By Joe Boyle
I remember it like it was yesterday. In September, 1997, the last thing my daughter said to me before she trudged off to seminary to become a Lutheran minister was, “Now Dad, what ever you do, don’t buy a motorcycle.
She did not want me to buy a motorcycle because she was concerned for my safety. While I appreciate her loving concern, her warning was too late.
For me, my love of anything automotive, can be traced back to 1944. I had already posed the question in my fresh little mind; “Which is better, walking or riding?” Riding was my answer and I could just barely walk when I answered the question. The photo above captures an image of me driving my first car, in June of 1944. It was a pedal car. After that I had a series of tricycles, bicycles and before I was old enough to legally drive, my second car, a 1948 Ford.
Around mid-October, 1997, I felt compelled to telephone my daughter at seminary, half way across the U.S., and fess up about having purchased my first motorcycle.
My announcement, gently communicated, still shook her up. After my phone call, she ran into her living room where her three roommates were seated. Because she looked visibly shaken, they asked her, “Is something wrong?” Expecting empathetic support from her roommates, my daughter cried out, “My dad; my dad, bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.” Ignoring my daughter’s fears and concerns, her roommates excitedly exclaimed, “Harley Davidson! Your dad is cool. Will he give us a ride on his Harley?”
Now that I have racked up over 100,000 miles on four motorcycles traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada, my daughter has gotten use to the idea that her dad is a motorcycle rider. In spite of her concerns, she has always been a good sport about my motorcycle riding.
In 2005 I rode my Harley coast to coast from Washington to Maryland. I dropped the kickstand at my daughter’s front door. I had long wondered if I could ride the 3,000 miles that separated us. I proved that I could, but when I looked over my shoulder, it was a bit daunting to think I would have to ride a second 3,000 miles to get back home. My daughter thought my ride was amazing.
Around 2006, my daughter and her husband found a special gift for me at an estate sale. They bought an unopened can of Daytona 1988 Harley-Davidson Motor Cycles Heavy Beer.
It was an “all in fun” gift. Quite naturally I wanted to take it home so I could display the beer can in the motorcycle section of my garage. To my surprise I found myself caught up in our government’s effort to stamp out illegal bootleggers.
We did not realize my simple desire to transport one can of beer to my house on the west coast would be met with government interference. The following list of our government “Don’ts” prevented me from bringing my beer home.
1. Don’t pack a can of beer inside carry-on luggage when flying from the east coast to the west coast.
2. Don’t pack a can of beer inside checked luggage when flying from the east coast to the west coast.
3. Don’t mail a can of beer to my home on the west coast.
4. Don’t ship the beer by Fed Ex or UPS to the west coast.
I could have opened and drank or drained the beer thereby voiding all of the “Don’ts”. I did not want to do that. It would be a much better display if the beer can was in tact.
All of this government interference and I do not even drink beer.
This past June, 2013, pushed by determination and rock solid goal setting, I rode my Harley to her front door a second time. This trip, her front door was located in Delaware.
Once I reached the east coast, I packed my collector can of beer in an old towel and stuffed it in my right saddlebag. After my beer was held prisoner on the east coast for seven years, the two of us rode back home. No, the beer did not explode. When you total it up, it took me 44 days and 9,000 miles to bring the beer home.
In case you are contacted by Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regarding any beer transport laws I may have broken, tell them you never heard of Joe Boyle. To tighten your alibi, tell them you have not read my story.