and look - a TAWS from Jul 15, 1999 - kinda long, but what the hell ...
Memories - 15Jul99
So, I was going through the boxes of shit I have in my Len (Library/den) when I came across a great box of memories…
Shabop - it's April '94, and I'm picking up my Hawk GT. I'm crazy about the bike - have been for a while now. Ever since I first was intorduced to it - June 1988.
You see, at that particular time I was off defending the rights and freedoms of ALL Americans, in a far away land. One day, I went to check on my mail, and lo and behold - a copy of Cycle World had shown up. Cool I thought - for I was a bit withdrawn from my 2-wheel lust. Wondereed where it came from. But before I could get hung up on that mystery, the cover had taken over my brain. All the cells were working overtime to burn a copy of the picture into their individual memories. Wow. Nice bike. I recall enjoying the article, and filing the thought of owning one of those sweet little bikes.
Time goes on. I end up picking up a '89 Kawasaki Ninja 750r - the sport touring one, not the ZX-7 backbreaker. Woods Fun Center, Austin, Texas. They actually had a couple of Hawks on the floor while I was making my decision. Sadly, one small concern I had was traipsing from Austin, center of cool as I knew it, to the homeland of Upstate New York. I had previously had a 550 Seca, so I decided the 750 was more in tune with "touring", versus a "small" 650. Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha …
6 years, at least 5 lifetimes go by. I'm in DC. Work's got me traveling nicely. I'm in Denver in the spring of '93, and as a course of habit, I've made visits to the local bike stores. A NEW Hawk sits at Lakewood Honda. Oh so nice, I think. I must get one of these bikes. Once again I had fallen away from the 2-wheeled lust which has been a constant drive of my psyche. Since last I was in the position to purchase, and choose "touring" size over my heart's desire, I had learned the joys of "small" bikes - thanks completely to my best friend Matt.
I was in Tennessee; a bit despondant. He was looking out for my well being and says - "Take the GS for a ride. It'll cheer you up". A sunny day + one Suzuki GS500 + a motorcycle addict x two runs up and down Deal's Gap = Instant Happiness. Hmm, how to say this nicely. The GS, when compared to my 750 Ninja, was quite gutless. But the fun I had!!!! Never had I ever felt as comfortable on the Ninja. Full throttle into downhill corners?! Not a problem. Oh the joys of small and light. A connection had been made.
Spring of '94. Work has me going to San Fran, but I'm schemeing to get to Denver to pick up the Hawk (they still have one in a crate!!!) As fates have it, Lakewood wouldn't come down from their asking price of $4K. A frantic call to Honda USA, and the assistance of a kindly soul (who's name is somewhere in my computer…) and I have the knowledge that Skipps Honda in Keyser, WV has at least 2 hawks they haven't sold!! Cool. Phone calls, faxes, prayers - everything comes together! Since the summer of 1988, I had been desiring a Hawk. Since the Spring of 1993 I had been thinking of the one in Denverp. And now, on a sunny but cool spring day, I roll one out of the gravel parking lot of Skipps, and into Nirvana!
Wow. Memories. How about the break in ride? From West-by-God Virginia, up into central Pennsylvania - where I show up/off with pride the result of the handiwork of a friend. "Take a ride, my friend. It'll cheer you up" - those would have been the words I spoke to Matt. Sadly, it had rained on me the entire time I was in Pennsylvania. He was pleasantly surprised/shocked. He eventually did ride and love the Hawk.
I would spend untold hours on the Hawk in Pennsylvania. and running up to New York, home. and around Maryland. Proving that I was wrong about small bikes not being "touring" worthy. But I didn't know then. But now I do. And all the time I spent "touring", I was exceptionally cheerful.
I have a box of memories. Things I can hold in my hand, and let my brain run free. One copy of a magazine - thousands of strings attached. Who was I when I got that? Why did it show up? Where have I been since then? And the fact that that's just the seed. wow. Memories of the actual "plant" would take years to tell.
Hope your memories are as sweet.
** - email list - all the characters in the community - leading me to believe even more in my "Bird"