Readers and their Rides

Paul Versaw and His 1973 Honda CB500

Written by  May 31, 2006

EDITOR'S NOTE: We received the following e-mail from Paul Versaw of Lincoln, Nebraska who was more than happy to share a photo and some information about him and his bike “Julie.”

Attaching a photo of Julie and me…without overalls.

I have been riding all winter except for a couple of weeks when it was too icy. It has been a challenge to find affordable gear that works. The most recent episode was a pair of Dickies insulated bib overalls from the Fort Western Store. We wandered in for a visit after eating next door. I had been watching the prices at the farm store on the other side of town, but when they finally went on sale, none were left in my size so I talked my wife and daughter in for a stroll through the western store. They rolled their eyes at me but went along to humor me because I had money and they had none. Guess they figured shopping with me was better than no shopping at all.

My 1973 Honda CB500 is black and chrome so I got to thinking how silly I was going to look with duck colored overalls, and believe it or not, they had some black Dickies with zippers down the legs for $43. I wore them all the way home in the Suburban.

I used them tonight on the ride home after a big rainstorm, and it sure was nice having warm legs. Wished I had taken a coat to work though. Been thinking about a big duffle bag so I can carry more essential stuff. I saw one at the Big Lots store. I’ve got to figure out an innovative way to strap it on.

I’d also like to tell you about John Zalers my mechanic friend. He likes working on the old bikes and used to be my neighbor. I ran into him again after several years and he has done a nice job fixing up Julie for me.

Sometime I'll tell you how the bike got named Julie and maybe a few other stories about guys I work with and their bikes. I’m going back to the western store for some boots one of theses days. I feel kind of silly in my Reeboks.

Paul Versaw
Lincoln Nebraska

CC: Paul, do you have any hobbies other than motorcycling?
Paul: Yes, I also enjoy video production.

CC: Why do you ride?
Paul:The mix of motor and wind noise calms me down. If I go two or three days without riding the tension builds inside and the only way to release it is to ride. You don’t have to ask if I rode today, just check for the smile.

CC: What was your first bike?
Paul: It was a 1971 Honda 175cc I bought for $125 from a college buddy.

CC: What do you like most about your CB500 named Julie?
Paul: It’s unique, quiet and there’s not too many like it left. I guess I’m stuck in the 70s .

CC: OK Paul, you’ve got to tell us how Julie got her name.
Paul: OK. I named the bike after someone I used to spend a lot of time with at work. During lunch she would call her husband on the cell phone and it got to the point we began carrying on crazy three-way conversations. So one day I said “Ask your husband if I can name my bike after you.” When he got through venting I think he realized I was messing with him so he said “OK.” So this was my way of honor them both.

CC: What is your dream bike?
Paul: A Honda Shadow. I saw one while taking my drivers test last summer and fell in love with the styling.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Paul: One night in Olathe, Kansas in 1977 or 1978 I rode home in a downpour. The bike was humming along like a sewing machine and I worried about it stalling out. When I finally got home I was both soaked and thrilled by the experience. I still like riding in the rain but I finally have some rain gear. Kind of feel sorry for all the folks trapped inside of cars during those times.

CC: Paul, thank you for the interview and for telling us about you and Julie.

Interview by Mike Schweder

Photo submitted by Paul Versaw