Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Riderz Diaries -1

When I decided that I will write about Riders and their journeys on fiery device called ‘Motorbike/Motorcycle’ the only thing I knew was how and about whom!! A week later after meeting and receiving good amount of information from some of the most interestingly inspiring people I have decided to convert this into a series - The Riderz series.
Riding with JD..

He is the man on the Harley
Spanning through the winds eagerly
Rounding the country on wheels for long
25000 Miles an year is not wrong
His story is different, as you would read
Passion for speed and wheels is the need.
The endings are happy as they say
They all landed together on the motorbike way

A distant interview with him follows below. I haven’t changed anything in the answers and the way they were originally presented to me. His story is a connection between strengthening a father-son bond and developing a new passion out of that bond. It truly amazes me to be reading this real life journey when I only imagined bikes as a symbol of a rockstar attitude and speed rush. Not advertising my ignorance any further J I take you to JD’s world. JD currently resides in Seattle, USA.

On a road trip.

1. Why biking – what was your inspiration for living life on two wheels?
My father rides, and I wanted to bond more with him, so I took up riding and we have done several road trips together, it has been amazing.

2. Since when have you been riding and which was the first bike? Also elaborate on how you bought it- a gift from parents, money saved or borrowed, with the first salary, or something else.

My first bike was a Harley 2006 Heritage.  I bought it myself.

3.     Which is your best road trip so far? The most memorable one. The one you would want to relive provided an option.

7,000 miles around the western states of USA with my father, mother, and wife.  The 4 of us visited every national park and natural wonder we could find.
4.     Have you ridden pillion – some memorable moment
Never ridden that way

5.     How many bikes have you had so far and which has been your favorite one. Reasons for picking it.

I own 4 Harleys.  My favorite one is my new 2012 CVO Street Glide.  Fully customized bike and it really stands out.

6.     Your dream road trip?

Already done it a few times, but I guess if I had to pick something, maybe New Zealand by bike?

7.     Do you ride as part of a group or a club? Or you are the one who prefers the comfort of your bike’s company on the sands and hills.

I am a member of the Iron Order MC but I also ride solo and with family.

The long road ahead..
Please share some of the favorite moments from your riding journeys (I won’t call them trips).  

My mother and father were high school sweet hearts.  They were truly soul mates and in love.  My father went to Vietnam and came back a changed man, a broken man.  My mother and father tried to work it out but they ended in divorce when I was 6 months old.  

I never saw my father again for 36 years.  4 years ago I decided that 36 years was long enough and I began searching for him.  I located him in Arizona.  We met and started to try and build a relationship.  It was incredibly hard, we had almost nothing in common and the number of years apart was just so large.  We were from two different generations and shared no common interests.
In August 2008 my father told me about his trip to Sturgis, he has been an avid motorcycle rider his whole life.  So I told him that I would go with him in 2009.  In February of 2009 I got my endorsement and started bike shopping.  I had ridden dirt bikes and other types of motorcycles before but never an HD cruiser. 

In March 2008 I decided on a Harley, a nice two tone black cherry and black pearl 2006 Heritage Softail.   When I bought my bike, I already knew I was going on the long bike ride to Sturgis.  So I created a plan to try and improve my skills as fast as possible.  I focused 50% of my riding towards high traffic, road construction and group riding; and the other 50% of my riding time was focused on nice mountain roads, and scenic adventures, and really enjoying the ride. 

I would intentionally ride at the worst part of the day in the worst traffic.  I would also intentionally ride through all the road construction and torn up roads I could find.  I knew that once I was out on the open road, you never know what is going to come up.  I joined two HOG chapters and 3 meet-up groups so I could get as many rides as possible and joined the largest group of riders I could find to get comfortable with formations, and group riding and just being around 100’s of other bikes.  I wanted to be comfortable in Sturgis and other rally events.  So by the time I left in July 2008 I had about 5,000 miles of open road riding and 5,000 miles of gridlock, construction and formation riding.

Along the way, I fell in love with riding again.  I was completely addicted, and so was my wife.  She rode with me on my 2000 mile trip to AZ(Arizona,US) to meet my father then she flew home.  After that my father and I rode to Sturgis together and a few thousand other miles. 

The love of riding and motorcycles has given us not only a common ground from which to have conversations, it also allowed us to build our first shared memories together.  It has facilitated a bond to begin building a relationship.
It’s been 21 months and two bikes later since I bought my first Harley.  It’s also been 42,000 miles.  My wife has purchased her own bike and received her endorsement.  She rides a 2007 Sporster 1200 low.  We have started to ride as a family, and it’s just been awesome.  My father reached out and contacted my mother for the first time in 39 years.  She has joined us in our love of the road, and the spark between them has never died.  Much to my surprise the two of them got re-married in July 2009.  39 years of divorce could not keep them apart.
Riding has brought my family together for the first time in my lifetime.  I truly believe that had we not taken up riding, we would not be together as a family today.  We tried for 2 years to try and build a relationship and it just wasn’t working.  We needed that common bond and shared passion in order to make progress towards a family bond.  Riding enabled us to cross a 39 year gap and start living again.  

I just wanted to share my story in hopes that others understand the power and impact this culture can have.  Riding is more than just bikes, its memories, is common ground and shared passion, and in my case, it was a catalyst to help repair a broken family.

I am dumbfound – stuck – numb and every other emotion when I read this for the first time. All I can say is 
‘Two wheels move my soul, four wheels move the body.’

Part of but not limited to : Castrol Power( and Indiblogger contest.


  1. Good initiative.. You will get a lot of interesting rider stories if you meet more people .. A very interesting story too

  2. What an entry for the competition!

    The post encapsulates the how bikes binds relationships.

  3. @GS : Yes, I am in the process and amazed by it. How many reasons for loving and living life on wheels... will follow up with a post soon.. part 2:)

    @Neeraj : Thanks :)

  4. I knew a lot after reading your post. I had no knowledge of westerner bikers. I know very very little about Indian bikers of recent time. To me in my profession of mineral exploration and prospecting it is a means of transport where jeeps dare to go. i learnt biking as a requirement in my profession. I frankly admit I never thought or felt any emotional development with Bike. But it all came to me in one evening while taking some extra time in a restaurant and then i came to know some more by talking to Bikers of recent time.
    Thanks for your post.

  5. I have never heard such a story on Riding! Last part that connected Lives of individuals to rebuild a Family is so heart-warming...

  6. really beautiful penmanship. just superb interview.

  7. @Specs: Sure, its on the way.. I am also waiting for the rider to return from his latest trip and give me some interesting pictures..

    @Pradip: Thanks for the read .. appreciate your thoughts ..

    @Punit: Yeah, me too .. I was really touched.

    @Pramod: Thanks :)

  8. wow.. what a magical story. Great read.

  9. @Mag: Thanks..
    @Ob: Glad you liked it.. learned a lot about Biking.. will be posting next one soon :)..

  10. Poorvi good luck for your contest ..& now about a link to show how much i like your blog pl.visit it

  11. Thanks Indu .. gosh you made me feel special.. :)

  12. sweet--I have loved bikers in US--they are absolute sweethearts although they sometimes look menacing..:) Fell in love again after 39 yrs of divorce--that is a lovely story to tell and re-tell!

  13. @Bhavana: Thanks fro dropping by .. wait for the next ones :)

  14. Just goes to prove that each biker has his own reason for riding. Fantastic interview.

  15. The biker's story of the reunion of his parents was written well... and I'm sure it matched the emotive state of the biker.

  16. @Ramakant: Yes, goes ahead to prove that biking is just not a passion for wheels and speed..

    @Arvind: I myself was quite touched by this ..