Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How it all Started.....

In response to Gary from Flies in your Teeth", fame,here is how I got into biking.

This was actually my second blog I wrote, but at the time I only had two followers and about 6 page views a month, so it seems good reason to re post.

People often ask me how I got into motorcycling.   Well I was a bit of a late bloomer, I didn't even start thinking about motorcycles until after I was married (29). The reason being is that my wife was mad keen on them, and because of that I got interested.

When I met her I was 27 and she was 21, She had sold her car and was riding a bike everywhere. Her mother was not impressed, but I must admit I found it rather cool.  We dated for a long time and  a couple of years later we got married, she still had the bike but also a car. Not long after we got married I decided I was keen to learn how to ride a bike. So off we went to a deserted car park to give it ago.  I was not to know then, but it was the beginning of my love affair with riding bikes.

I learnt the basics pretty easily, and a in a fit of complete eagerness I went and brought a CBR 600, of course the fact I had no license, was of little interest to me, after all she had been riding for a few years and she still didn't have one, so I thought it can't be all that bad!

Fast forward a year, and she is pregnant with our first child, the CBR was sold, and we were bike less, the first time since I had known her.  After our daughter was born, I realised I was still passionate about bikes, I recommended to here that we get a little 250, cause one day when the kids are older we will want to get some bikes, and have no licenses.

So off we went and brought a 250. I got my license about 9 months later, she got hers about 15 months later.

By this time our second child was born, I had started a business, and there seemed no time to ride bikes, hence the 250 got sold, and life  progressed on..

Five years later our second child had started school, feeling eager to get into some sort of hobby and realising I needed her to do so also, I went and brought her a brand new ZX 636. It was a great bike, I got it delivered to her on a trailer with a big red ribbon on it.

Two weeks later it was over..........the marriage that is, she wanted some one else, and she wanted to be with him ,not me.   What followed was a very bitter and long divorce, after it was over I was homeless and bike less.

I moved into a two bedroom apartment, and I had my kids every second Wednesday till Sunday, but the weekend I didn't have the kids I was going nuts. Just nothing to do. My infrastructure of friends had broken down, and I felt very much the odd one out.

Remembering how much I loved the bike, I decided that I was going get back into it, and I did.   I brought a Triumph 955i, and as they say the rest is history.  I spent every weekend that I did not have the kids riding, meeting new people, and seeing the country from a new perspective. I have never looked back, nor will I.

When I met my new partner it was a requirement that they enjoy being on the bike....thankfully that is the case.

I know that riding can be dangerous, but for me it saved my life............

After all that my x wife has become very anti bikes,  her new partner hates them and it has rubbed off on her.....oh well....not my problem any more


  1. Rog me ol'mate:

    I felt quite emotional reading your wonderful piece. Motorcycles form an unbreakable thread through your life, don't they? I think you've really demonstrated how bikes can be so good for the soul through both turbulent and good times.

    So delighted that life (and motorcycles)are treating you well and proud to have you as a great mate!

  2. When I was about 11 or 12, I went with my father to a motocross race. He knew I was interested in motorcycles and thought it would be a fun thing to do. I loved the sound and smell of the 2-stroke bikes. At the time, I was reading motorcycle magazines pretty much non stop. I was mowing my neighbors lawns for money, and I wanted a bike in the worst way. The summer I turned 13, I was able to convince my parents that I wouldn't kill myself on a motorcycle, and was able to buy a very clean '71 Honda SL-70. I had that bike for many years. I rode it all around the neighborhood. I only had contact with police once, they told me to push it home.
    I think I have always been a dreamer. I purchased my first street bike while working with a guy who talked about riding to CA. After I bought a H-D Sportster, he was fired, and I've never seen him since.
    After I got married, I had to stop for a while, But picked up riding again in the late 90's.
    When I got divorced in 2000, I was lucky to get through it with my bike. I feel for you Raftnn. My now ex-wife has become a huge H-D fan, her new husband owns one, but I wonder how much "riding" they actually do. I retired a little over a tear ago, and get to ride all I want to now!!!
    On my blog I list all the bikes I've owned.


  3. Roger:

    it was a bit emotional and I was feeling sorry for you but having a bike gives you a feeling that non-bikers will never experience. A freedom of being, and of being free . . .

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Geoff: Thanks mate, you alone have made an impact in my life, and I am truly thankful for that. And yes life and motorbikes are treating me well...I look forward to the time I can give some thing back to the biking community. Truly though, motorbiking saved my day i will tell you how.

    Erik: Thanks for poping in, and really enjoyed looking at your blog, lookng forward to following it. I can tell you have the biking mentality that I so love.

    Bob: Mate.....your last sentance is a cracker....I may steel it as one of my all time favourite biking quotes. Love it!! Need I say more?

  5. Roger, a story that only life can write. I guess most of us have a similar baggage of failed relationships. I guess what is important is that the ex-wife got you into riding, and you have some great kids. So, it wasn't all bad.

    Probably actually I believe that you got the better part of it, since you are still riding, you still got the kids, and you have a lovely new partner, and a wonderful new home.

  6. Sonja: Thanks, kind words ,yet they are true.......I did get the beter deal

  7. Roger

    Your story is so sad, but the best part is that you are still in love with biking and you have a partner who shares your interest in bikes. My hub and I are enjoying my new venture into riding and it's something we both love. He has been a patient man waiting for me to finally give it a whirl, 28 years to be exact.

    BTW - I was at a dealer today and think I have found my dream bike, a Triumph Bonneville. It was perfect.

  8. Major bummer about the whole marriage thing. As they say shit happens, but luckily it looks like motorcycles kept you going through all these bad times and kept you looking for something that makes you happy.

  9. When my marriage failed in 2007, my ex said "It was your riding" that put the final nail in the coffin, and I have to say that hurt me deeply as I found new friends, became much more social and tried to extend that camaraderie to my wife who would not even sit on my bike in the driveway. Sadly, while I was thinking "I've the best wife in the world as she gives me freedom to do the things I love." she'd found another and a divorce was the result.

    Four years later I can very much relate to your story, and have similar goals, a long term relationship where adventure on bikes is a shared passion.

    Good luck to you, it'll come for both of us in time.

  10. Can I just cut and paste what Sonja said? I think it sums it just right.

    I am glad you didn't lose your love of two wheels.

  11. Dar: THe Bonnie is a fantastic bike, know a few guys with them and they all love them. Excellent choice.....biking is addictive isnt it?

    Ronnie: Thanks for your comments, interestin story you have to tell. You just have to get on with and enjoy life. Some times life deals you a just have toplay it.

    Trobaritz: Thanks, and yes I think Sonja summed it up well.

  12. Chillertek: Motorcycles kept me sane! They still do.

  13. Roger,

    You really cut me down with this one! I was really feeling your opener, good times, great bikes, life is awesome. I thought, this guy has really got it made. Then, ouch. I'm sorry to hear about the rough patch in your life, but it looks like it led to a series of good things, as tough as it was in the middle. Quite the uplifting ending.

    Like you, it was also a woman (my wife) who got encouraged me to get into motorcycles. I hope that the parallels end there... Thanks for sharing. It was a good read over the morning coffee.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  14. Brady: Thanks for stopping by, I havernt heard from you for ages. Your blogs are excellent by the way. You have a real gift for writing and I hope Germany is treating you well.

    It is all in the past now, and life is good. You made a good choice with a supportive wife.

  15. You got rid of a thorn and passed it to another guy, you back on the bike (bikes!) and enjoying life, life is good :-)

  16. Roger – That is a terrific story, full of the good and bad of life. It is unusual to read about someone coming to bike late and as a result of marriage. It is normally the other way around on both counts. Her life of being into bikes and then moving away from them is the opposite of yours, where you were not interested, but now very much are. I am glad that you found two things that seemed to have re-shaped your life – biking and a new partner. Good for you!

  17. George....well said mate, and nice to see you back. We have all missed you.

    Gary: Thanks for coming up withthe has been a real privilage to read of people adventures into biking.. Thanks also for you kinds is indeed good.

  18. Life knocks us around sometimes, doesn't it. I'm sorry for the painful times you went through, but I'm glad in the long run things have worked out well. Thanks for sharing.