Guest Blogger Maddox Asks, ‘When Did it Happen for You?’

Jeff MaddoxEditor’s Note: What appears below is a guest blog post from veteran biker Jeff Maddox, who regularly holds court over at the JMAdog blog.

So when did it happen for you? Do you remember that moment when motorcycles grabbed your attention changing the way food tastes, your clothes smelled and how you dress on a daily basis? Sure you do. For me it was 1974 when I got my first motorcycle; a Harley-Davidson X90. My life would never be the same.

From that summer on, my life revolved around spark plugs, gasoline and dirty socks. I rode that bike every chance I could, giving me a lifelong mark on my left boot and disheveled helmet hair. Calluses on my hands? Why yes, thank you. But there is so much more to this journey…

I believe riding bikes kept this young teenager out of trouble. Not that there was a lot of trouble to get into where I grew up, but it sure kept me occupied riding the back roads and trails around town. I wasn’t much into team sports through school, so my motorcycle gave me a reason to be just a little different from my friends. I did have a couple of friends who also rode and for many years we spent a lot of time riding and racing and did so into the 80’s. But as we get older, life had a way of getting into the garage and forcing the sale of our beloved ride(s). When did life become so cruel? Why didn’t I sell the riding lawn mower instead of my motorcycle? Why am I shaking my fist full of cash at the guy riding off on my bike? All very good questions (and he better take care of her)!

Over the years there were a few times when I didn’t have a bike to ride, just as there were many times when I had several in the stable just waiting their turn, so I guess it balances out. But one thing is for sure; motorcycles have always been there for me in one form or another. Reading magazines or catching some random “Wide World of Sports” broadcast of Evil Knievel doing what he did best or a 500cc National Motocross Race at Saddleback Park would fill in when nothing else could. It’s funny how there really isn’t anything that compares to riding. It’s not like I can fly an airplane.

So for me it started in the Harley-Davidson/Yamaha dealership in 1974. I can remember it like it just happened – the smell of gas, the oil-stained wooden floor, surrounded by rows of motorcycles and wondering if this is real or a dream. Of course it was real and so was the plaster cast on my right leg from my ahem, crotch to my toes. Yes, a 12 year-old kid, a brand new bike and I can’t even ride it. If I only knew then how it was going to change my life that day…

By | 2015-04-30T08:46:25+00:00 February 10th, 2015|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles|3 Comments

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  1. David Meyer February 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    When I was 10 years old I came home from school and my mom told me and my brother to go out to the garage there was a brand new 5 hp bronco minibike, that was in 1970 we road that thing hard then dad got us a speedway mini bike, after that he got us a honda trail 90, ditch banger,next was a kawasaki 125 enduro, then came a 100 hodaka dirt squirt, next was 125 yamaha enduro, and then a kx125 kawasaki mx, and a jawa or cz 125 mx then at 18 I got a harleydavidson 1974 1000 XLCH sporster,I know Dad and Mom got a lot of gray hair from our jumping driveways and half mile wheelies, and they are lookin down from heaven smilling ! my wife and I each have a Harleydavidson and its the best stress relief therapy in the world !!!!!!!!

  2. Romy February 11, 2015 at 7:06 am

    I was 4 and had come back to Texas, Dad finished medical school in Chicago, with my parents and older brother. Larry and I were playing outside when a motorcycle roared bywith it’s throaty sound. We were so excited and wished we had one. He was very smart and inventive. The next day he had playing cardes clothes pined to his bicycle frame so, when he rode off it made a clicking sound and I was jealous. Unfortunately, my tricycle wasn’t adaptable. lol…
    A few days later our Dad seeing what he had done, brought us a package of balloons the next day and showed us how to use a balloon instead of cards. Dad was great about bringing home prizes every day if we were good boys. Needless to say, that paskage of balloons was gone in a heart beat. We were hooked on sound.
    Dad died when I was 10 but, between him and Grandather (Papo) we were always learning about tools and how to make things. When I was 12 and going to junior high school, we could take wood shop and metal shop. When I took metal shop, we were taught how to use the forge, cutting/welding torches and had the usual project of campimg gear but, when we could make something we wanted to build, I chose to build a unicycle. The shop teacher was surprised at what I wanted to build but let me do my thing.

  3. Ron Sindric February 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    When did I start riding ? I ALWAYS had two wheels. However, my introduction to motorized two-wheeling came when I was a 20-something grad student struggling with mobility issues during the first OPEC oil embargo. A CB-350 took me between home and my research lab quickly and more economically than my car. Many, many years while getting my scooter out of Winter storage, I saw the Rust-Lust of my Life —> LADY FELICITY a veteran ’90 SPORTSTER XLH 1200. Now I own TWO Harleys, a BMW, an all-electric ZERO and the scooter. Plans for the future include a cafe racer and a competitive race bike like a new S1000RR. Before I am 75, I want to stand on the podium at I.O.M !!!

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