Thursday, December 05, 2019

Motorcycle Days

A couple or three years ago after many years of riding motorcycles stating in the '60's on a Triumph 650 and ending riding a Honda Goldwing I hung up my helmet for the last time. It was a good time and almost as big a part of me as airplanes. Along the way I enjoyed many new friends and seeing what was around the next curve and over the next hill. I spent the last years of ridding doing mostly long distance/Iron Butt Association rides. The high lights of the IBA certified rides were a 50CC (coast to coast in less than 50 hours) and a Saddle Sore Gold (1500 miles in less than 24 hours) for a plate of Texas BBQ and return to Tucson.

MsBubba isn't the best long distance driver and she is my princess so one of the annual rides was to drive her to the PNW with the motorcycle in tow. Once in Southern Oregon we would spend the night then I would drop her and the truck off, throw a leg over the bike and ride back to Tucson arriving in Tucson usually on the same day. A month of so later we would reverse the process. That trip in reality ended my riding. On the last trip back to Oregon to pick up MsBubba I was on I-5 North near Mt Shasta on a dark and rainy night and found myself unable to see and react well enough to go over 40 or so MPH. I knew at that moment my riding days were over. Back in Tucson I parked the Wing, it set for a year or so before I made up my mind to sell. To get the bike ready to sell I took it to the local Honda dealer. After a couple of weeks I called the Honda shop to see what the progress was, they turned me over to the manager and his first words were "Mr. Hatch your Wing almost burned my shop down". Of course my reply was "Are you telling me you burned my Wing up"? Bottom line the Dealer's insurance bought my Wing for more money than I could have sold it for but now there was no going back on the decision to quit riding.

Long way around to; Because of replacing my iMac the other day I was looking through my photo files and of course there were a large number of bike related photos. Over the next few weeks I expect to publish a few of 'em. Mostly because I can but also the blog is a good place to store a few so they do not get lost.

I'm crossing the Lake Roosevelt/Salt River bridge. The bike is a Kawasaki Vulcan 2000. Of all the bikes I owned it was my favorite. In fact after they burned the Wing up the dealer still had it and I damn near bought it back.

The last for the day is still on the Vulcan 2000 going up Mt.Lemmon just North of Tucson.

Sorry to bore you  but great memories



  1. Hi Ken

    Hanging up your helmet for good must be an incredible difficult decision.
    But Kudos to you for taking that decision rather than ending up in a crash somewhere on the tarmac.

    I am sorry for not having been more active lately in the blogosphere, but as a friend of mine commented: it must be because I like my new job and have got plenty of nice colleagues (which is the truth).

    If you ever really feel the need to drive just for a short trip, I suppose that you could rent a bike - though it wouldn't be exactly the same.

    To me riding a bike is so much different than riding in a car. It is more of a total experience. In a car you have the view, but on a bike you have the view, the heat/cold wind in the face and most important the smell of nature. Riding through a pine forest that is heated by the sunlight or a hay field just makes it a whole lot better than sitting in an air conditioned capsule.

    Best regards

    1. Jonas,

      Great to hear from you and even better to hear you love your new job.

      My term for the difference was in a car it was like watching a movie, on a bike you were the movie.

      The one thing I've tried all my life was to be honest with myself. I did it with flying which was really hard. With bikes it was difficult but not as hard as flying. So much of who we are is wrapped up in what we do and it can be hard to let go and respect the aging process.


  2. Great pics, sharp focus, composition etc.
    You are right, its our blogs to put what we want to remember.
    Never got to hitch to ride bike, Heather was the biker in our relationship. She had a Kawasaki 750, I used to ride back seat with her, and when we stopped people just assume I was the driver, nope she was :-)
    She used to say she would like to go on long bike trips in retirement, told her we will need side car for me and the dog. She did not want a side car, so I would had just to follow in a van :-)


    1. Bob,

      I love it. Pat had her own bike but didn't ride much, mostly just rode the back of mine.

      Thanks, maybe my 5 years of post baccalaureate studio arts wasn't wasted :-).


  3. Not bored at all. Waiting for more. As an avid motocross racer into my late 20's, I thought the day would eventually come when I would want to get a street bike. In my early 50's now, question is-is it ever too late?

    1. Thanks Dan,

      I hung 'em up in my mid 70's. I could have kept riding if I had limited myself to only riding during daylight. That was not what I enjoyed, I liked throwing a leg over and riding to Lafayette, LA for a bowel of Don's gumbo or to Jackson Hole for a Billy's Hamburger (may it RIP).

      If you can ride dirt you can ride the street. You just need to learn a few new survival skills. Go for it, you will not regret doing so.