Tiffani Liebel – Why I Ride
When I was little, my dad would always talk to me about riding on dirt bikes when he was younger and all the fun he had on street bikes when he finally saved up for one. He took me to all sorts of motorcycle events. At one event, Dad let me ride around on a little dirt bike track they had set up. The bike even had training wheels! I remember racing around lapping all the boys, and it was then I realized that I wanted to ride when I grew up.
Our family friend George, who has always been a second father to me, always used to come over to our house on a motorcycle; and he still does. He used to talk to my dad about getting one of his own and getting back out on the road, like dad had always wanted to. So, in 2005, Dad finally got one of his own. I saw how happy he was when he finally got it. After he came back from his first ride on it, it looked as if some-thing had come back to life in him. That’s when I asked to go out with him. He talked to my mom and decided I could go around the parking lot with him. He gave me a mini lesson in holding on and leaning into the curves. Of course, after that little ride, my passion grew. So my mom said that I could go out more if I got a jacket and a helmet, and that’s where it all started. In a few short months, I was riding every opportunity I got. Since I wasn’t completely used to it yet, we would ride to local places. It still gave me enough of a thrill to love it though.
In 2006, Dad joined Indian Valley HOG. He went to the monthly meetings and even went on a few rides. He would go out with George and our friend Lisa all the time. Eventually, I rode up with Dad to a meeting, and it was a really fun experience. The ride up was beautiful, and when I got there, everyone was welcoming. I started going monthly as a guest, and finally in 2010, I got my own membership. It was the best birthday present ever! I went to every event I could and soon everyone in the member-ship became my brothers and sisters. Soon I was racking up the miles, and falling more in love with everything that came with riding.
The longest ride I went on to this date was to Cape May. George, Lisa, Dad and I left at some ridiculously early hour and rode up, and stopped at the Rusty Nail Bar and Grill for lunch. Cape May was beautiful and it was tons of fun. When we finally got back, it was pretty late and I found out that I had done 498 miles. I begged my dad to ride around the block so I could get to that even 500, but he unfortunately said that it was too late, which was understandable since I was falling asleep. Since then we’ve taken the ride quite a few times, and every time is just as much fun as the last.
One of the other big rides I’ve been on was down in Tennessee. George, Lisa, Mom, Dad and I stayed in a rental home and went and rode the Dragon. That was amazing! There were a ton of skid marks on the road that basically told you how tight the curve was. Not the best indication, but it worked. After that, I was happy to get back on a straight road.
Motorcycles, and Harleys in particular, have quickly become my passion. They are more than a mode of transportation, even though that’s what they look like to outsiders. I ride because it is just you and the open road, because of the peace of mind it gives you after a long and hard day. I ride because of the moments when the light turns green and you just decide to gun it, with the motor roaring to life under you. I ride because of the wind you feel up against your clothes, the feeling you can never get in the cage of a car. There are countless reasons why I ride, and why I think every motorcyclist rides. Maybe you can-not define every reason, but you know that at the end of the week the urge is there to jump on a bike and go wherever the road takes you. I grew up surrounded by loud engines and thumping pipes, and I think that I had the best child-hood because of that fact. I may just be a passenger, but I know that the day I start riding with my Dad beside me and the open road in front of me will be the day where my dreams come true and my spirit is free.
So I guess, in the end, you really do live to ride and ride to live.
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