I don't believe in coincidence or luck, so this past Thursday when I ran into Paul Evans while walking up the sidewalk to stand in line at City Hall to renew my motorcycle plates I simply chocked it up to fate. Apparently Paul had seen me get out of the Exxon Valdez (a.k.a. my Chevy Tahoe with the Cycle Connections logos on the side windows) and asked if I was with the magazine. I introduced myself and Paul told me he had entered his bike in the 2009 All-American Motorcycle Show/World of Wheels at Bartle Hall a few weeks earlier and had stopped by our booth.
While I can't say I remember Paul (I may have been away from the booth), I did remember his bike, which he described as a 2007 Street Glide with a green skull and flame paint job over Cobalt Blue that was painted by Chris Cofield of CC Custom Graphics. I can pick Chris' signature skulls out of a lineup, so as soon as he described his bike I remembered seeing it at the show, and I also remembered seeing his name on the bike show awards list for taking 1st place in the Dresser Street Custom class.
I gave Paul my card and told him if he could e-mail me some photos of his bike I would gather some additional information from him and try to get him and his bike in our April 2009 issue, which as you can tell, we made the deadline. Gotta love online magazines!
CC: Paul, what is your occupation?
Paul: I’m the Production Manager for a Title Insurance Company. (Yes, it’s an office job.).
CC: Do you have any hobbies other than motorcycling?
Paul: Yes, My family has been around dirt circle track racing (cars) my entire life. My soon-to-be stepsons are racing dirt go-karts now. I also help coach little league football and baseball and I enjoy fishing, but I’m not very good at it!
CC: Paul, why do you ride?
Paul: There is no feeling in the world like getting on a motorcycle and taking off down the road. When I’m on the bike, I have nothing else on my mind. I don’t worry about what bills I have to pay or what I need to fix at the house, etc. I get to focus on the bike and the chance to enjoy my surroundings. There isn’t a worry in the world when I’m on my bike.
CC: How long have you been riding?
Paul: I didn’t get my first street bike until I was 18, so I’ve been riding on the street about 13 years.
CC: What was your first bike?
Paul: I started out on a mini-bike when I was 5. Next, I had an old school Kawasaki Enduro when I was about 10. When I was 18, I bought a 1989 Ninja 600 for my first street bike.
CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Paul: I’ve owned three bikes. The Ninja, a Sportster 1200C and my Street Glide.
CC: What bikes do you currently own?
Paul: The only bike I have now is my 2007 Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
CC: What do you like most about your Street Glide?
Paul: I love the way the bike looks! I had Chris Cofield with CC Custom Graphics paint the graphics over the factory Cobalt Blue, which is awesome. There’s a story behind the paint. To keep it short, it’s inspired my brother Jimmy (R.I.P.), sunglasses, tattoos and rock and roll! If you ever see me out and about, feel free to holler at me, I love to talk and meet new people. I’ll explain the story then.
CC: What is your dream bike?
Paul: I’d love to build a chopper with my Dad, even if it’s just a kit that we put together. We’ve always been car people and I don’t know too much about wrenching on bikes, so I think it would be cool to see if we could put one together.
CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Paul: My dad and I rode the bikes up to Knoxville, Iowa for the Midget Nationals in 2008. Typically, when we do things together, it always involves racing and some kind of work. This was the first time that I just got to get away with him and go have a good time without there being any kind of work involved. It wasn’t a very long ride, but it was awesome to get to spend that time with my dad.
CC: What is your least memorable riding experience?
Paul: My parents, my fiancée Stacey, her mom and step-dad and I went down to the Lake of the Ozarks for the weekend. On the way home we stopped at Bill Sharp’s BBQ on 50 Highway. When we left the parking lot and pulled onto the highway I was leading. I went a couple of miles and noticed nobody else was behind us. I started to get worried and pulled over and waited for awhile. Finally, I saw the others coming. We found out later that there was some miscommunication between my mom and dad when he pulled out on the highway and he almost laid his bike all the way down and ended up throwing my mom off the back. Luckily, nobody was hurt and the bike only ended up with a little scratch on the bottom of the pipe.
CC: What motorcycle rallies & events have you attended, and which is your favorite?
Paul: We do the Kansas City Bikers for Babies ride every year. I love that ride. It’s amazing to see all those bikers come together for such a great cause. The only rally I’ve been to was Daytona Bike Week in 2006 with my buddy Danny. I’m hoping one of these days I’ll get the chance to get up to Sturgis.
CC: Do you have a favorite bike night hangout?
Paul: I don’t have a whole lot of free time to make it to bike nights, but I’m hoping to make it to some this year. Harley Hot Rods in Blue Springs sounds like it might be the place to be this summer.
CC: How many tattoos do you have, where are they located, and which is your favorite?
Paul: I pretty much have a half sleeve on my left arm, from my elbow down. It’s kind of my racing background theme. Someday I want to finish up the rest of that arm and then do my right arm with a motorcycle theme. I have more tattoos on my chest, back, neck, and the top of my right arm, my right ankle and another on the side of my lower right leg. The one on the side of my leg is my favorite. It’s a portrait of my brother Jimmy, who was killed in a car accident.
CC: Who is your favorite tattoo artist?
Paul: Jimbo from Krazy Kats. You’d just have to meet him to know why he’s my favorite!
CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Paul: I prefer to ride in a small group. I enjoy being around family and friends. I’ve lost a lot of family members over the years, so I’ve learned to spend as much time as I can with the family I have left.
CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Paul: My fiancée Stacey (she’ll only ride on the back, she tried driving once and that didn’t go too well), my parents (they’re my best friends and I don’t get to go riding with them enough), my soon-to-be stepson Bryce rides on the back with me (the other one, Tyler, won’t go riding), Stacey’s mom and step-dad Debbie and Jack, Danny and Leah Bartlett, Darren and Gaila Gilbert (if and when Darren ever gets another bike), Bobby and Sue, Jason and Christina, Bret and Kristi.
CC: Paul, thanks for taking the time for this interview and congratulations again on winning 1st place at the All American Motorcycle Show
Interview by Mike Schweder