Cruiser Chronicles - Featured Biker: "Madness"
Greetings, I’m 58 (in Human years), got my first street bike as a teenager in High School, (a Honda CB350) I really loved that bike and rode it everywhere. Many miles and several bikes later at the age of 29 I was involved in a major accident.
The accident happened in the canyons on the way home from work. I was doing 65-70 when a truck turned left in front of me, no time to react, other than 10 feet of full lock-up.
I really don’t remember the impact, flight or landing, I do remember some of the ambulance trip and the hospital.
Evidently, when the truck turned into my lane, I hit the passenger side just before the door, put the windshield out with my head, flipped over and landed on the other side of the street. As luck would have it, I landed in a dirt lot in front of a remote fire station, no need for the paramedics to roll out the truck, they only had to walk over to assist me.
The next 15 years became the longest period of my life without a bike, I still wanted one but, every time I spoke of getting a motorcycle, family and friends would shoot the idea down by saying it would be “madness” for me to get another bike. For 15 years I drove by the spot in a cage, each time re-living that moment that ended my motorcycle riding and nearly my life. In 2004 (With much disapproval of family and friends) I had my mind set on a new VTX1800N S2 and began looking for one. Unable to find a good local deal, I found one at a dealership 60 miles from my home, a few hours later, the deal was done and I was handed the keys.
I must admit I was a little spooked, a new 1800cc, 800+ pound bike, a 60 mile ride home and being off the saddle for 15 years was indeed a bit scary.
Within the first mile or so it all came back, I was relaxed, the bike fit me well & handled like a dream, it was like I never stopped riding (with the exception of several mistaken horn button instead of turn signal button lane changes LOL). Within days of getting the bike I joined the California VTX Riders, a great group of people with an on-line forum.
I found a post by one of the members “Recess” that told of about a Downed Officer’s Support Ride, it was a poker run that was to start on a Sunday very close to my house. That Sunday I was there, registered for the ride and was handed the directions to the checkpoints, I was soon off on the poker run on a new bike with paper plates. I made it to the first check point with no problems, pulled out my card, and looked at the directions to checkpoint #2, kick stand up and off I went.
At check point #2, I pulled my card and looked at the directions to check point #3, I must have read it 20 times… yes, I was going to ride past the same spot I had my accident. I left check point #3 alone, headed towards the Canyon, 10 minutes later, I rode past that spot that had haunted me for so long. I still can’t thank Recess enough, the ride was fun, made me appreciate my new X even more. Most of all, I came full circle, I completed the ride I started 15 years before. Today (14 years later) I still love the X, it now has 6 more bikes in the garage with it.
The love of the ride never goes away, it may pause for a moment in time but, it flows through your veins and fuels your soul.
Ride safe my friends.
And yes…. I’m still looking for that CB350…