Hello, my name is Peter DuDeck, and this site is about how a motorcycle trumps therapy.
When I was 17, I bought a 1977 Kawasaki KZ-650 from a Jersey City police officer (and if you’re in the know, you’ll appreciate the fact that he left the Blue Knights shield on the fairing windscreen.) It was a strange choice for a first bike; most experienced riders recommend something half the size, or a third the size! But for $500, freedom came cheap.
At the time, the only person I knew that rode was my high school algebra & computer programming teacher, Mr. Len Heinzmann, who happily volunteered his time to escort me to the DMV for my license check ride. It was quite a struggle to get the large bike through the slalom cones, but it was good enough the get that lovely “M” on my still fresh NJ driver’s license.
I rode that thing everywhere. To classes at NJIT, to work, to the ski slopes… before you start imagining skis strapped to a motorcycle, the lodge at Hidden Mountain let me store my equipment there between practice sessions with Coach Simon. Everywhere that is, until I rode it into the side of a ‘69 Chrysler.
I had two other bikes for brief periods in my twenties, coveted my landlord’s Honda V45 back in 2000 and happily rode an ‘05 Yamaha FJR1300 twice lent to me by a friend over the past four years, but my wife had resisted my getting another motorcycle. It’s been 15 years since I’ve owned a two-wheeler. That is, until this spring, when my friend offered my that same bike he had lent me for an unbelievable deal. More unbelievable was my wife actually wanting me to get it.
To start, this is now my fair weather commuting vehicle. Any day with less than 40% chance of rain, and I’m taking the back roads to Stamford on two wheels instead of four. If the odds are less favorable, the top goes down in the convertible until the raindrops appear on the windshield.
Now I’m the owner of a meticulously maintained, expertly ridden machine. With around 16,000 miles, a nine year old FJR is barely broken in. It’s my duty to add to the odometer; “it’s a moral imperative.” 80+ miles a day commuting won’t be enough; an FJR wants longer stretches of open road. It wants… Long Distance Riding.
And so goes the story…