A little motorcycle history.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not everyone knows the history of my riding so I thought I would post a little about it. First, I come from a riding family....both my paternal grandfather AND grandmother rode their own Harley-Davidson in the late 1920's, early 1930's (cheaper than a car back then). The story goes that my grandfather arrived home with two bikes, one with a sidecar and one without. My grandmother asked which one was hers...he pointed to the one with the sidecar (for my dad and uncle to ride in). She shook her head and pointed to the one without. Guess which one she rode.....LOL!

My dad rode an Indian after the war and in later years Honda and eventually got his Harley, a Sportster. Both his brothers rode Harleys after the war. Currently both my brothers and both their wives, one female cousin, her husband and their son, one male cousin and his son, a step-nephew and his son, one step-son-in-law (bought hubby's bike) and my son & his wife (she's learning) all ride....and they are all Harleys except for my son and his wife.

I learned to ride when I was almost 55. My husband had been diagnosed with cancer (spring of 2001) and I told him it was a bike or a boat....we were going to start enjoying life. He chose the bike. On our way home from his checkups after his surgery, we stopped by the closest Harley-Davidson dealer. They had a gorgeous, used Electra-Glide.....we bought it.

We had several good local rides including our first ever EVENT. Every year Zippo, headquartered in Bradford down the hill from us, sponsors a dice run to benefit Kids with Cancer. We participated and had a great time....our first group ride, our first dice run, our first long ride.

Eventually Mike headed to the Cleveland Clinic for his radiation treatments. He spent the entire six weeks convincing me that I needed to learn to ride my own motorcycle. The more I considered it, the more it made sense. Once again, a trip home for the weekend and we stopped in at our Harley dealer. There sat my dream bike, a 2002 White Pearl Sportster Hugger (remember, I'm one of those in-seam impaired folks ).

Before we left we had not only contracted for the Sportster, but traded Mike's Electra-Glide for a 2002 Heritage Classic Softail.

Things continued to move and change in our lives, we moved to Florida (job transfer for Mike), took the MSF course together and I started riding. I rode the Sportster for 3 months, about 750 miles and HATED it. LOL! Top heavy and quite torquey on the throttle. When we were in Atlanta for the 100th Anniversary Open Road Show, I sat on a 2003 Low Rider and was SOLD! We came home, talked to our salesman, and soon traded in the Sporty and picked my new 2003 Anniversary model Low Rider.

That is the bike that I rode during the Pony Express Relay for Breast Cancer. I ended up with 24k miles on it at 20 months. As I said in an earlier blog, it was sold when I ordered the 2005 Softail Deluxe which I have had just short of three years now.

So, 5 years of riding, 57k miles and now 4 bikes (3 Harleys and one BMW). Wonder what will be next?

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. Love your family History! That is just great! Glad that things are moving along, one day at the time... wise decisions today will make the outcoming path more pleasant. It will be quite a change riding Squirt... I have never ridden a Harley (someday maybe when I grow up...), start thinking off road accessibility, that is where the most serene and beautiful moments are waiting for you...
    Hope to meet you down the road sometime and share a meal with you... some stories and some lies!
    Be well... wishing you the outmost best.

    Ara & Spirit

  2. The family bike history is interesting and the photos really enhance the story. I have kept my little Honda moped as there is really no good reason not to. It is only for one person & Pat is not a 2-wheel person so it will just be for me to ride but it is still handy for short runs to the grocery store, etc.

    What did you think of the 33' HR? That size is what my last rig was and Ann & I really enjoyed it. The one Pat & I bought is two feet shorter but since it has a slide it probably has more interior room while parked in a site.

  3. I have enjoyed reading your family history and it makes me remember when I used to ride years ago! Ah..then wind in my face and the freedom feeling it gives! I wish you the best on your trip and I will miss my friend only to smile when I see an RV or bike pass by me in my travels! Love and Light, Kay


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