My two-wheeled career began in 2000 during my third year of college when I convinced my parents to help me purchase a beater 1988 Honda Elite 80 scooter. A good friend who had a motorcycle convinced me to take the MSF course at a local community college.
The scooter represented freedom. Finally I had a means of transportation to get me around my little college town at will. It took me everywhere: grocery shopping, ride downtown to hang out, commuting to school. I even slapped a pair of soft saddlebags on and took backroads out to the beach.
In early 2001 my Uncle Rob agreed to ship one of his spare motorcycles, a 1982 Suzuki GS850G bought new off the showroom floor in 1985, out to California. I was excited, thinking that I’d finally have a real motorcycle to ride. We all quickly realized that the big Zook was a bit much for me to handle, so it officially became my dad’s ride and we looked for other options for me.
One of my dad’s coworkers offered an old Honda CB350 twin that had been rusting away under a tarp in his back yard. We brought it home and turned over the engine. It was willing to start, but needed some work before it was rideable.
I was working in Thousand Oaks, CA over the summer of 2001, but I made the long drive up I-5 every weekend to spend time getting the 350 running. With Dad’s help, I Kreemed the tank, rebuilt the carburetors, replaced cables, seat, and air filters. I spent a lot of time on ebay searching for deals on used parts. When it was time to pack the van for the move back to school, the CB350 was ready.
With a motorcycle capable of highway travel, many riding opportunities were opened to me. I started touring, taking the CB350 north on coastal CA 1, east on the twisties and whoops of CA 58, and even all the way up US101 to San Jose for a weekend at home.
It was on a Cal Poly Penguins Motorcycle Club street ride that my little Honda released the magic smoke of doom while on CA 1 between Cayucos and Cambria. I limped 50 miles home on one cylinder and parked the 350 next to the scooter in my carport.
Suddenly lacking a motorcycle and with a lot of spare time on my hands, I decided that a job was needed. I found a local architecture firm that was hiring and started saving money. A few months later, I had saved up enough to purchase my first touring bike, a 1983 Honda GL650 Silverwing.
I put 10,000 miles on the Silverwing in my first year of ownership. It saw long day rides, quick jaunts up CA 9, and commuting to my first post-college job in Campbell, CA.
Living back in San Jose, I became involved with BARF (a local motorcycle forum) and fell in with a bunch of safe and sane sportbike riders. I guess that I gave way to peer pressure, because I soon lusted after something newer and more powerful.
In May 2003, I bought a brand new Yamaha YZF600R. In the two years with it, I covered 37,000 miles and developed myself as a rider. I discovered a passion for sport-touring and road-photography.
With a better idea of my tastes and a little more available money, in late 2005 I purchased my 2005 BMW R1200ST.