My Motorcycle Riding Buddy

I have a lot of great memories of Jim and one of the best is remembering Jim as my motorcycle riding buddy.

For a couple of years I thought about buying a motorcycle and finally did so in October 2008. I had never ridden a bike in my life (am I the only person that ever bought a bike and had to ask the previous owner to deliver it?). What I learned about bikes leading up to that purchase came from three sources: (1) the internet, (2) my brother and (3) Jim. After looking at a few bikes and asking Jim a lot of questions (some of which I think he ran by AJ), I bought a 2006 Yamaha V Star 1100.

I took the Motorcycle Ohio safety course and rode a few times in my neighborhood. I had never ridden more than a couple of miles from home when Jim said “let’s take a ride”. We rode 50 miles that day….that was a long ride for me. Showing respect for the experienced rider, I asked Jim if he wanted to lead on the ride. He said that I could lead and he would follow. It wasn’t until after the ride that he told me he didn’t want to lead because he was worried that if we had to stop suddenly, I wouldn’t be able to stop and would ride into the back of his bike! It made a lot of sense when I thought about it. On May 3 we went on another ride….this time for 105 miles. My riding skills were much improved but he still knew better than to lead!

Jim gave me a bell (about 1 inch tall) that I hung on my bike. The tradition is that there are little road gremlins that can cause problems for bikers. The bell protects the biker from the gremlins….they get trapped in the hollow of the bell. The ringing of the bell drives them insane and they can’t cause problems for the biker. I feel pretty good knowing that I have the bell and that Jim is up above watching over as I ride.

And AJ….thanks for letting me know about this site.


  1. Phil, I know I’ve told you before but I’ll tell you again. I’ll be down there soon to go for a ride with you!
    (and thanks for the story!)


  2. AJ, Phil…I don’t think I know either one of you but I would like to get together with those of us that ride and do a run or two this year in Jimi’s honor. I’m in Dundee and I ride for the Patriot Guard Riders of Michigan. Please email me if you are interested and we can set something up.

    Terry Alvarez

  3. I did meet you at the funeral home, and I’d like to do a ride in Jimi’s honor toward the end of the summer! Maybe a dinner ride or something, I’m open to ideas. Jimi has some relatives in TN. that ride and I’d like to give them the opportunity to come up and ride with us as well.

    Oh yea, I have your card here as well 🙂

  4. Ok…AJ, Phil…a dinner ride it will be. I can make a few different arrangements and run them by you both. I will work on that in the next few weeks and give you details that you can make a final decision on. What was Jimi’s favorite place to eat or to ride to? Lets make that our destination…think about it…give me your input… & lets do this!

  5. Terry, Jimi would ride anywhere, a scenic ride was always the best though. As for where to eat? Anyplace that can accommodate his large group of family and friends because I’m sure that those who don’t ride will still want to come and eat 🙂 That’s a pretty tall order isn’t it?


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