It has been five years since I had the pleasure of working with Ryan. I think he was a novice rider when I first met him, but I have seen him progress from a 650 Kawasaki to a 750 Honda Shadow Ace, and now he has moved up to the 2005 HD Road Glide. He was always riding, even in cold and nasty weather, and never misses the local KC runs that are a big hit in the area. I am glad that Ryan has kept up with the flow and events. Watch for Ryan and his Fiancée Madonna at one of the many bike nights, and according to Ryan, Daytona is looking very promising.
CC: Ryan, what is your occupation?
Ryan: I’m a system administrator.
CC: Do you have any hobbies other than motorcycling?
Ryan:Yes, I enjoy martial arts such as Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido, photography and wrenching on my Mustang.
CC: Why do you ride?
Ryan: Boy, there must dozens of ways to answer this question. I suppose one reason I ride is for the tactile feeling of being out in the open with nothing but your leathers separating you from the elements. That, and the sensation you get while riding along a back country highway and looking around at the road stretching out ahead, the rolling countryside spreading across the horizon and the open sky above.
CC: How long have you been riding?
Ryan: I’ve been riding about five years.
CC: What was your first bike?
Ryan: The first bike I ever owned was a 1972 Honda CB350 basket case. The bike I actually learned to ride on and had out on the street was a 1981 Kawasaki KZ550 LTD.
CC: How many bikes have you owned?
CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
Ryan: I own four bikes right now, although only three are road-worthy. That ’72 CB350 still lurks under a tarp in the backyard.
CC: What is your current bike?
Ryan: It’s a 2005 Harley Davidson Road Glide FLTR.
CC: What do you like most about your Road Glide?
Ryan: Hmm, that’s another tough one. I guess it would be the versatility. The Glide is just as stable negotiating rush hour traffic as it is tracking down the interstate on a trip across the state. This bike is just plain fun to ride!
CC: What is your dream bike?
Ryan: One that can disperse rain clouds on command. It seems that every time we go on a trip we hit rain. I’m not talking a little sprinkle or a brief shower; I mean a pouring, soaking through your gear and running down into your boots storm.
CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Ryan: My first long-distance trip on the bike: my fiancée and I road our Shadows out to the Honda Hoot in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2003. Just the experience of spending hours a day in the saddle and riding through parts of the country we had never seen before was amazing. For weeks after that it just felt wrong every time I had to drive the car instead of ride.
CC: What is your least memorable riding experience?
Ryan: That would be the first time I dropped a bike. It was one of those situations where nothing was hurt but my pride. We’ve all been through it at some point. ‘Nuff said.
CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?
Ryan: I belong to the Honda Riders Club of America and I'm a member of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.).
CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended and which is your favorite?
Ryan: March of Dimes Bikers for Babies, Honda Hoot ’03, Central Harley Davidson’s Toys for Tots Ride, Gail’s Putt for Mutts, Janey’s Over the Next Hill Ride for Immacolata Manor in Liberty, Harley-Davidson Open House and Demo Rides at the Kansas City plant. I guess my favorite is the Bikers for Babies rides. There’s nothing like being in the middle of a group of motorcycles that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see in front of and behind you.
CC: Which is your favorite bike night location?
Ryan: I haven’t really been to many bike nights but I guess the most interesting would be Frankie D’s over in KCK. Between the bands, burnouts and general mayhem, it’s quite an experience.
CC: Do you have any tattoos?
CC: Then I guess you probably don't have a favorite tattoo artist.
Ryan: Actually, I like the work of East Coast Al. He did my fiancée’s ink and always treats us good when we drop by his shop.
CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Ryan: It really depends on the situation. I guess I prefer riding by myself or with my fiancée, who just got her own scooter, although, I do like taking trips with small groups of friends from time to time.
CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Ryan: My fiancée, Madonna (yes, that’s her real name), originally helped get me into motorcycling and cruisers in general and we ride together quite a bit. Another friend of mine, Orie Wall, is a long-time Harley-Davidson rider and has kind of mentored me over the last few years. I also blast around from time to time with my boss.
CC: Just for fun, which of your riding buddies is the best rider?
Ryan: Well, Madonna is definitely the best looking!
CC: Just for fun, which or your riding buddies is the worst rider?
Ryan: Hey, we all have our bad days now and then, don’t we?
Interview by Dave Miller