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Blast from the Past

June 19, 2013

NinjaPadreIslandWhile looking through some old pictures – the paper kind, not digital – I came across a photo of me riding a 1986(?) Kawasaki Ninja 600 on Padre Island, Texas. I always like finding pictures like this, pictures of me having what I am sure is the best time of my life up until that point. This picture was taken in August 1990 while I was getting some medical training for the U.S. Army Reserve.  I was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, TX for a few months before being sent to Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Aurora, CO for a year.

My buddy Steve had a Honda CBR 600.  For a while now I thought I owned this Ninja, but as the memories started to come back I realized that I borrowed it enough that it only seemed as though I owned it.  On many weekends, when I was free but the Ninja’s owner wasn’t, Steve and I would ride down Interstate 37 to Padre Island.  At one point we were riding the bikes in the sand – no easy task when the sand is dry and deep.  We didn’t make that mistake again…

As memories keep coming back, I remember that I had no motorcycle license, insurance, or even training;  I just sort of jumped on and away we went.  I can’t say I would loan any of my bikes I own now to the me of old…  This was the third street bike I had ever ridden.  My first was an mid 80’s Honda Interceptor 500 (again, who loaned a kid who barely know where the front brake was this bike?), the second was a Yamaha Fazer 700 (letting me ride this bike was an even dumber idea…).  In the end I never had any real problems with any of these bikes, though a few years later the no license/insurance thing would eventually catch up with me.  Rest assured that I currently have a motorcycle endorsement, insurance, and have taken the MSF Experienced Rider course.

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