The best moments are when you meet another biker in the most unlikely of places or a person you know in passing turns out to be a biker and an instant bond forms.
That was the case this past week. As you know I was lucky enough to attend the AIMExpo in Orlando. Most of that reason is I have annual recurrent flight training at FlightSafety International at the Orlando airport and my company pays for the trip down. I get to spend the weekend at the show, and then a fun-filled week of 18hrs of classroom and 15hrs of flight simulator dealing with every emergency possible, and living to tell the tale at the end of it.
Ok, where is all this going you may ask. Well......I bought an Ace Cafe t-shirt from Red Torpedo, a UK based clothing company. A cool one at that, they sponsor Guy Martin and John McGuinness. Their clothing is high quality and built to stand the test of time, and oddly enough not made in China. Portugal in fact.
So I am proudly wearing my Ace Cafe t-shirt on the last day of school at FlightSafety. I show up in the morning and as usual I checkout the various bikes parked in the lot. Nice Indian Chieftain, a beautiful Triumph Bonnie and a rare Yamaha SR400 (not available in Canada). I'm barely in the lobby a few minutes and one of the instructors that I have never met comes over and comments on my shirt. Tells me he owns the Bonnie out front and that I have to go show the centre manager my shirt because he has a Thruxton Ace Cafe Edition.
On my break from our simulator session I walk in the the centre mangers office and say, "I hear you have a nice Thruxton." Chip lifts his head with a big smile, and what follows is a conversation about the AIMExpo, retro bikes, the Ace Cafe, and my trip to the UK in November. Chip bought a new Bonnie and then went back and got the Thruxton Ace Cafe Edition a few days later, man after my own heart. He said send me some pics of you at the Ace in London. Consider it done Chip.
I have been going to FlightSafety Orlando for over ten years, and I have known Ted, the assistant centre manager that long as well. Ted is a great guy, always smiling, easy to talk to, and a great instructor as well.
All this time and I never knew Ted rode a bike, in fact he has three, a Yamaha, Harley and a new Indian. The Chieftain I was admiring in the parking lot. So we start talking about bikes and I mention how I want to hack my Guzzi. Ted said he would like a car for the HD so he can carry his Lab around. Ted has a Chocolate Lab too. Well, the biker bond was firmly cemented with our love for Labs and the desire to have them ride with us.
My friend Pudge summed it up, "you biker guys have the same bond as smokers" which is pretty funny, if you ever see the way smokers bond while standing outside in freezing rain sucking back tar and nicotine.
So basically it's a long winded way of saying you find fellow bikers in every facet of life, and how one moment a person you hardly know becomes a 2-wheeled friend for life.