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Ron Hawkins – Why I Ride

Why I Ride?

Why Do I Ride? – that’s a good question. I haven’t really thought about it too much until Mike had asked me to write this article for the newsletter. I guess it started back when I was about 19 years old. I had a friend of a friend who was selling a Yamaha 250. I’d never been on a bike before so I thought that would be a good bike to start on. Wow; what a thrill it was when I first started riding. I just couldn’t believe the feeling of freedom that I felt. It was nothing I had ever felt before. None of any of my other friends had a motorcycle so I was the cool one with a motorcycle.

The Yamaha 250 was nice for a while and was great to learn on, but as time went on I felt like I needed something with a little more power. So I bought a Yamaha 750 and that was just want I needed at the time. It was bigger with more power than my 250 and that difference made riding a little more fun.

At that point in my life the fun really started. I was about 24 years old and met a girl and we ended up getting married. We had some fun on the bike for a while, but then we decided to start a family. At the time I didn’t think there was enough time to raise a family and have time to ride. So, I sold the bike I had and spent a couple years doing the “normal “family life. Little did I realize that you could raise a family and find time to ride at the same time.

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When I was about 28 I thought: “OK, it’s time to look for a bike again”. I took some time to find just the right one. At that time I was living in Souderton, not too far away from Dean’s Harley Davidson old building. I would always hear these awesome sounds running up and down the street. I eventually found out that most of the sounds I heard were from Harleys coming and going from Dean’s. I thought “OK, that’s where I have to go to look for my new bike”.

I went there and found a Sportster 883. Once I got on that bike and stared riding again, it was like all the feelings of freedom came rushing back. The best part of it at the time was that my kids were a little older and could ride with me and enjoy the freedom that I knew. It was awesome that both of my kids loved being on the bike with me.

Fast forward to 2009 when, after a couple of life changing events in my life (i.e. a divorce), I started looking for another motorcycle. I found a 1999 Road King. It was awesome to be on a bike again. All the years before when I used to ride, I would always ride alone or, at least, with my kids on the back. I did-n’t really know many other people that had motorcycles. That is, until I met Rich Liebel and George Wagenseller from IVHOG.

I went out on a couple rides with them and they suggested that I look into IVHOG and consider joining. I went to a meeting as a guest and really liked what I saw. The next month I decided to join and became a member. I thought just riding a motorcycle was fun, but I found the feel fun is out riding with good friends.

The first big ride I want on was the Bucks County Toy Run. I had my son with me that day, and at that point we had both just rode with Rich and George a couple times. The Toy Run was the biggest ride we had been on. What a rush that was: riding down the road with a couple hundred other bikes for the first time.

So, I guess that should answer the question: “Why Do I Ride? “. I love the freedom, being with friends and best of all, as just one way to be with my kids. I just wanted to thank Mike for asking me to write this article. I never really thought about it before, but now I will think about it every time I get on the bike and go out for a ride.

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