® Looking back

I suppose every rider has stories to tell about significant and memorable rides. And even scary ones. I did a lot of riding in my 20s and 30s. Hundreds of miles each week, much of that time not owning a four-wheel vehicle. And of course many of my riding years early on were charged with youthful invincibility.

  • Once I was on the freeway at night and suddenly was tossed up into the air, off the bike [CBX1000] to land just as suddenly firmly on the seat, still in control, as if nothing had happened. I could only guess I had run over a very large object, maybe a piece of pipe.

  • On a surface street in L.A. one time I was moving along in traffic when a wave of shattered glass came rushing at me. Probably from the mirror of a truck ahead of me.

  • Having just put on new tires one day I zipped around a corner only to watch my bike [BSA A10] leave me and skitter through the intersection on its left footpeg.

  • Attempting to impress some girls crossing the street I suffered a moment of attention lapse and ran my CB500 Four into the street's concrete center divider. Ouch!

  • During a period in which I was making regular day trips from San Diego to L.A. I came home one night and was so exhausted I didn't put my foot down in time and my bike actually fell over with me still on it, fortunately onto its engine guard which saved it from going completely horizontal.

  • So much riding did I do in the early days that the L.A. DMV threatened to suspend my license pending a hearing. At the hearing, after noting I rode motorcycles for a living, the department offered me a gracious extension on my "points", a thing I marvel at still.

  • At the shop where I worked a bike fell off my lift and broke my ankle. I had only a bike at the time and it was in January, L.A.'s rainy season, so I rode to work with a cast on my left leg.

  • On the freeway again, I was carrying a washing machine motor on the back of my small, lightweight BSA B44 (don't do this) when the bike threatened to go into a tank slapper and I actually had to dab down a few times at over 60 mph.

  • At a gas station one night I was getting gas when a car zipped up to the pump and ran my bike over.

  • Another time in downtown traffic a car came alongside me and actually bumped me.

  • Riding through a dangerous part of the city once I was accosted by some gang members who tried to get me off my bike.

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© 1996-2020 Mike Nixon