I grew up seeing photos of my father jumping ramps on his motorcycle. I remember hearing his crazy riding stories from back in the day, yet he never had bikes when I was young. Because of this, I always felt drawn to them. I never imagined owning a bike but I dated a girl who had an awesome vintage motorcycle. She helped teach me to ride and find a bike perfect for me. Thats when I found “Tiger”, my 1974 Honda CB550 four.
I work as a sound engineer for touring bands usually 8-10 months a year. When I come home it’s hard to acclimate back to “normal” life. This is usually followed with anxiety and I needed a way to keep busy and clear my head. Before I got my motorcycle I would ride a 12 speed 70’s Cannondale road bike around town, to the beach, and to local parks. With owning a motorcycle I realized now I could get the same feeling but be able to go further and faster than I ever could on any road bike. So I sold the Cannondale, realizing I can’t go back to that anymore. On a motorcycle I can get outside, breathe the air, smell the rain, and keep my brain occupied enough to shut it off from the “problems” of real life. Tiger brings out the kid in me that wants to go on adventures, camp, and see new sights. I can spend 4 hours on the road on my motorcycle and love every minute, or 30 minutes in my car and want to strangle someone, ha!
Owning a motorcycle has taught me so much. I knew nothing mechanically whatsoever before. With a vintage motorcycle, I’ve been forced to learn as much as I can. Now, there’s still plenty I don’t know and I have no reservations telling people I’m new to motorcycles and that any help is appreciated. I also can be whoever I want to be on “Tiger”. He has his own personality much like myself when I’m riding. I own a Biltwell Gringo helmet with a mirrored bubble shield and with this helmet on I feel like I can portray whatever emotions I’m feeling. Im normally a goofy, quiet, reserved person if I don’t know you well. But, on my bike, I can be funny, angry, or mysterious and people can only wonder who’s the man under the helmet.
Finally the sense of community through motorcycles is unparalleled. I’ve made so many lasting friendships because of motorcycles. I recently moved to Nashville and didn’t know a bunch of people here but have started building a great group of friends to ride with. I rented a motorcycle and rode the Pacific Coast Highway with a newly close friend, Mark, who runs Efficacy Clothing Co. Everyone seems to have the same feelings about riding. We all want to explore and discover. We all love the feeling of the wind in our face and an engine between our legs. And we all accept a little bit of danger to enjoy the moments when the road open up, the lighting is perfect, and the landscape is something out of a movie. You can’t imagine being anywhere else.
That’s why I ride.