Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.


Dodging the Roadkill: To Each His Own

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – When I first started this journey, it was always going to be a Harley for me.  The last motorcycle I owned was a Suzuki 750.  I wanted to own a Harley and I wanted to get fully involved in the “biker culture” and a Harley was what I wanted.

I also want to own an Indian.  The more I research this company and their products, the more I want to own and ride one.  Since I started this journey late in life, I won’t have the years and years of riding that many of you have had to try different bikes, or ride different models, so I will do my best to get a taste of them all.

The point is, it doesn’t matter what you ride.  It doesn’t matter what brand you’re loyal to.  It matters THAT. YOU. RIDE!

Motorcycle Riders.

Motorcycle Riders.

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Dodging the Roadkill: I Bought It To Ride It

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – For those of you who might be new to my blog, I want to remind you that I don’t claim to be an expert on motorcycles, or the biker lifestyle.  This is merely a journal of one man’s biker experience, that includes the people and places I meet.

I have a lot to learn and I’ve learned a lot along the way, but having discovered this experience late in life, I want to absorb all that I can, for as long as I am able.  So please don’t take offense over anything I might say, or anything I might be curious about, because that’s all it is, curiosity.

If you’ve been following my journey from the beginning, then you know my story, and how I came to being a biker.  When I finally bought my first motorcycle, I was ready to rumble.

Hank Bonecutter

Hank Bonecutter

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Dodging the Roadkill: The Connection

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – I usually find the ideas for my blog while riding.  I’m notorious for riding alone, and between the music and the roar of the engine, I get the perfect “symphony” of sounds that inspire me and my next article. 

It’s easy to write about an event, or to cover a rally or a poker run, but it’s quite another challenge to try and put my feelings into words about this incredible journey I’m on and the connections I make along the way.

It hit me the other day as I was thinking about an upcoming trip, that in just the three years I’ve been doing this, I’ve made some amazing connections.  Just the new friends, brothers and sisters, and the people I meet on my travels and I quickly realized that I’ve made some incredible connections.

Hank Bonecutter

Hank Bonecutter

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Dodging the Roadkill: Learning To Ride – Part Two

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – I shared my experience on learning to ride over the weekend.  You can read it here.

While I think it’s a great idea for all bikers to take the new riders course, not all bikers do.  That’s your choice.  A lot of bikers just hop on and ride, but I think there are immeasurable benefits to taking the course.  Even if it’s just for the insurance discount.

Most Harley Davidson dealerships offer this course, and many of them offer the Advanced Riders, or “Skilled Riders” course. This course is for bikers who have had some experience, and want to improve their skills.

I completed the course yesterday and it was an amazing experience!

Advanced Riders Class Motorcycle

Advanced Riders Class Motorcycle

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Dodging the Roadkill: Learning To Ride

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – The first time I bought a motorcycle, it was a Suzuki 750.  I bought it on a whim from an advertiser of mine.  It was only $49.00 dollars per month.

HELL YEAH!

I was in my late twenties, working at a big time radio station, extremely full of myself, and I thought this would be pretty cool.  I just straddled the bike, and drove away.  I didn’t have any safety training or anything.  I just took off.

I kept it for a couple of years, but the day AFTER I was run off the road and landed in a field, I sold it.  That was enough for me.

Fast forward to 2016.

Harley Davidson Riding Class «Read the rest of this article»


Dodging the Roadkill: To Ride Or Not To Ride

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – From the very beginning of this journey, the first thing I noticed is how much attention a biker gets.  Whether sitting at a stop light, pulling into a gas station, or just “throttling” down the highway, EVERYBODY takes notice.

There’s a mystique, a fantasy, an image that most people get when they see a biker, and deep down inside, they want to be that guy.

As I travel the country, and meet other bikers, I hear different reasons for why they ride.  Each and every one of them though has that “passion” for the lifestyle and the thrill of the ride that pumps the body full of adrenaline.

Tail of the Dragon

Tail of the Dragon

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Dodging the Roadkill: Maintenance

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – I’ve never been a “grease monkey.”  I’m not one of those guys who’s always working on cars or spending my days in the garage just “tinkering.”

I might need to take an interest.

When I began this journey, my research revealed that it was a fairly expensive venture.  Considering the thousands and thousands of dollars I had spent over the years on the golf course, owning a motorcycle didn’t compare.  I brought my bike to the dealership for all of the routine maintenance checks, and I’ve NEVER had an issue.

Motorcycle Engine

Motorcycle Engine

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Dodging the Roadkill: Middle Of The Road

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – There are many dangers we face as bikers.  Since we’re subjected to all of the elements, we take every precaution to protect ourselves.

Wearing the proper riding gear, headgear, and having a motorcycle that’s running at peak performance are just a few of the things we all do to insure the safest riding experience.

But what lies in the middle of the road could be the most dangerous thing we encounter. 

In the three short years I’ve been on this journey, I’ve seen my fair share of interesting things in the middle of the road.  Obviously, roadkill of all varieties is pretty common.  Skunks, deer, dogs, cats, and even an armadillo or two are not uncommon for most bikers.  Huge pieces of rubber are also fairly common, and they’re hard to see at night. 

Asphalt Highway

Asphalt Highway

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Dodging the Roadkill: Soaked

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – I just returned from spending a couple of days in East Tennessee, and riding through the beautiful Smoky Mountains.  There were four of us, and like me, we were like kids in a candy store with the prospects of what laid ahead of us.

The Tail of the Dragon, the Devil’s Triangle, the Foothills Parkway, the Cherohala Skyway and more were ahead of us and we couldn’t get there fast enough.

After meeting for a quick coffee and introductions, (there were a couple of newbies in the bunch) we took off.  

Rainy Highway.

Rainy Highway.

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Dodging the Roadkill: Passion Or Addiction?

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – I run into people all the time who say, “man, you really love that bike” or “where’s your next trip?”  Like me, many of my long time friends are still amazed that this is where I find myself at this stage of my life, traveling the country, on the back of a motorcycle.

Nothing I had ever done in my life would have pointed me in this direction.  I had my motorcycle “fling” in the late 70’s and that was that.  I never thought about it again.  But when I walked into the Harley dealership that day and realized what I was missing, something just “clicked.”

“Passion” is something, hopefully, we’ve all felt, while “Addiction” is something that comes with a negative connotation. 

Passion

Passion

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