Wheels vs. Wings

I loved flying jets. I enjoyed some of the other aircraft I had the opportunity to fly, but
flying passengers in a Citation business jet is nothing like pushing the throttle up and
slicing towards an impending merge with a bandit. Or tipping into a 45 degree dive
from 15,000 feet towards a target 3 miles away on the desert floor. Or “cloud surfing”
on your way home at 500 KTS. It’s just plain fun. And I miss it. Whenever I dream of
flying, I’m not in a business jet – I’m back in the AV-8.

I started riding a few years back when a great friend of mine, Jim “Jimbo” Moore (see
note below), talked me into buying a sweet little Yamaha Seca II. After an
inauspicious start, culminating in an unexpected meeting with a Yuma snowbird who
didn’t see so well, I decided to hang up my helmet for a while. About this time, I left
the AV-8 and found myself flying the KingAir and later the Citation; both used by the
Marine Corps for transporting passengers and equipment. Although a different sort
of fun, it couldn’t take the place of flying tactical jets. Enter Jimbo once again. I had
read “Investment Biker” by Jim Rogers which had re-sparked my interest in riding,
and Jimbo just happened to be selling a K1100LT. This time was different – I actually
took the time and training to really learn what I was doing – and motorcycling has
been a passion ever since. Jimbo and I often talked about the connection with riding
and flying, and we both know many former and current jet pilots who ride.
Interestingly, Elden asked me about this same connection when we met. He always
felt there was a natural connection between flying fighters and riding motorcycles,
and that feeling had been reinforced by meeting several military pilots/riders. I knew
in my own heart that motorcycling had allowed me to reconnect with the same
feelings of exhilaration and freedom that I’d lost when I hung up my G-suit, and I do
think that riders and pilots share a kinship that others wouldn’t understand.