But in my defense—I grew up around motorcycles without knowing that I grew up around them. I knew that my uncle built custom bikes and was awarded all these accolades, but that just felt like a cool thing to say in grade school. My aunt could ride and brought up names of her friends in the industry so many times I felt like they were just a part of the family even if I had never met them personally.
It was a culture that I was surrounded by during the occasional trips to the Black Hills in the summer, but I didn’t know the first thing about it except my dislike for baggers—not to offend people who ride baggers who might be reading this.
Fast forward several years with a degree in English in hand, several years of professional experience in management, and an opportunity to start a family business in the place I always thought of as home. It was a no-brainer. But again, I knew nothing about motorcycles; though instead of scaring me out of a new opportunity, I saw it as chance to be a part of this culture that my family was so deeply connected to. I felt that I could bring a new perspective to our store—the next generation of motorcyclists and our desire to chase new experiences and be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
So would knowing how to ride a motorcycle before I started working here have helped? Yeah probably. But I think about the question people like to ask, “If you could do (blank thing) over again to experience it for the first time, would you?” I like to think that I can be that person that reminds others what it felt like to ride for the first time and why you keep riding. So if you’d like to be reminded of that feeling, keep up with my journey here as I learn to ride. Until next time: wear a helmet, drink some water, and take it easy.