I’ve just about completed my first 30 days as editor at Hot Bike magazine. There’s been a lot of familiarity on this side of the fence with a whole lot more left to learn. The transition has been fairly easy because at the end of the day you’re either a biker or your not.
I still vividly remember my first street ride around the block on my buddy Caleb Montoya’s rice rocket over 20 years ago. I was still back in high school at the time and my 1969 Mustang Fastback consumed my life. I spent every waking hour and dollar earned trying to make that hunk of metal go fast and oddly enough nearly no money on slowing it down. While that was my first ride on another guy’s bike, I remember knowing right there and then that this was the life for me. In that one short trip, I got it. A blip of the throttle and a roar down the road was it took and I knew no matter what I had to own a motorcycle. I got off the bike, looked over at my Mustang and said to myself ‘I’m wasting my time with this car.’
My mom hated motorcycles (as most mothers do) and refused to let me get my own until I turned 21. Well, the day after my 21st birthday I clunked down $2,000 on a clunker worth about $1,000 and never looked back.
I rode that bike rain or shine, hot or cold. I made every mistake that every new rider would make from wearing the wrong gear to riding over my head. I paid the price which each and every crash on my way up the motorcycle evolution chain. I’ve picked up friends and fellow bikers in the back of the truck and seen the inside of way too many Emergency rooms. Along the way I buried more than one close friend and think about each of them everyday…everyday!
The good times far exceed the bad and I have memories that no amount of money can buy. Fire up the bike, kick it down into first, let the clutch out and head out down the road. Whether it’s down the street or across the country, I still get excited every time I ride…every time!
When the pressures of being an adult become too much, always try and remember why you started riding and get off your butt and out the door. It doesn’t really matter if you’re going to the store or across the country. But if you are reading this I don’t have to explain it to you now do I.
With 30 days as the editor of the best magazine in the world under my belt I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. If you see me out and about be sure throw me a wave. I won’t be hard to spot as I’m the only Harley magazine editor that can’t grow facial hair no matter how hard I try. I’m just sayin’.