I really enjoyed the thrill of riding the Mini Bike, and with four brothers coming up behind me, dad got us a Honda 70. The little motor bike Honda made with wide tires and folding handle bars. Not what I envisioned, but it had to do for a while. That bike had a speedometer and top speed was about 45 miles per hour. It was twice as fast as our mini bikes plus it had and electric started. Once Mark was riding on the dirt roads with Mike Visser and another kid, triple, and they hit a stray dog flipping the bike. Mark has a concussion and from then on we were required to wear a helmet. Smart move by Mom!
My appetite for speed and excitement was not satisfied with the Honda 70 so I used my savings to buy a used Honda 90. A real motorcycle! And I paid for it with my own money. I thought I was Evil Knievel and built jumps around the dairy. Once just outside the milk barn I made a jump that was really steep to help me catch more air. Dad saw me make a bad landing with a face plant finish. The whole right side of my face hurt like Ali had got me with one of his left hand punches. Dad yelled that I was going to hurt myself. I didn’t dare tell him that I was hurting.
That Honda 90 was a lot of fun. I had it while I was in the 8th and 9th grade. I did my chores at the dairy every day then it was off to the races. I had laid out several track to ride on and did my best to ware out the tires. By the time I was sophomore I was ready to move into a bigger bike. So with the money I got for selling the Honda 90 and some savings from milking cows I bought a Honda 175 Enduro. With that bike I was ready for Moto Cross plus it was just about me to get my license and I could ride it to school.
I thought I was a good rider until I got to the Moto Cross Park. Tom Fernandes and Chris Caldwell rode there a lot. Those guys were crazier than me by far. The hills and jumps at the track were a blast and I learned to handle that just as good as the rest of them. Only once did I crash there and it wasn’t really a crash. I was climbing a pretty steep hill and was just about at the top when the bike was starting to lug. I down shifted and the new life shot me right to the top of the hill and into a barbed wire fence. The front end and I were tangled in the wire. It took two guys to help me get out of that mess. The bike and I received only a few scratches. I think I rode there a dozen times in all. It was a blast and I think about doing that every time I see the weekend worriers heading out of town with their bikes in the back of a pickup or on a trailer. Good times!