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Congratulations to the Winner of the Your First Ride Contest!

Posted on 29 Feb 2012 in Powersports | 0 comments

First Ride Contest

First we would like to thank everyone that took the time to tell us the story of their first ride. We received a lot of great stories and this was truly a tough decision for our judges to make.

Congratulations to Arnold Fox of Adrian, Michigan! Arnold’s story about his first motorcycle won the judges over and he is now the proud winner of a Caliber Trailer Shield. Want to read the winning story? Check it out below:

My First Motorcycle

by Arnold Fox

I love to ride, everything becomes more real. The grass is greener, the air is crisper. Every smell takes a breath of its own and comes alive. The scent of fresh cut grass becomes a fourteen year old boy mowing the lawn in protest of his father’s orders, saying he would rather be playing, or having fun some other way.

I was nine years old on that summer day. The thermometer hovered in the nineties. Being at home seemed like torture to me; I felt as though I was being deprived of everything exciting. Tending the garden, mowing the lawn, cleaning my room, or any number of other everyday chores were not my idea of fun. Other boys I knew of had hobbies, or at least things they liked to do, to take their minds off of being bored. Then, on that sweltering summer day, my dad pulled into our long, snake-like, gravel driveway. I could see something in the back of dad’s truck, and for once, whatever it was, was not a lawnmower.

A red, black and chrome motorcycle, sparkling like a diamond in the desert sun, took up a small amount of room in the bed of the truck. Excitement filled my mind and body. I sprinted outside as fast as I could and yelled, “Whose motorcycle is that?” My dad pretended not to hear me. Dad was like that. He never seemed to give you a direct answer. It was as if he got pleasure out of keeping you guessing. Whenever we would go somewhere, my sister and I would ask where we were going. Dad usually answered “Nuts.” Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he answered my question, “The motorcycle belongs to some kid.” I was very disappointed; I hoped that motorcycle was for me. I felt like I had missed Christmas morning.

After dinner dad asked me, “Well, are you going to help me unload your new bike or what?” After a few seconds, I realized that he was messing with my head earlier. The excitement returned; I was in such a hurry that I almost fell out of my chair trying to get up.

We went to the truck and began to unload the motorcycle. I unlatched the tailgate and it fell with an ear splitting bang. I climbed into the back of the truck to help loosen the straps holding the bike in place. Slowly, I backed the bike up to the edge of the tailgate. My dad set the back wheel on the ground and then let the front wheel bounce to the driveway. I jumped down and for the first time I could see my motorcycle.

I knew immediately that I would love that motorcycle, I had ridden mini- bikes before, but this was a real motorcycle! As my dad went over a mile long list of instructions and cautions, my mind drifted to thoughts of the grass whizzing under me in a blur, like winter snowflakes in the headlights of a car.

Finally, the time came to climb on and take my motorcycle for its first ride around our hilly, three acre yard. I let out the clutch, slightly twisted the throttle and off I went. I felt like a natural. I was as comfortable riding as I was walking, and I soon mastered shifting through the gears and proper use of the brakes. The more I rode, the more I liked to ride. Eventually, I realized that anything that I worried about seemed to disappear when I rode. I wore a grin almost continuously, from ear to ear. I must have looked like a circus clown to anyone watching.

I found that when riding, I was so focused that I couldn’t think about anything else. This made for good therapy. Once, my sister said some hurtful things to me and I was furious. I went for a ride afterwards and when I returned, I couldn’t even remember why I was mad. This type of coping has carried into my adult life and when I need a little break, a ride always gets me refocused. There is a reason you hear the words ‘freedom’ and ‘motorcycles’ together so often; I believe everyone should find that reason for themselves. For me, motorcycles are a way to have fun, and relax without worrying about things that are outside of my control. Motorcycles are also a way to build relationships. My father and I don’t always see eye to eye, but we can always talk about motorcycles together. So when your dad is driving you crazy and you think you might say something that you will regret, go for a ride to cool off. When you get back you just might feel better.

We loved Arnold’s story, it made us feel like we were there sharing his first ride with him. What did you think? Can you relate to how he felt?


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