Readers and their Rides

John Osowski - Lookin' Good in the Neighborhood!

Written by  March 14, 2004

I'm blessed to live in a neighborhood where motorcycles are a common sight...and sound. In my cul-de-sac alone, I have three riding buddies, including John Osowski; better known as J.O.

J.O. and his wife, Kay are two of the friendliest people you could ever meet. To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen J.O. in a bad mood. He has one of those contagious shit-eating grins that brightens up a room, while at the same time, making you wonder what the hell he's up to now!

Since the time I launched Cycle Connections back in October of 2003, all my friends and neighbors have been very supportive. I did, however, warn them that one day in the near future, I’d be knocking at their garage door to pick their brain and take a photo of them and their bike for an upcoming Readers & Their Rides article.

It just so happens that J.O. is this month's lucky winner...or loser, depending on how you look at it.

CC: Tell our readers what you do for a living to support your riding habit.

J.O.: I'm an elevator mechanic for Otis Elevator Company.

CC: Do you have any hobbies, other than riding?

J.O.: I enjoy hunting and fishing, and I have two german shorthairs that I've trained for quail and pheasant hunting.

CC: What do you enjoy most about riding?

J.O.: I love the outdoors, and it's another reason to get outside.

CC: How long have you been riding?

J.O.: I've been riding since I was 9 years old.

CC: Do you see how J.O. cleverly avoided telling us his age. What was your first bike?

J.O.: My first bike was a five horse Briggs & Stratton chopper, which my Dad bought from Dolgins. He felt bad because my dog died one summer while I was away at camp.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?

J.O.: I've owned four bikes. My mini bike chopper, a '72 Kawasaki F175 Enduro, a '75 Kawasaki 900, and my '99 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail.

CC: I know about your Harley, but do you have any other bikes hidden in your garage?

J.O.: Along with my Heritage, I still have the '72 Kawasaki F175 Enduro.

CC: What do you like most about your Heritage?

J.O.: Like most people, I've always wanted a Harley.

CC: What is your dream bike?

J.O.: Lately, I've had a craving for a Bourget, but my dream bike changes with technology and design.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?

J.O.: Every trip is memorable. I enjoy meeting new friends, who I would never have met if I hadn't taken a ride.

CC: What is your least memorable riding experience?

J.O.: The ride I couldn’t take.

CC: Which is your favorite bike night location?

J.O.: Paddy O' Quigley's in Lee's Summit, Missouri. That is where most of my friends go and it's close to home.

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

J.O.: I prefer a group. I love the sound of a herd of bikes!

CC: Who are some of your favorite riding buddies?

J.O.: I have a good friend named Chester, who goes back to my mini bike days. We've known each other since we were kids and we both work for the same company.

CC: Just for fun, which of your riding buddies is the best rider?

J.O.: Mike Schweder, because I haven't seen him crash yet.

CC: Gee thanks, man...sniff, sniff, sniff. I'll knock on wood! So, just for fun, which of your riding buddies is the worst rider?

J.O.: I would have to say my buddy, Frank, who bought his first bike, a Heritage, and rides it like a maniac.

CC: Thanks for humoring me with an interview, J.O., and now I'm going to walk down the street and pester another neighbor for next month's Readers & Their Rides article.

Interview and photos by Mike Schweder