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by Genghis



It's hard to believe but Thanksgiving 2009 is upon us. Time sure does fly when you're having fun, and fun it's been after another good year of riding my Harley 74, Mabel. This good 'ole girl, this 86 inch stroker Shovelhead full of piss 'n vinegar with a stroker crackle, has been my motorvatin' mainstay of the past, and forms the spine of my biker life for the present and future. Hey man, whaddya think "going the distance" means? Forty-one years ago, I was a young man with a hot '64 Vette and an itch appropriately called, "Harley Fever." I'd progessed to the point where my motorvatin' life couldn't just end with a car that I loved. That existence had to include for better or worse, for richer or poorer---a righteous Harley-Davidson. For the time, that turned out to be a spanking new 1968 Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster. On that day in May of the Lord's Year of 1968, a wonderful dream was born, a dream that persists to this day. For this I am grateful.

Back then in the old daze, I went through all of the machinations that all young bikers go through. I was introduced into the biker subculture that ensconced all of the characters that called 'emselves "bikers" and I was forming my own identity as a hardcore biker for life. What is a hardcore biker? The answer is simpler than you might think. A hardcore biker is a motorcycle rider who makes ironclad vows to keep on riding that bike, through thick and thin, through times that see emotions that range from boring to exhilirating. In the biker subulture just as in general society and life, there are peaks and valleys. It is the last bikers standing through good times and bad---that still stand by their beloved bikes, just as their loyal steeds have stood by them---that can be called hardcore bikers. Our motorcycles are our iron maidens that will last forever, and will reciprocate our loyalty toward them by giving us everything that they have. These bikes leave nothing on the playing field of highways and byways. We always win with these players on our team. No matter what happens in life, these motorcycles will always be there for us.

Here I stand forty-one years after that fateful day in '68 when I entered the life by entering Harley-Davidson of Manhattan with a $2,300.00 wad of cash, still riding and still cherishing my Harley--along with the rest of you who have done the same. For all of you readers of the 'ole Iron Horse magazine, I applaud you all for being hardcore bikers, for going the distance with your motorcycles. I am grateful for your participation in our culture, and am grateful for your companionship---for all bikers are tethered forever by our dedication to the bike and the ride. I am also grateful for my old friend Flynch for joining me on the Going The Distance website. It feels right, and it feels good. Now, if only the long-lost David Snow would join us, then---the IH family could be truly considered complete. To all of you Iron Horsers out there in Internetland, Happy Thanksgiving! Later.