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Iron Ponies

Suzuki Katana

Jim Hale
August 27, 2012
Filed under Rider Magazine Blog

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Some things are just meant to be. I really believe that. I’m not saying people don’t have some say in how they act or what they do, but some things present themselves in such a way that you just have to surrender to the moment and say “OK, I’ll play along.”

It had been several months since I had visited my family in Ohio. Deb (my wife) had been working in Ohio for most of the week and asked me to come up for the weekend. This didn’t require a lot of planning on my part. I just threw a bag behind the seat of my truck and was ready to go. At least I thought I was ready to go until the phone rang. It was Tonya, my daughter.

“Mom told me you are driving up to Ohio.”

“Yep, I’m leaving in the morning,” I replied.

“Why aren’t you riding the bike up?”

“Well, I haven’t ordered the new front tire yet, and I’m not comfortable putting 500 miles on a tire that needs to be replaced,” I said.

My mind recalled my last trip with my buddy Bob. I had nearly been stranded in Paducah, Kentucky, with a bald rear tire. Luckily, I found a great bike shop and was back on the road in no time. (See my previous blog story, Spring Ride).

“I thought you ordered stuff for the bike from that place in Ohio,” Tonya inquired. “Why aren’t you taking the bike to them?”

“That’s a great idea.” I was starting to smile as I hung up, feeling lucky to have such smart women in my life. Within minutes I had the bike loaded in the back of my truck.

By 6:00am the next morning I was headed north to Ohio, and I arrived at my sister-in-law’s house eight hours later. As my wife came out to greet me, she smiled when she saw the bike sitting in the back of the truck.

“I see you talked to Tonya,” Deb said knowingly.

“Yeah, I figured I’d run the bike over to Iron Pony Motorsports in the morning and get a new tire on the front. That way you can have the truck and meet me up at Mom and Dad’s place in the afternoon, ” I explained as I backed the bike down the ramps.

Honda CBX

The six-cylinder Honda CBX.

The next morning was a beautiful Ohio summer day. The sun was bright as I rode the 20 miles to Westerville, where Iron Pony Motorsports is located. The service department took my bike in and I wandered around the store for a few minutes. Walking out back into the huge parking lot I stumbled upon a vintage Japanese motorcycle show. I spent two hours looking at bikes that brought back fond memories. Old Hondas, Suzukis and Kawasakis were lined up, and every row had at least one bike that I had lusted after at one time or another. There were bikes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, plus a few from the ‘90s. Up front there was a swap meet, and I searched in vain for a seat for my 1975 Honda CB750. After my trip down memory lane, I headed back into the store and picked up my bike. As I was paying for the tire the cashier asked what size of shirt I wanted. Apparently they were giving away free T-shirts with every purchase that day. A new tire, a new shirt, plus a vintage bike show and swap meet…what’s not to like?

The ride to my parent’s house was less than 60 miles, and Deb pulled in the drive right behind me. A ride around my old stomping grounds, a visit with my family and spending time with my wife turned a good day into a great one. I can’t explain why most of the good times I have are so closely associated with motorcycles. Sometimes the why matters a lot less than the what. And what I’m going to do is enjoy it.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Iron Ponies”

  1. David Cottingham on September 4th, 2012 8:36 pm

    Shopped at Iron Pony off/on (depending on where I lived at the time – have been lucky to live close to Chaparral, too) for many years. From when they were in a place the size of a 7-11 to the huge building they have now, always got good service and fair pricing. Your story was a good picture of the place and staff.

    [Reply]

    Jim Reply:

    I remember the Iron Pony shop. We used to go there to buy parts for the off road bikes. The new place is huge and it seems like they have more helmets than anything. Still, it’s a great place to look around. Thanks for the comments.
    Jim

    [Reply]

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