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.
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.
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.
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.