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October 2017 President's Corner

by Jack Klauschie, RCBPREZ

My father was not a rider. He really was not very mechanical.

Like most mothers, my mother was scared to death she would not see her only son every time I left to go riding. I still recall what I now know are my Mom’s “never going to see you alive again” hugs.

Despite these things, my father and mother stoked my desire to ride as an adolescent, tolerated the tinkering I did on bikes in the garage, and let me go desert racing nearly every weekend for years. By itself, that is pretty amazing, and a gift I have not appreciated fully until recently. 

I have been wondering why I started riding in the first place. Truth is I have no good explanation for how or why I developed the bug years before On Any Sunday (I was in the desert race filmed), and when my high school buddies were partying and getting laid. Me? I spent all the money I earned on a reliable, but beater truck, a race bike, parts, and gas to get to and from races. I spent most week nights in the garage getting my bike ready for the next race.

I quit racing to go back to college in 1974. I did not ride for nearly 25 years. Why did I buy a R1100RS in the late 90’s after not giving riding a second thought for 25 years? I have no good explanation, but new found free time after a divorce is part of the reason.

One reason for riding can be summed up by a phrase I hear from Lynell occasionally: “You need to go for a ride.” She is right of course, and aware of the therapeutic benefits of riding. Like my parents, she sees riding as a positive part of my being. The focus required to ride inside one’s safety margin, but near the limit, puts aside daily work and other distractions of life. The good and less fragrant smells, temperature swings, and changes in environment bring me back to the natural world. Pitching a tent away from town and looking at the night sky is a reminder how insignificant daily travails are. I ride because it keeps me grounded and is therapeutic – it makes me happy.    

My favorite ride is the one I’m about to start.

Why do you ride?

Cheers!

Jack

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