Published In The January 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source By Chris Callen
Fall is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The leaves are falling, and there’s the need for an extra layer of leather or what have you, to take the scoot out on a nighttime run. It all adds up to the perfect reminder that another year is passing. It also gives me and some of my local boys a thing or two to try and squeeze in before the snow flies. For any of you that follow the Cycle Source blog, you know exactly where I’m going with this. That’s right, that last fall ride that ends at a good bonfire and a bullshit session.
I have been running myself ragged this year and noticed that I hadn’t kept a very good commitment to tear up the tires from Metzeler on my old Pan. It’s just been a heavy year and I’ve had such a good life full of riding that one here and there won’t kill me. The one thing I couldn’t stand is to let the year end without that last tribute to the closing of the book.
I called up some friends and we made a loose plan to do it like we had back in the day. My brother Scott Conway and his son Zach showed up at my house and we picked up Keith before just setting out across the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. The leaves and scenery they sat in were breathtaking. We crossed over bridges, climbed hills, and rode alongside the river for a while. All in all it was exactly what I needed to end the year. But it didn’t stop there, and this is where the point of my story lies.
As night fell, we headed back to Scott’s house where he and his son are building a metal pole building behind the family house. His kid is chompin’ at the bit since he lost his rental space and has been building his choppers in the driveway. In comparison, this will be a palace for him to work in. As we all looked at the work they had done, under roof and somewhat ready for the winter, Zach drug a burn pit out and started a fire. Just then Kim, Scott’s wife, brought out some burgers and beers and we settled in to one of those perfect moments that make me realize how much better than the straights we have it. From my toasty warm chair, my perspective on the night was that I was watching three generations of scooter tramps share time and stories like we were all together for a lifetime. And then I realized that this group of people had been together for not just one lifetime; they had known each other before I was old enough to ride. We had watched Zach grow up since he was born. Now he’s building bitchin’ hardtail Shovels and I see the pride in his old man’s eyes every time the kid talks about what he’s doing next. I see that same pride in Keith’s eyes when I’m telling the same stories, and the fact that we’ve lived some of these together does nothing to make it any less special when we bring them up again in conversation. We realized that night, that this is in fact the time of our lives. So this is our Year in Review issue; a time for reflection. At this point, on top of wishing you and yours the best for the holidays and the coming year, all I can say is thank you! I am truly grateful to have such a beautiful life because of motorcycling and this magazine.