motorcycles

The cycle of life

Riders love freedom of two-wheel travel

Posted 6/5/16

There’s just something about being on a motorcycle. Riders like the open road, the freedom and the independence.

“No matter what,” said Jonathon Buschbacher of Golden, “whenever I’m on my bike, it’s a good day.”

Riding a …

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motorcycles

The cycle of life

Riders love freedom of two-wheel travel

Posted

There’s just something about being on a motorcycle. Riders like the open road, the freedom and the independence.

“No matter what,” said Jonathon Buschbacher of Golden, “whenever I’m on my bike, it’s a good day.”

Riding a motorcycle is not a new hobby — the bikes have been around since the mid-1800s. Sylvester Howard Roper, an American, invented a two-cylinder, steam-powered velocipede in 1867. The first gas-engined motorcycle was invented by a German man, Gottlieb Daimler, in 1885. And the Harley-Davidson Motor Company was launched in 1903 by William Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson.

For many people, owning a motorcycle is a passion, interest and stress reliever, said Luke Porter, 22, who works at Sun Enterprises in Thornton, one of Colorado’s largest motorcycle dealerships.

Riding gives a lot of people freedom, he said. “You don’t have to focus on anything besides the action.”

Porter has been in the industry for about five years and went to school for motorcycle technology. His dad, Dave Porter, is manager of Old World Bikes, a vintage motorcycle parts, service, restoration and sales shop in Golden that specializes in Triumph, BSA and Norton motorcycles.

Luke Porter started off riding bikes in his teens and developed an interest in repair through his dad. “It just kind of took off from there,” he said.

‘Buy, fix, ride and show’

People are catching on that it’s a “really fun hobby,” said Toni Buford of Golden, who owns three Harley-Davidsons. Motorcycles have grown in popularity among women and the younger generations, she said, and the “old-timers” are still riding.

“Usually, if it’s something you love, you’re never going to give it up,” Buford, 50, said.

Rohn Hyde, 67, of Lakewood taught himself how to ride a motorcycle when he was 11 years old.

“I was a paperboy,” he said, “and I had to have motorized conveyance because I got tired of pedaling.”

And it’s something he has stuck with.

Hyde has owned probably 40 motorcycles through the years, he said, and currently owns 14 favorites. They’re primarily Triumphs — he has never owned a Harley-Davidson — and he has a particular fondness for Unit Triumphs between 1963 and 1970.

He will often take his bikes to shows so other people can learn about the vintage bikes.

“It’s a chance to share,” Hyde said. “It’s not every day you see a vintage motorcycle on the city streets.”

Hyde has been “tinkering” with motorcycles since the late 1970s. For the past seven years, he has been involved with Old World Bikes.

“The whole experience has been something I’ve gravitated to,” Hyde said. “Buy, fix, ride and show. That, in a nutshell, is what I like to do.”

A family affair for many

Buschbacher, 36, agrees that one of the biggest joys of owning a motorcycle is being able to work on it. He bought the bike he currently owns, a 1991 Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster, in 2013. Buschbacher bought it wrecked, and it took him about six months to complete the fix-up.

Buschbacher prefers Harley-Davidsons because he likes the look of them and the ride they give. Plus, he added that his older half-brother and his dad always liked Harley-Davidsons.

“I grew up on the back of his,” Buschbacher said of his dad’s bike. He started riding on his own as a teenager. “It’s kind of a family thing.”

Similarly, Buford’s dad got her and her sisters into riding motorcycles.

“He loved the fact that all his girls were riding,” Buford said. “A family that rides together, stays together.”

Buford’s dad, Bob Buford, died of cancer in mid-April of 2006. He was “quite a legend in the biker community,” she said. “Everyone knew him and loved him. We lost the best one in the pack that day.”

Bob Buford’s bike, named Old No.7, a 1994 Heritage Softail Harley-Davidson, was also well-known. On her wedding day on May 6, 2006, Buford rode Old No.7 from the church to the wedding reception.

“It was a rough day,” she said, “but I felt like he was with me when (I) made that ride.”

One ride that Lakewood resident Zak Wagner, 25, does every year is the “Love Thy Chopper.” It takes place mid-July, he said, and is a charity ride that benefits Wilderness On Wheels, a volunteer-run nonprofit that provides access to nature for people with disabilities.

“It’s a cool organization,” Wagner said.

A lifestyle about people and fun

Wagner has owned his motorcycle — a 2009 Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster — for six years. He has met a lot of people through owning a bike — many of whom he probably wouldn’t have if he didn’t ride, he said.

“The people who come along with it is my favorite part,” Wagner said.

Michele Veith also enjoys the people. “It’s kind of like an underground family,” she said.

Veith, 38, has been riding for about 20 years. She owns one motorcycle — a 1971 Yamaha CS3 — and four scooters. Veith has been part of an all-girl scooter club based in Denver called Mods ‘n Knockers for about 10 years.

“We work on our own bikes and hang out together,” she said. “We had been good friends for a long time, then just gave ourselves a name.”

Although based in Denver, one of the group’s default rides — which the girls do a lot, Veith said — is to Coors Brewery for a tour or the Buffalo Rose in Golden. She also attends scooter and motorcycle rallies.

Veith usually rides one of her scooters for short trips, but also has a lot of fun riding her motorcycle.

“It’s not just a mode of transportation,” she said. “It’s a lifestyle.”

motorcycles, Old World Bikes, Love Thy Chopper, Harley-Davidsons,

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