How did You learn to Ride?

The Masons masonjs at
Wed May 21 14:15:24 PDT 2008

lets see that was a long time ago,most of you weren't alive.  I was about 14 
years old and indentured myself to a local farmer one George Caughey.  I was 
manufacturing fence post holes, tamping in posts and stringing page wire 
with a single strand of barb on top.  After 16 days at 10 hours per day at 
$0.90 per hour,this old bastard tries to give me a 1942 Harley Davidson WL 
45 CID still painted khaki with the army logos and numbers still intact for 
my services.  I figured he owed me $144.00 and I wasn't taking that POS off 
his hands unless he paid me.  We finally settled for $130.00 and the HD and 
I thought I was getting screwed.  I recall George commenting on his fence 
costing more per inch than strung pearls with my work ethic.
It took me about 4 days to get the HD running.  George had the police 
looking for the 6 volt battery missing from his 1951 John Deere.  He didn't 
notice the 4 quarts of 30 wt and 2 quarts of 90 wt oil that had gone astray. 
He did wonder how the battery returned on its own 2 weeks later.
Any way a 45 HD is not really the kind of bike you want to learn to ride on 
especially from scratch.  I had to ask a couple of older guys how to operate 
the clutch and shift gears.  I knew how to drive a truck and a car with 
standard transmissions but this was a whole new kettle of fish.  The HD was 
a little forgiving as it had a long stroke and a large flywheel so taking 
off wasn't too hard.  I could only ride the thing in the bush behind my 
parents house so any gear higher than first was out of the question.  I 
broke a couple of knuckles when I ricocheted off a tree.  It was a tough old 
bike and spent its first winter with me wedged between 2 pine trees.  The 
following spring I had it in the front yard and some guy asked my dad if it 
was for sale.  I came home a found a well used but very fictional 12  gauge 
Winchester model 12 pump action shotgun had replaced the HD.  I was elated.
The following year I bought a brand new 1965 Suzuki 80 for the grand sum of 
$299.00 delivered to my door.  I rode it for  a year on a temporary driver's 
license then got my actual license to drive a vehicle.  2 years later the 
province came out with a motorcycle endorsement.  They didn't even have a 
motorcycle test yet.  I rode over to the license bureau and asked how I 
could get my motorcycle endorsement.  The examiner asked if I had ever 
ridden a bike and how far.  I went outside checked the speedometer and came 
in and told him 11,465 miles.  He stamped my drivers license and I was good 
to go.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "keelhauld" <keelhauld at>
To: "GPZ LIST" <gpzlist at>
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:41 PM
Subject: How did You learn to Ride?

> Folks,
> How did you learn to ride? How did you get your license? I started riding 
> mini bikes at 10, minicycles soon thereafter and bought my first street 
> bike at 17 having already been riding for 7 years. I then took my test at 
> the DMV and passed.
> My wife got on a bike for the first time while taking the MSF course, 
> passed the test and they stamped her license and she is done. These tests 
> seem too easy to pass.....
> Bill

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