WHO IS The Cycle Dude?…
If you’re like me you’re a motorcyclist. But what does that mean? I find that it means many things to many people. To my Mother it seems to mean worrying about the freshness of my underwear – whenever she hears I’ve been on a ride she always asks “were you wearing clean underwear?” I presume her logic is this will prevent some level of embarrassment should my exploits conclude in an Emergency Room (which may result in soiled underwear anyway). She’s asked this question of me for over 45 years now, which is how long I’ve been riding motorcycles. Riding in my family goes back two generations and my kids (now adults) grew up riding. I have every reason to believe I’ll see my Grandkid ride (and ride with him) as well – he was balancing on two wheels before his third birthday.
Motorcycling has been and continues to be a huge part of my life. I got my first little Honda when I was 8. Before that I begged to ride on the back of my Grandfather’s and Uncle’s bikes. I rode dirt bikes until I was 15-1/2 – old enough to get a permit to ride on the street. I’ve owned and operated one or more motorcycles consistently since I was a child. Current count of the personal “fleet” in the garage is 7…and a half (one’s a sidecar rig). It’s not that I’m incapable or unwilling to sell one – many bikes have come and gone – it’s just what the current collection has been whittled down to. There have been those who have called this an obsession or problem, but I feel (and I’m guessing you’d agree) that there are far worst things to be obsessed with and I don’t have a problem with motorcycles at all – in fact I find them to be an enhancement to my life as a whole.
Fact is I can honestly say I am a professional rider. Not in a sponsored racer sort of context – though I have sat on starting lines behind the handlebars of vehicles with two, three, and even four wheels. I’ve raced on dirt and pavement in many variations, but generally for the fun of it. When I say I’m a professional rider, it’s in the context of test riding. I also run a unique Tour service taking people down the path less traveled – in a vintage Sidecar. I’ve had a full time career in the motorcycle industry for over two decades now. I won’t chronicle my entire resume here (you can look that up on my Linkedin if you wish), but in summary I’ve worked with well-known fabricators, done race support, worked retail, authored countless technical documents, and for the last several years I’ve done product development for a major suspension manufacturer in the industry – conceiving, designing, developing, tuning, and testing several award-winning products. One of the best parts of my “job” is I get the opportunity ride – and get paid to do so. And I get test a wide variety of vehicles – all sorts of bikes, as well as some ATV and UTVs. In the course of a week – or even a day – I may ride everything from a Harley to a dirt bike, or a sport bike to an ATV…or, well the point is I get to ride a lot of different vehicles. This diverse riding experience affords me a unique ability to share my opinions on these bikes – as well as accessories, gear, and equipment. I intend to do that here on this website.
Of course I still enjoy getting out to go riding just for myself – be it a trail ride, quick local loop, or road trip taking several days (or more). I think that for most of us that’s what motorcycles and being a true motorcyclist is all about – the Ride. Speaking of which, I think I’ll head out and twist the throttle a bit right now…I’m the Cycle Dude and I’ll see you out there!