What started it all

Everyone has a story about the moment they caught moto-fever, here’s mine:

I wish I had an original childhood Cinderella story, but that would be a lie. It is true that at about four years old my dad took me around the block on his Honda (probably shadow of some variety, I don’t remember); the last ride he took on that bike before he sold it. My mom made him sell it because “he had kids”, rumor is I cried, I remember the ride at dusk, nothing else. That was not the moment I was hooked.

A few years later, a buddy of mine had a “sweet” moped; it was the early 90’s, I was probably ten. We followed him down to a local field on our bicycles where we all took turns riding. Other than being scared to death I would get my ass busted if I was caught riding a moped, nothing eventful happened that day (I did realize that I liked speed). That was also not the moment I was hooked.

Wired.com Photo

Life went on with no motorcycles involved for a long time: high school, Army basic training, a trip to the “sand box”, a wedding, …another trip to the “sand box”; no motorcycle. After my second tour to Iraq I spent a considerable amount of time locked up in the house as a hermit; during that time Hollywood released a sequel to one of my childhood favorites, Tron: Legacy.

Retunofthecaferacers.com Photo

Tron (the original) actually came out before I was even born. I remember watching it on Fox as the “Sunday matinee” when I was a kid; loved it. As a big science fiction fan, I had to see the new movie; as a cult follower, it didn’t disappoint. Digital motorcycles forming in thin air from a remote sized “stick” that fits in your pocket, and not one but two classic Ducatis; what’s not to like? That was the moment I was hooked. Seems silly right? I had ridden a motorcycle as a kid, took a spin on a moped with the throttle wide open; not bitten, one Disney movie… hooked for life.

The fever was actually pretty subtle… at first.

2009 Tomos Nitro 150

2009 Tomos Nitro 150

My wife’s boss was actually selling his scooter (yes, I said scooter); told me he’d cut me a sweet deal, told me it got 80 mpg, and offered me a test ride. Dude… I don’t want a scooter (so I thought). It had seven miles on the odometer, had electric and kick start; we fired it up and I took a short spin. The “power”, the freedom… oh I was hooked (150cc power… that’s hilarious).

He did cut me a sweet deal; so I swallowed my pride, put on thick skin (it was a scooter after all), and applied for my motorcycle endorsement. The first year I scooted around town with four dollars in change under the seat; I may have felt like I lost my man card, but at least I was out maneuvering the insane gas prices we were paying back then (it was almost $4 a gallon, I had a 1.15 gallon tank: ninja win).

From there, the thought of “how can I ride more” reached fever pitch; and I simply can’t stop it now.

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4 Responses to What started it all

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