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Pat Ryan, who opened his first motorcycle shop in Bakersfield at age 19, dies at 63

By | General Posts

by STEVEN MAYER from https://www.bakersfield.com

Who opens a retail business at age 19?

Patrick J. Ryan — his friends called him “Pat” — not only founded Bakersfield Motorcycle Supply at 2800 Chester Ave. in 1975, he later opened Ryan Kawasaki on Pierce Road where his passion for life and his full-throttle philosophy drew customers in droves.

Ryan, who later in life focused on real estate and spent 20 years restoring the Kern Island Building on H Street, died Wednesday. He was 63.

“Pat set the bar for me in retail,” said Kerry Ryan, Pat’s younger brother who owns Action Sports in Bakersfield.

“He had no fear, and he taught me to be fearless,” recalled the younger Ryan. “I don’t think I would have risked going into retail if Pat hadn’t done it first. I thought, ‘If Pat can do it, I can do it, too.’”

Born June 9, 1956, the oldest of six siblings, Pat Ryan fell in love with motorcycles at an early age, inspired by such ’60s movies as “Easy Rider” and “Bullitt,” which starred motorsports enthusiast Steve McQueen, “the king of cool,” said one of Pat Ryan’s two sons, Scott Ryan.

With money he earned as a paperboy delivering The Californian, Pat Ryan bought his first dirt bike. At the not-so-tender age of 14, Pat entered his first desert motorcycle race, the Vegas 120.

“Steve McQueen would also be in attendance that year,” said Scott Ryan. “At that time, Pat was the youngest entrant in the history of the race.”

He was just 15 when he got a job sweeping floors and doing other work at Davey’s Motorcycle on Chester Avenue. Pat worked his way into counter sales, ordering custom parts and assisting customers with service needs.

The budding businessman continued customizing bikes and racing through high school, said Scott Ryan. After graduating from Highland High School in 1974, Ryan decided against college, despite the years he spent in gifted classes.

“He figured out how to make money early,” said Tom Carosella, a close lifelong friend who graduated with Ryan in ’74.

“He was fearless,” said Carosella, who went into car stereo sales as Ryan was diving into motorsports. “If he wanted to do something, he just jumped into it.”

Ryan had a rare gift with people, and his love of life translated into the ability to make people laugh.

“He could go into a bar or restaurant and size up the whole room,” Carosella said of his friend. “It was an incredible ability. But even when things turned to crap in his life, he could see the good.”

It was a trait he would come to need.

In 1980, Pat Ryan finished construction on a new location just north of the Garces Circle. The building was Bakersfield’s first to meet California’s new energy efficient building standards, Scott Ryan said.

In 1981, after an ATV accident Pat Ryan saw a doctor to check for broken ribs. Instead, the doctor found a tumor.

“I took him to San Luis Obispo where he got his diagnosis,” Carosella recalled. “We were 25 or so, and ill-equipped to understand what that meant.”

But it didn’t take Ryan long.

“I remember vividly he could talk about it (having cancer) easily,” Kerry Ryan said. “He’d say, ‘Yeah, I have cancer, but I’m going to beat it.’”

He projected strength and confidence, and in turn, got it back from friends, establishing a circle of positive attitude.

Pat successfully battled cancer, often receiving his radiation therapy before going into work to help customers, Scott Ryan said. The experience “supercharged his focus on enjoying life, family, and making others smile.”

Ryan went on to build two more projects in the 1980s, a warehouse building on Jewett Avenue and his dream flagship store, a dream he drew on the back of a napkin.

“He called it Times Square,” Scott Ryan said. The building on Pierce Road — now Buck Owens Boulevard — was designed to feature a rendition of Bakersfield’s historic Beale Memorial Clock Tower. When completed the building was nominated for a Beautiful Bakersfield award.

As the parent of two sons, Neal and Scott Ryan, Pat was a hands-on father.

“He was proud to be a dad,” Kerry Ryan said.

Pat’s notoriety and business grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

“If you had a radio or TV, you became familiar with his infectious enthusiasm and positive energy,” Scott Ryan recalled. “Every advertisement ended with the jingle ‘We love motorcycles!’”

“To this day I still have people ask me, ‘Your dad is We love motorcycles! right?’ I’m proud to respond, ‘Yes.’”

During his career, Ryan co-founded and helped organize the Bakersfield Toy Run, a charity to a help people in need. And during the 1980s when Jet Skis became a craze, safety became an issue as collisions were on the rise. As the local Kawasaki dealer, Ryan worked with the county of Kern to designate a safe area for the recreational sport.

“Pat Ryan and Kawasaki partnered up to organize and fund the Jet Ski Recreational Area Project, and beautification of Buena Vista Lake,” Scott Ryan said. “Together they donated picnic tables, park benches, a boat launch ramp and camping spaces designated for Jet Ski users.”

Eventually, Ryan got out of the motorsports business, and focused on real estate.

In declining health in more recent years, Ryan focused on long-term tenants at his Kern Island Building, which was built by Kern County Land Co. in the 1950s. Primarily focused on nonprofit organizations that were important in serving the community’s needs, Ryan would donate a portion of the rents and provide additional free space to help support their mission.

Pat Ryan lived life on his own terms, said his brother Kerry. It may not have always been a lifestyle that promoted longevity, but it was the way he wanted to live. Full, fun and fast.

“Pat loved riding 100 percent throttle,” Kerry Ryan said, “whether it was on a motorcycle or in life in general.”

A Brother Steps Up

By | General Posts

A 1984 Tribute to the new Evolution Platform
By Bandit and Zeke

Zeke, the constantly moving outlaw rode a rigid framed Shovelhead for years starting in 1979, when he slipped out of prison for the first time. He sold his chopped ’74 Superglide in ’75 to help support his family, while he was shipped off to prison.

In ’79 the man cut him out of some dank, concrete penitentiary on a windy spring morning and his first thoughts included sex and building a chopper quick.

READ THIS FEATURE ARTICLE ON BIKERNET – CLICK HERE

The Flying Piston Custom Striders Auction Group for 2019

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Tiny Strider Customs Steal the Show at Mecum Las Vegas

The Custom Strider Program is an initiative of The Flying Piston Benefit produced by Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News and Jeff Najar of Biker Pros to raise awareness and funds for non-profits and individuals in the biker community. Each year a new class is unveiled at the Flying Piston Benefit Builders Breakfast at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip the first Sunday of Sturgis Rally.

READ THE FULL COVERAGE – CLICK HERE

Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Dominates the Competition in Oakland

By | General Posts

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 2, 2020) – Round 5 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to Oakland, California where Team Green found success all day long. Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac put on an impressive show as he returned to the top step of the 450SX class podium for his second win of the season, while Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner battled hard, earning second overall in the 250SX class and placing his KX™250 on the podium once again.

Adam Cianciarulo and Tomac continued to show the way in qualifying/practice with the dynamic duo once again qualifying one-two respectively for the fifth straight week.

Tomac lined up for the first 450SX heat race of the night where he crossed the finish line in second place and was able to find fast lines that would pay dividends later in the Main Event. Teammate Cianciarulo lined up for 450SX heat race number two and found himself buried mid-pack off the start. As Cianciarulo began picking off his competitors one by one he ran into the back wheel of his former Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Martin Davalos. Cianciarulo got shuffled to the back and had to charge all the way back up to sixth place to qualify into the Main Event.

As the gate dropped on 450SX Main Event, it was Cianciarulo and Tomac getting off the line in great shape. Rounding the first turn side by side amongst the leaders, they ran second and third place respectively. After dicing it out in the first few turns the teammates settled into place. Near the halfway mark the No. 3 Kawasaki machine of Tomac saw an opportunity and began to charge towards the front. After passing his teammate, he was able to make quick work of the leader and began building a lead around two seconds, but a costly mistake at the end of the sand section sent Tomac over the berm. However, there was no denying Tomac on this night. He regrouped and with two minutes left, he was able to reclaim the lead and win the race with authority. Cianciarulo would ultimately end up crossing the finish line in fourth place on the night.

With the win in Oakland, Tomac ties former Monster Energy Kawasaki racers James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto with the most wins in Oakland. After capturing his second win of the season, Tomac now sits just three points behind the series points leader heading into Round 6.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Forkner kicked off the day qualifying second, while teammate Cameron McAdoo returned to racing in Oakland after two weeks off, and able to qualify in ninth place heading into the night show.

Forkner lined up for the first 250SX heat race of the night and got off to a good start. After picking his way past a couple competitors, he began to run down the leader, and after a few turns of playing cat and mouse, Forkner was able to take control of the lead and never looked back. In the second 250SX heat race of the night, it was a wild ride for the No. 29 machine of McAdoo as the Top-5 running order shifted lap after lap. McAdoo capitalized on the opportunity and he went on to win his first ever 250SX heat race.

As the gate dropped on 250SX Main Event, Forkner shot into second place and by lap two had moved himself into the lead and began putting distance between the competition knowing that every point counts towards the championship points lead. As the race progressed. Forkner would be forced to battle lapped traffic allowing the competition to close the gap. Following a quick battle, Forkner would have to settle for second place overall.

In the 250SX Main Event McAdoo found himself buried in the mid-pack off the start. After dodging mayhem in the early laps, McAdoo settled into seventh place and wanted to get valuable track time after returning from injury and ultimately crossed the finish line in 14th place.

After putting his KX™250 on the podium in Oakland, Forkner’s point deficit remains at 10 in the 250SX West Point Standings, however he was able to move up into third place in the championship point standings.

“Wow, what a crazy night. We got a good start tonight and were able to get going right away. Had a good battle with Ken (Roczen) tonight, then got a little excited and missed my rear brake and went over the berm there. Luckily, I was able to recover quickly and charge back to the front. My KX™450 was straight up ripping tonight and we closed the points gap up to three points. I am feeling really good right now, and we are just going to carry this momentum into San Diego next weekend.”  – Eli Tomac

“For me tonight we made great strides and for only riding one time this week to see if my tailbone was good to go, I am pretty pumped with the result. I can’t thank the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for giving me a setup tonight that allowed me to do what I did after being a little banged up. I am looking forward to some more recovery this week and to come out swinging next week in San Diego.” – Adam Cianciarulo

 

Montreal woman leaves her job, hits the road for solo motorcycle trip across Canada

By | General Posts

Wendy McGean fulfilled her dream — of driving cross-country on a motorcycle — at 55 years old

Suddenly, in her late forties, Wendy McGean started having an unexpected reaction every time she’d spot a motorcycle on the road.

“My head would just pivot and I’d think: ‘I really want to do that!” she told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak.

At the time, she thought it was an odd feeling for a married mother of two teenage daughters with a white collar job.

“It was a very traditional kind of life,” she said.

Before she knew it, McGean was leaving all that behind — her home, her job, even her marriage.

“Some people thought I’d absolutely lost my mind,” McGean said. “I just completely turned my life upside down.”

Just one kick at the can

McGean started to chase her dream of riding a motorcycle at 51 years old, signing herself up for circuit training. She realized that she didn’t feel comfortable on only two wheels and bumped up to a three-wheeled bike.

She said it was “love at first sight,” and suddenly McGean was buying a bike of her own.

“I think it’s the first thing in my life I found that I thought, ‘this is mine,'” she said. “It represents complete and utter freedom.”

Not long after McGean got a taste of that freedom, she suffered a major loss. Her father died.

“[It] made me realize that if there’s something that I want to do in my life, then I better get at it,” she said. “So I made the decision to leave my marriage.”

After 23 years of married life, McGean said she started to feel like a square peg and her life was a round hole. Something just didn’t fit anymore.

“I was lucky enough to have somebody that understood that I needed to explore that,” she said.

After living on her own for a while, McGean saw that her workplace was offering an early retirement package that she qualified for. She took it, moved out of her apartment and put everything she owned in storage, except for a one-person tent.

“I got on my bike and headed north without any reservations or anything,” she said.

Forging connections, old and new

With no plans and no commitments, McGean spent the next five weeks riding west to Tofino, B.C. and back, stopping in different towns and meeting new people.

One man she met at a gas station was intrigued by her motorcycle and struck up a conversation about his own cross-country ride on a bike. Before pulling out of the station, he gave her a hug.

“Stopping and having conversations with people I met along the way was probably the best part of the whole trip,” she said.

McGean also took the opportunity to reconnect with people she hadn’t seen in years — she spent a night with a friend in Ontario she hadn’t seen since high school, and also stopped to visit some cousins in Manitoba.

McGean’s cross-country treks are over, for now, but she said she’s grateful for the experience.

“At some point along the way, I finally realized that I had to live my life for me,” she said. “I had to do things that made me happy.”

She’s not sure what lies ahead for her, but McGean is now looking for a job doing something she loves in the Montreal area because she wants to be near her daughters, who are now in their 20s.

Looking back, she said her adventures really helped her come into her own.

“I’m comfortable in my own skin now. Probably for the first time in my life.”

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2020

By | General Posts

From Helmet Laws to the Freedom to Race
By Bill Bish, NCOM

  • ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS URGED TO SUPPORT FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
  • RPM ACT TO PROTECT RACING HAS BEEN REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
  • CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
  • HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • NEW DRIVER ACCOUNTABILITY LAW IN OREGON
  • WASHINGTON STATE ENDEAVORS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  • MOTORCYCLE MARKET TRENDS
  • HONDA PATENTS VERTICAL AIRBAG FOR MOTORCYCLES

CLICK HERE TO READ THE Newsbytes

Hero Motosports rally rider Paulo Goncalves dies at Dakar Rally

By | General Posts

from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com
from https://www.theguardian.com/

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015.

Riyadh: Tragedy struck Hero MotoSports Team on Sunday as its Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves met with a fatal accident during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally. Paulo, aged 40, passed away from a fall sustained 276 kilometers into today’s special zone.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest. Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead,” Hero Motosport said in a release.

Fondly known as ‘speedy Goncalves’, it was 13th Dakar for the Portuguese, one of the most experienced riders on the field.

He made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015

He has had an illustrious journey in the rally-racing world, including a series of remarkable performances at the world’s most prestigious rallies. He was crowned 2013 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion.

“Words cannot describe our shock and loss at this moment. It isn’t just a team, it is a family for us and we are devastated with the passing away of one of our members, Paulo Goncalves,” Wolfgang Fischer, Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally said.

“He joined the Team in April last year and within no time became an integral part of the Hero MotoSports Team family. He will be dearly missed and always be fondly remembered by us.

“Paulo was a true champion, gentleman, reliable friend to everyone in the racing world and a role model as sportsman and personality. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” he said.

The Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Gonçalves died after a crash in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, organisers said.

The 40-year-old Hero Motosports entrant, taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since making his debut in 2006, fell after 276km of the special stage from the capital Riyadh to Wadi al-Dawasir.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest,” organisers said in a statement.

“Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead. The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family.”

Gonçalves was the first competitor to die in the gruelling endurance event since the Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.

The Portuguese finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up in 2015 to the Spaniard Marc Coma, who is competing this year as co-driver to the double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Gonçalves suffered mechanical problems on Friday, having to change his bike’s engine to stay in the race, and dropped to 46th overall after the sixth stage.

“The target now is to do my best, because the result at the end … there is no way to get a good result. Instead I’ll try to do good stages every day possible and that’s what I’m looking for,” Gonçalves said then.

The experienced Portuguese had competed in the Dakar on three continents, from its origins in Africa to South America and this year’s debut in the Middle East.

The 2013 cross-country rallies world champion was representing the Indian Hero Motosports team, along with his brother-in-law Joaquim Rodrigues, after five years racing with Honda.

Gonçalves crashed out on the fifth stage in Peru last year. Rodrigues broke his back in a Dakar crash two years ago but returned after extensive surgery and was 27th after stage six.

Sunday’s 546km stage, the longest of the event, was won by the Spaniard Joan Barreda with the American Ricky Brabec extending his overall lead in the category.

The Australian Toby Price, the defending champion, finished an hour and 20 minutes behind Barreda but organisers said he stopped to try to help Gonçalves and will have his position recalculated.

The Spaniard Carlos Sainz, a two-times Dakar winner driving a Mini buggy, took his third stage win of the event in the cars category to extend his lead over Toyota’s reigning champion, Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar, to 10 minutes. Mini have now won six of the seven stages.

Bill’s Bikes

By | General Posts

Four Decades of a Dedicated Rider’s Rides

Here’s some of the bikes I’ve had since the late ‘70s. There were several more, but they were just something to roll over and make a few bucks. I am currently buying a ‘98 1200 Sportster slightly wrecked for $1000. I’ll send pictures of what I am doing to it to make money to build my rigid project.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS PHOTO FEATURE AT BIKERNET

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Canton veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

By | General Posts

by Kelly Byer from https://www.cantonrep.com

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer get back on the road.

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800. The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

Another person came across the early morning wreck and stopped to help. Zollicoffer, a 53-year-old Canton resident, spent months in a coma and had his left leg amputated at the hip.

This past Veteran’s Day, he received a modified trike at the Makers For Veterans closing ceremony. His family’s safety concerns had kept Zollicoffer from pursuing a costly trike, but they talked and accepted what it meant to him beforehand.

He’s taken a few rides.

“I can’t even describe the feeling, when you get that wind blowing through your hair,” joked Zollicoffer, who has a shaved head.

Makers for Veterans

The Colorado-based nonprofit Challenge America began the Makers for Veterans program (CAMVETS) in 2019. It brought together volunteers with various expertise to solve challenges posed by veterans.

Dallas Blaney, executive director of Challenge America, said the inspiration came from a similar initiative in Israel. Challenge America members participated in the international program and wanted to recreate the experience in the United States.

Blaney described it as “human-centered design applied to the veterans space.” The process begins by asking participants, selected from across the nation, what they want to do that they haven’t been able to.

“That forces the veterans to frame their challenges in a positive way,” Blaney said.

A team — built “from scratch” — with skills relevant to the individual’s challenge then meet at a kickoff event. That is followed by about eight weeks of planning and work culminating in a three-day workshop.

CAMETS then works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other partners to identify prototypes to patent and undergo additional product development.

“So that we can get those promising solutions out to market where other veterans and civilians, too, can benefit from these things,” Blaney said.

CAMVETS coordinated a spring and fall program. From 17 total projects, Blaney said, the partners produced 15 working prototypes and, so far, filed for five provisional patents.

Blaney said a digital service dog application designed to help a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is expected to be the first product ready for market.

Both programs were held in the Cleveland area, not far from where Blaney grew up. He said the region has a great blend of medical, manufacturing, entrepreneurial, academic and innovative institutions.

The Cleveland Clinic, Bio Enterprise and St. Edward High School are some of CAMVETS’ partners.

“It just seemed like such an amazing fit, and it’s a very friendly place to do business,” Blaney said.

The nonprofit likely will host another program in Northeast Ohio this year, but only one. He said CAMVETS plans to expand to a new city.

Zollicoffer’s custom trike

De Ann Williams, executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission, heard about a CAMVETS opening during a conference and nominated Zollicoffer. It was the first she’d heard about the organization, but she thought the program might produce a longer-lasting prosthetic leg.

Zollicoffer used to play basketball and entered the program thinking he’d leave with a prosthetic for athletic activities.

“With the level of my amputation, that was close to impossible,” he said. “So they started asking questions.”

Zollicoffer, who grew up riding motorcycles, then told his team he’d like to ride again.

“As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I understood and respected that,” Williams said.

Zollicoffer worked ’hand-in-hand” with his team as the plan evolved — from modifying his prosthetic leg to modifying a three-wheeled motorcycle. However, he said he wasn’t privy to the end product until the Veteran’s Day reveal.

When he was asked to visit a Harley Davidson store as the project wound down, Zollicoffer began to wonder if he’d get a new trike. He later learned that sitting on a $35,000 motorcycle was more for measurement.

The engineers, students and other makers on Team Z turned a two-wheel 1972 Harley Davidson into a trike by replacing the rear portion with wheels from a 1978 Mustang. They also moved the typical, left-side motorcycle gears to the right.

“So, it was a totally customized job,” Zollicoffer said.

Community comes together

After he saw the trike, Zollicoffer saw the executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission.

“I turned around and there’s De Ann standing there,” he said. “That’s when it became clear to me that the whole outreach team got together and they did this thing.”

CAMVETS has paid the “lion share” of most projects, Blaney said. The local commission, though, was tasked with raising $5,000 to buy the bike, which was complemented by donated parts.

Williams said she believes the plan to have the bike donated didn’t work out, so the commission reached out to area service organizations. They had the money within a few days.

“I was just beside myself,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the community came together like that.”

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 38 was the major donor. Others were American Legion Post 548, American Veterans Post 124, and Coyote Motorsports.

DAV Commander David May said the project aligned with the group’s mission to assist disabled veterans.

“We’re happy to do it,” he said.

Those involved with CAMVETS said they were glad to learn of the program and plan to volunteer or recommend it to other veterans in the future. Zollicoffer said he made “lifelong friends.”

“We’ll definitely stay in touch with CAMVETS,” Williams said. “I think that that’s definitely going to be a partnership that I hope lasts for a long time.”