop. I remember how cool the jumbo tires looked in black with the bright red Honda fenders and gas tank. My dream remained a dream as a child, but later in life I would fulfill my dream and buy this nasty old ’84 Big Red (with plow :):
I’m sure those days dreaming of an ATC while still a small child were the origin of my love of Honda motorcycles and ATVs, but why do I also love motorcycles so much?
I think I know why.
A while ago I was talking to a colleague about an unrelated current event in the break room of our office when I realized the first person to ever take me on a motorcycle ride was my aunt Jocelyn! How had I not thought of this sooner?
It was years ago, over 30 years ago in fact, that she plopped a ten or-so-year-old kid on the back of her motorcycle (Suzuki if memory serves) in California and took me with her to work at a rubber stamp making factory. Back then aunts and uncles did not call parents to see if it was okay to put their kid on the back of a motorcycle (ah the good old days).
The bike ride and the stamp factories were some unique and welcome experiences for this small town boy. And this would end up being the beginning of an obsession for me.
I did not have a lot of experience with this aunt who lived states away and who would be murdered in her early 40s, but I’ll never forget the world she opened up to me by giving me that ride on the back of her motorcycle. If I could see her for a moment now I would thank her for the time she spent with me and especially for that most important motorcycle ride. I guess we never really know what our simple actions and kindnesses do to those around us. That ride given has changed my life forever.