I got a PM this morning from TW2013 asking about my forum name, Long Distance Rider. I've been asked this question a number of times over the years so I thought maybe I'd tell the story.
I have ridden over 400,000 miles since starting on my first two wheeler, a Cushman Eagle around 1958. My first real motorcycle was a BSA 441 Shooting Star 10 years later while serving in the Army in Germany. When I got out in 1971 I shipped a new BSA 650 Thunderbolt home. Over the years I have owned numerous bikes, pretty much every brand other than Harley. Why no Harley, I like to ride, i don't want my ride to be a wrenching session as well. Back in the day, if you were going to ride a Harley you needed to carry tools and oil with you on the bike, and know how to use the tools. Besides, I've never been a "biker", I just ride motorcycles. As far as I'm concerned the whole Harley lifestyle thing is so much Bull $hit. You'll never see me get all dressed up for a costume party.
Anyway, my board name was bestowed on me by none other than Steve Attwood. You are asking yourself who is Steve Attwood. Steve is the guy that accomplished an unheard of feat in long distance riding. In 1993, Steve, being British and somewhat typical of European riders I had met while I was in the Army, decided to enter the Iron Butt. He shipped his bone stock 1983 Moto Guzzi to the U.S. by boat, the cheapest way, and showed up to ride in his typically British Barbour suit. No gore tex, no mapping software, no aux fuel tank, no bike prep other than an oil change. It was like he woke up one morning and decided to go on a 10,000 mile ride, very British, very matter of fact. He lapped the field, and won the 1993 Iron Butt.
Fast forward to 1995. My wife and I were living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We had joined the Land of Enchatment BMW Riders years before and had volunteered to do the coffee detail at the annual Rally the LOEBMWR sponsored in northern New Mexico, near Taos. At about 0500 one morning we heard a bike pull up in front of the lodge while we were putting the morning coffee together. It was unusual because after the nightly barley therapy no one was ever up early. Anyway, in limps this obviously stove up guy nursing a bad shoulder and God knows what else.....and introduces himself as Steve Attwood. Seems Steve had returned as the defending champion, so to speak, to ride the 1995 Iron Butt. He was of course on that same Guzzi when he clipped a mule deer outside of Spokane, Washington doing somewhere north of 80 mph. He spent a few days in the hospital getting well enough to ride and headed for Sipapu. He had evidently called Mike Kneebone, the Rally Master, To report his misfortune and ask for a recommendation or two before his return trip to New York. We had our RV with us that year so we sort of took him under our wing and had a great time listening to his stories about endurance riding. Of course I had a few stories of my own.
Durning these several story telling sessions he jokingly started calling me LDR, Long Distance Rider. I subsequently wrote a couple of tongue in cheek articles for the LOEBMWR newsletter talking about meeting Steve at the rally and how I had given him lots of great advice on endurance riding. I think Steve was impressed with the LOEBMWR motto, "ride to eat, eat to ride" we had a great time at the rally that year.
Last edited by long distance rider; 02-17-2015 at 09:53 AM.
Hoot's Ride Slide Show Music Videos
TW Adventure Rides Completed
March 2015 Moab: With 30 TW Forum Friends..
Summer 2015 Great Lakes, Wisconsin, UP of Michigan, With Borneo and Montezuma
November 2015: SE Ohio/West Virginia w/ Borneo and Montezuma
March 2016: Big Bend NP in South Texas w/ Montezuma, Borneo, Ebbanflood and FW Gary
August 2016: Montezuma and Hoot's Covered Bridge Ride in Southern Indiana
To me, there is no "Harley Lifestyle". I would reside within the confines of a "motorcycle lifestyle" without branding myself according to what manufacturer's bike I rode. I do realize that "some" Harley riders are quick to snub folks on Japanese bikes that imitate the Harley look and these are people I would not ride with on purpose.
Even if I could afford all the cotton candy bull$shit that Harley riders buy, I wouldn't buy into it. Call me stupid but I'm not a black leather chaps, leather jacket with a kajillion zippers or $350 Harley boots with a shiny buckle kind of guy. But then again I'm not a "ride 1000 miles a day for eternity so I can get the T-shirt from it" kind of guy either.
My hat is off to all of those that like that sort of riding, just not my style. Chances are, when I eventually get a new bike, it will more than likely be a Harley. I'll be the guy in Carhartt jeans with buttonloop suspenders, flannel shirt flappin in the wind on my way to the beach for the day. Actually remembering the smell of the salt air and the names of the creeks and rivers I pass over and not what mile marker I'm on.
You guys get it.....I ride with a lot of people and, no matter who I ride with, I am always the standout odd-ball.
The black leather jacket and chaps always seem like people trying to fit into some kind of tough biker image that just doesn't appeal to me. Some of the adventure riding folks at the rallies seem to have more money to spend on huge bikes and accessories than many of them need for an occasional ride on logging and NFR roads.
I must admit, I have invested in good gear after suffering many times in downpours. I don't really have a problem with someone investing in good gear when necessary but just because I bought good Klim gear doesn't necessarily mean I want to go off to far fetched remote areas and ride for days without support or that I desire to do an Iron Butt.
I actually hate being called a "biker" but, many of the people that use that term probably don't realize what it symbolizes to me. So, I usually just ignore it because when I tell them that I am a motorcycle rider and attempt to explain the difference, they really don't care. I guess that means it's my little quirk (not the only one....lol) and, I don't really think as a motorcycle rider, I fall into any one category because I reserve the right to change what type of motorcycle and riding I do at any time.
I just want to have fun and currently my TW and my Triumph provide plenty of fun. I AM kind of in the market for a third bike though.....Scrambler, FZ09, BMW F700gs????
I'm not a "biker". I'm a child of God who happens to enjoy a nice motorcycle ride. When Hell freezes over, I'll ride there, too. Anyone else done a SS1000 or BB1500 on a TW200?
Stock seat. Tdub still has the stock seat, with a Sterns pad since the original foam collapsed at about 30,000 miles.
I am not a " biker ", I could buy any HARLEY on the market today. But I prefer to ride my 2006 Honda Shadow, my 1996 TW or my 2012 Honda Ruckus 50cc scooter,..... and I wear a helmet.
I don't care what people call me ,cause I like to ride a motorcycle.
I might be in big trouble....As I stated above, the BMW F700GS is a motorcycle on my wish list. I've been curious about the lowered version since I heard about it a couple of years ago but I have never actually seen one. Well, today I not only saw one but test rode it. I was hoping not to like it so I could put it on my NO list....dang it, it fit me and I loved it. Now I need to decide.....
Do I need it?
I love both my Triumph and TW and I can't imagine parting with either so the family would have to grow and the car would have to park outside.....decisions, decisions, decisions......