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Dodging the Roadkill: The People I Meet

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – When I started this journey three years ago, the first thing I noticed about being a biker was the people I would meet.  As you know, the motorcycle is a magnet for attention.  There’s something about it that draws the attention of everybody.  

As I would stop for gas, or take a break for something to eat, everybody had a motorcycle story.  It was and continues to be the best conversation starter on the planet.

I’m known for taking “selfies” with the people I meet on the road, and emphasizing how “I love the people I meet on this bike.”  Coming out of a career in broadcasting where everybody was selfish and superficial, it’s been so refreshing to meet real down to earth “genuine” people. 

Canadian Bikers

Canadian Bikers

The brothers I’ve met along the way and continue to ride with are some of the best people I’ve ever had around me.

Social media has been an amazing opportunity to meet new friends, and through this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible bikers.  I’ve been invited to New Mexico, California, Colorado and even closer to home down the road to Paris Tennessee. 

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

It’s my dream that I could take all of you up on your offer to come visit your neck of the woods, and I promise I’m working on doing just that.

Recently, on a weekend ride, I encountered two actual brothers who were traveling from Canada.  I met them at a convenience store where we were getting gas.  They were just starting their day, and had planned to ride the Natchez Trace Parkway. 

Bill and Doug Wellman are from Peterborough Ontario Canada. Doug was riding the 1983 Honda Gold Wing, while Bill was riding his 2009 Kawasaki Voyager 1100, that was also pulling a trailer filled with 400 pounds of gear for the trip.  

Doug's 1983 Honda Gold Wing

Doug’s 1983 Honda Gold Wing

At first glance I could tell that not only did they have a couple of old bikes, but it looked like they had everything they needed for this trip.  There plan for the day was to ride the Natchez Trace Parkway to Jackson Mississippi. 

We spent a few minutes talking about my career and retirement, and they were planning the rest of the trip that included their return to Canada,  Let me just share the email I received from them when they finally got home. 

Dear Hank,

It was a real pleasure running into you at a gas station in Fairview, Tennessee, while on our “bucket list” tour along the Nachez Trail, and then a circle back up old Route 66 from St. Louis MS to Springfield, Illinois.I am William (Bill) Wellman, and was travelling with my brother Douglas Wellman, we are both from around the Peterborough, Ontario area in Canada. We travelled via Buffalo to Stockport, Ohio, then on over to Nashville, and picked up the Nachez trail from there to south of Fairview, then cut cross country and headed north to St. Louis MS, then on to Springfield Illinois along some of the oldest parts of Route 66.We then cut an angle to Fort Wayne Indiana, up to Port Huron Michigan, then into Ontario and on home to Douro-Dummer, Ontario, Canada.

The total trip was about 3500 miles, or over 5000 kilometers in Canada speak!! Not the longest trek ( I also did from my home to Sturgis, SD a couple years ago, via up around Lake Superior over to Diluth MN first, then on to Sturgis. That was a little over 8,000 k/m (5,000) miles.

My brother Doug was riding the 1983 Honda Goldwing 1100. I was driving my 2009 Kawasaki Voyager 1700, with the “boots” trailer. That’s the third huge trip with not one fault with the bikes nor a breakdown, nor a flat tire! I certainly can’t fault our bikes they were great! Lots of saddle sores though!

I don’t know where we will head next, but both of us have been riding for more than 45 years, and we have covered a lot of territory from East to West and North to South. As long as we are able, we’ll keep riding!

It was great to hear your story and your mission and we certainly wish you good luck, good travels and great health as long as you can continue!

I’ll now follow your travels on your website and blog!

God-Speed,

Bill and Doug Wellman,
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

I really appreciated hearing from my new friends and hope we can see each other again someday.  Typically, I get responses on Facebook, or someone will send an email to my website.

Even if it’s a brief five minute talk where someone will tell me about the “old days” when they used to ride, or the ones who still ride and we talk motorcycles and travel tips.  It doesn’t really matter.  I’m meeting some incredibly nice people who share the love of the open road, and the passion of being a biker and I couldn’t be more excited.  

So thanks to all of you who engage me on Facebook, or Instagram or through my blog.  I want to always remember our meeting and what we talked about.

I especially appreciate those of you who want me to come visit your state.  I can’t tell you how excited I get when I think of the prospects of taking a road trip to visit friends.

The motorcycle saved my life by pulling me out of depression and I have a message of encouragement for those of you who deal with this same issue.  There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.  I promise you.  It’s not a pill, or a therapist exclusively, it’s a passion for something that you can’t get enough of and for me, it was my Harley.

My journey continues and I love having these memories, but what I’m most excited about is the memories I’ve yet to make.

Thanks to Bill and Doug for sharing their trip with me and now all of us.  Ride safe my friends and thanks for following my journey.

If I could live forever, I would ride forever.  God Bless!


About Hank Bonecutter

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