Readers and their Rides

Dave Baxter a.k.a. Stripe

Written by  April 14, 2004

I first met Stripe several years ago at a Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) meeting. He was the chapter photographer, and it was evident he had a passion for photography and truly enjoyed taking photos of people being themselves.

Stripe had a large binder of chapter photos that he'd taken over the years, which I flipped through after the meeting. I was amazed at the number of awesome photos he had taken at the numerous rallies and events he had attended. I also found out he has had numerous photos published in many nationally recognized motorcycle magazines such as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders.

In October 2003, while preparing to launch the first issue of Cycle Connections, I contacted Stripe and asked him if he was interested in a photojournalist position with our magazine. As I had hoped, he told me he couldn't pass up the opportunity to take on a new challenge and would help out however he could. Stripe has taken several great photos for our cover pages and has covered several local rallies and events in the Kansas City area.

I told Stripe that one of these days I was going to corner him for an interview, and that day is today! Now you get to meet the man behind the lens who is responsible for many of the great photos you see in each issue of our magazine.

CC: First of all, how in the world did you get a nickname like Stripe?

Stripe: It’s kind of a long story, but back in 1990, the Dodge City H.O.G. Chapter sponsored a bike show as a fund-raiser for MDA. One of our members, a professional photographer, was shooting photos of people with their bikes to raise money for the charity. When I posed with my Heritage, glare from a bright light behind Mark’s display resulted in a white stripe down the center of my black leather bandana in the photo. When my buddies saw this it reminded someone of Stripe, the Gremlin ringleader from the 1984 movie, Gremlins. Someone else suggested this would be a good road name for me. In the movie, nasty gremlins develop from cute, fuzzy, mild-mannered mogwai. It was observed that I undergo a similar transformation from a quiet, shy accountant to a wild and crazy biker. The name stuck.

CC: Do you like your nickname?

Stripe: It’s definitely less common than Dave, so maybe it makes me a little more memorable. I had Stripe airbrushed on a vest, and it occasionally leads to interesting conversations with people who comment on it. I’m okay with it, but I’m not having my name legally changed.

CC: Ha! I guess you already answered my next question about your occupation.

Stripe: Yes, I’m an accountant by day and a photojournalist for Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine at night and on weekends.

CC: What do you enjoy most about riding?

Stripe: It’s an adventure, and a great way to relieve stress and meet people.

CC: How long have you been riding?

Stripe: I’ve been riding since the age of 14.

CC: What was your first bike?

Stripe: My first bike was a Honda Sport 50.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?

Stripe: Six.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own?

Stripe: Two. My 1990 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail and a 2000 Harley-Davidson Wide Glide.

CC: Must be nice! So what do you like most about your “primary” bike?

Stripe: I like the 50’s look of the Heritage. It’s comfortable solo or with a passenger.

CC: What is your dream bike?

Stripe: My Heritage.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?

Stripe: Probably my first trip to Sturgis. It was my first long ride, and the Sturgis experience blew me away. I haven’t missed one since.

CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?

Stripe: I belong to the Greater Kansas City H.O.G. Chapter, the American Heartland - KC Chapter H.O.G. and Freedom of Road Riders (FORR).

CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended and which is your favorite?

Stripe: Sturgis, Iowa Freedom Rally, Thunder in the Sand (Conesville, IA), numerous state and regional H.O.G. rallies. I really enjoy participating in charity rides benefiting worthy causes. I don’t really have a favorite. I enjoy them all.

CC: Which is your favorite bike night location?

Stripe: I like bike nights at Paddy O’Quigley's. Since I live in Lee’s Summit, Missouri it’s convenient and I see a lot of people I know.

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?

Stripe: It depends on my mood. I enjoy sharing the ride with others. However, it’s nice to just get out and ride without a destination in mind, just being alone with my thoughts and feeling the wind in my face.

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?

Stripe: The buddy I have ridden most with is Oliver a.k.a. Caviar. He showed me the ropes on that first Sturgis ride and we have made the trip together several times. He lives in Colorado now, but we still meet in Sturgis when we can.

CC: Thanks Stripe!

So when you’re wandering around at the next rally or bike show, smile; you may in the viewfinder of Stripe’s camera!

Story and photos by Mike Schweder