At the age of 16, the day after getting my driver’s license, my Dad sat down with me and said, “Son, I’ve good news and bad. The good news is you now have your driver’s license, the bad is that you’ll never drive my car.”
It was crushing; I mean, what 16-year-old doesn’t have visions of driving “independently” to wherever he or she wants to go? To no longer be subject to someone else’s time frame or agenda? Alas, I was “ready to roam with no way to get there.”
The next day my life changed forever when after parking his school bus, Dad and I hopped into his truck and drove, without conversation, to the local boat/motorcycle dealership. Understand it was small-town Louisiana in 1972, and there was but one dealer with only three Honda motorcycles on the floor – a 100, 350 and the Big Boy, a 500.
From behind me, my Dad said “Well, which one do you want?” And on that day, a number of things happened that set my life’s course.
First, my love of motorcycles became a reality. I now had two wheels just like my hero – Evel Knievel. Where I lacked his courage in jumping over things, I shared his passion for both the wind in my face and the feeling of freedom that comes with it.
But little did I know that this blue Honda 350 was also the spark that eventually ignited my becoming an entrepreneur and achieving the dream I now live. Because on that day, my Dad gave to me the greatest gift of all – independence.
It was how I explored my surroundings and got to and from school as well as all social events, no matter the weather. It was, for this 16-year-old, the key to fostering my transition into entrepreneurship and teaching me that life is to be ridden in phases while being subjected to constantly changing conditions. And most importantly, my inevitable crash in 1972 taught me to approach each and every day with wide-eyed wonder and enthusiasm while always being alert—because disaster lurks at every turn.
I don’t know where I’d be today without that 350. I may be an entrepreneur, may have written a book and may be as happy…but I doubt it. Simply put, “it may not be the best thing to ever happen in my life, but it damn sure belongs on the short list.”
Dwain – The Biker Guy
That’s my biking story, what’s yours? Leave a comment for me or email me now to tell me about it.