SPRUNG - Harley-Davidson® Springer Enthusiast

Introduction to the Present
January 1998

Photo of Us at Sacramento Grateful Dead show

Greetings,

Welcome to our digs. Over there is the food, over there are the treats, over there are the beverages, the bathrooms are that way, and the rules, while you are here, do not touch my electronics, please do not touch my bikes ... unless you ask, and be nice to one another.

When You are comfortable ... and ready ... grab a seat and join me over by the wood stove, as I weave my tale.

I am writing this because, within the past few years, folks I have met on the road seem to bring up the Internet.

;-) It is at this point I explain, 'more than one wants to hear', about my involvement with computers, how a lot of news groups were created in our old Toad Hall basement {sun,pacbell,uunet,pyramid,amdahl}!hoptoad a story in itself, and that I ride to clear my head of those realities, but... I digress (-;

I am '70 ish' and my close friend / companion / wife and I have been together for 40 plus fun loving years. ~ This sentence was updated 2014.

She is a working artist with a teaching day job, who drove a Triumph and BMW motorcycle during the late '60s and early '70s. She currently drives a slightly modified Sporty and likes back country roads. [Update: I'm [profanity elided]! ...Due to being 'rear-ended' at the beginning of 2005, she will no longer be able to ride a motorcycle.]

My father enjoyed racing and during the summer of 1950 took me to see my first flat track motorcycle race. During the summer of 1957, after placing 3rd in the state Soap Box Derby, my father bought me a 1948 Whizzer motor bike.

The first V Twin I rode was a 1944 Indian Chief. I managed to drive it from the front lawn and down the street to the first stop sign, where I would turn left. At this point I should add, I had 'Beatle Boots' on, which had pointed toes and slick leather soles. With the bike pointed for a left turn, and without looking, I put my foot down in an oil puddle and shifted my weight to the right. My foot slipped and the bike fell on top of me, pinning my leg under it. It took two passing motorists to lift the bike off of me.

During my second military assignment two of my 'cubical buds' owned Harley's. ;-) I raise my glass to Wayne L. Drake a.k.a. Vincent Von Drake (-;

My third military assignment introduced me to 'the Bay area' and another side of life.

During my last months of 'phase out' military duty, I walked into a local biker shop and told the Wrench I would clean up and do other mindless chores if he would teach me. He handed me a broom and 4 months later I completed my 'first' rat bike, made out of shop leftovers.

When I got out of the military, I returned to school and discovered a ??? natural talent for computers.

I ended up writing the coding / communication / control and... conversion / merger systems for the IBM 360/20, helped pioneer wireless digital communication in the United States, worked in television for 30 years, and am I.E.E.E. published. The rest is "history" and ;-) Nobody (-; came here to read about computers; however, it was 'suggested' I add this story:

Some of you may know of Rick Griffin. He is a 'seriously missed friend' who went out for a ride on his Harley one summer 1991 day and died when the truck he was passing forced him off the road.

(fwiw) Rick used to 'hang out' at our place from time to time and had me model for some of his skeleton stuff. Here is a 'photo snip' of the last t-shirt/poster I ;-) posed (-; for him and his photographer, Tom Houston.

I display a SYF on my front brake as a memory of Rick and some other 'missed acquaintances / friends' from the "He's Gone" crowd (George, Pig, Rodney [Road Hog photo, next to Robert Hunter], Bobby, 'Jer', (sigh) to name a few.).

I started driving sport bikes during the mid '70s and rode Sportsters during the late '70s, '80s, and '90s, along with two cafe racers and some others. ;-) I enjoyed the "Sunday Morning Ride" for many years. (black primed '63 / '64 Triumph) (-;

Leading up to computers, and a few years after, I only knew 1%'ers, who expanded my knowledge of riding, wrenching, and brotherhood.

Contrary to public opinion, one of my best friends became the president of a 1% club about the same time I reentered college.

He still loves to ride, never did anything that would put him in jail, worked for the gas & electric company 37 years, raised a family, retired, became a 'Grandpa', and just finished restoring a 1958 Triumph Tiger 110.

I have met some of, what I would consider to be, the more interesting riders of the past and had the great pleasure of being a friend of Big J, Twiggy, and their family.

Big J was one of the 'originals', a gentle giant, excellent wrench, ;-) mid-wife (-; for my pups, and one of my heroes.

I do not have pictures to show the sort of motorcyclist he was, but if you take a look here, [Note: Photos from previous link have been moved to here and/or here.] he was very much like these guys, except he belonged to a club.

The black and white photographs on that above site represent the foundation of my introduction to what motorcycling was about (for me) and has stayed with me through the years.

During 2002, I got rid of one of my best custom Sporties and picked up a 2003 FXSTS.

2003 FXSTS

Mount Konocti, Lake County, CA in background, Mike Wilhelm on the XS Yamaha and Sprung's 2003 FXSTS
Mount Konocti in background, Mike Wilhelm on the XS Yamaha and my FXSTS - Wallpaper

 

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