Learn Before You Ride


The old fart and fartette phenomenon of learning to ride motorcycles at the age when most are perceived to be cruising around in motor homes is becoming the real deal. Let’s face it, riding a heavy bike over the age of 50 takes courage and some amount of craziness, but ride they do and by the thousands

I personally have met many riders over 80 who still ride, albeit mostly on smaller bikes, trikes or sidecars. Some people would probably not ride at all if not for the sidecar. I admire these folks who take the risk seriously, but ride anyway knowing that life is short and thrills are hard to come by at their ages.

The trick for first-time riders is taking the riding class. I also advise the class for folks who haven’t ridden for many years, especially if you plan to ride a touring bike that weighs 750 lbs. dry. It may not be as important for some with past experience, but like the picture below – some need special training.

The main thing is to bring it on home safely without mishaps that do sometimes occur even with the most experienced riders. There are drivers out there who do not respect motorcycle riders no matter what age they are. I use the T-shirt below to give me an advantage. God knows we need all the help we can get!


For those of you who think riding a motorcycle is crazy and you would never do it…quit reading this blog now. For those of you who have contemplated riding, Google motorcycle riding class and get off your butt and have some fun for a change. You only live once – make it count. If your kids don’t like it…that makes it even better. Go ahead and spend their inheritance and save them from being lazy later…be a good parent and start riding into the sunset!

Native Americans call it ‘The Iron Pony,’ a description well put. When you straddle the leather seat, there is a feeling not unlike when a cowboy mounts a bucking bronco at a rodeo. You know something awesome is about to happen, but you’re not quite sure what.

Starting a hog for the first time is part of a love affair that will last forever. When that “Twin V” engine comes to life between your legs, you will have an idea of how that bronco rider must feel.

Nothing on the planet sounds like a Harley. At an idle, it has a low chugging beat, slow and strong like a rhinoceros just before the charge. The weight and massiveness of the machine is deceptive, even a little intimidating. Your first thought is that if this bike falls, it’s all over but the crying. Oh, well, either ride it or sell it!

Once you let the clutch out and start to move, magic happens. The ponderous, chrome hog becomes a graceful lady, responsive to your every touch. Each gear is a different dimension to her character. Every mile per hour faster is a study in stability.

You look at your companion riders in front, on the side and behind. A knowing smile spreads quickly. You are part of an American legend. Ride your ‘Iron Pony’ into the sunset. A great adventure awaits!”

I wrote the above quoted piece after my wife and I bought a Harley in 1996. It had been over 30 years since I had last ridden. This says it all….

Ride on,




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