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John Quigley – Why I Ride

I ride because I love the feel of the wind in my hair. Having said that, I think the more pressing question would be: “Why wouldn’t you ride”? You get up close and personal with everything you encounter: the back end of a 40 foot garbage truck on a wet day with the juice running out (thank goodness for full facers!), heavy interstate traffic on throwing anything and everything in your face, riding behind an open ended horse trailer with the tails waving at you, passing open slatted hog haulers on Forty Foot Road on their way to the meat packing plant, the exhilaration of riding 70 mph on Interstate 80 on a beautiful 63 degree day with not a cloud in the sky and there you are wishing you had worn chaps because it is a cool as it could get and still be in the beautiful day category. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the appreciation of all around you as you cut through the wind are all things you can’t experience any other way.

On the other hand, there’s the challenge of racking up over 600 miles a day, blazing your own trail, so to speak, and who else has their sports car and hot rod wrapped up in one vehi-cle? Whether you are go-ing across and back on the Tail of the Dragon or north from L.A. to Mon-terrey, doing the switchbacks in West Virginia, riding the mountains majesty of the Adirondacks, along coastal beaches or going out to the Laurel Highlands, why in the hell wouldn’t you ride?

I ride because it just blows my mind being with my friends and so many other bikers. The more the merrier, be it locally at the Coopersburg Toy Run down Rt. 313 where there are bikes as far ahead of you as you can see and they fill your rear view mirrors or screaming through New Hope with a couple of hundred bikers honoring the heroes, or more distant rides like the 911 Ride, 700 strong, rolling on from Schwenksville to the Pentagon to NYC, Rolling Thunder where bikers turn out in the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands of hot, wet, wild, and tired rolling into Sturgis exhausted but ready to party or to sleep well that night!
The people of Milwaukee greet huge number of bikers for the anniversary parties with signs that say Welcome Home, Milwaukee Iron. If you ever had your loins cooked sitting in Inter-state 80 traffic trying to get around Chicago in a big jam up, you know this kind of riding ain’t for the timid! It is like a chess game at 70 mph. Is it you or the 4 wheeler? What a rush!

From Spearfish Canyon (South Dakota) to the Cherohala Highway (North Carolina and Tennessee), from the Kangamangus Highway (New Hampshire and Maine) to the twisties on the road to New River Gorge (West Virginia), from a slow crawl in traffic to the moment you roll on the SPEED breaking free of a traffic jam, riding with your homies and the pleasure of their company begs the question: “Why wouldn’t you ride”?

So far, so good!


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