Ever since I could remember, I wanted to ride a motorcycle. As a kid, whenever I saw myself as an adult in my minds eye, it was on a motorcycle.I can remember in third grade, looking out the window daydreaming while a guy rode past my school on a Honda CB 750 and thinking, “That’ll be me. When I grow up, that’ll be me.”  But it was a long-lost childhood dream, drowned in a sea of credit card bills from Nordstrom, or Macys, or wherever my now-ex-wife wanted to shop and a litany of disappoving glances whenever I paused in a parking lot to look at some other guy’s bike.

I had a minibike as a kid, a little scrambler with a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine, and a Puch moped in high school when mopeds were all the rage, but as a grown up, I never took the action of learning to ride, getting an M-class license, buying a bike. There were always reasons: I didn’t have the money for a bike, my wife wouldn’t support the decision, I didn’t have the time, etc. etc.

But in early 2008 none of those things were true. Now 43 years old and fresh off a divorce, I could call my own shots. If I wanted to ride, there was nobody telling me not to. If I wanted to go into debt to buy a bike, that was my business. And suddenly, I had free time to do the things I wanted to do.

The writer on his first day of motorcycle ownership, with his brand new 2008 Triumph America.

A motorcycle-riding friend explained the process of getting a license, and encouraged me to sign up for a class from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Within a few months, in May 2008 on Memorial Day weekend, I got my first bike, a 2008 Triumph America. Pacific Blue and New England White. 865 cc’s (which seemed like a lot at the time.) A couple of tasteful upgrades like saddlebags, a windscreen, a sissy bar and a passenger backrest. Riding that bike made me feel like a million bucks, and every time I threw my leg across the thing, I felt like I was about 7 feet tall. I felt like…a man.

Since that time, riding motorcycles has given me untold joy. I’ve been riding for four years now and logged about 25,000 miles in that time. I’m now on my second bike, a 2300 cc Triumph Rocket III Touring (which I bought at the beginning of the 2011 riding season. More on that in a future blog post.) I’ve taken a number of riding/camping trips with some buddies and those trips are the highlight of my year, each and every year. And I’ve become a man obsessed. Yes, I love riding motorcycles. But I love looking at them. I love tinkering with them. I love the way they smell, an intoxicating combination of oil and leather and gasoline and exhaust. I love talking about them. On my free weekends more often than not I end up at a motorcycle dealer, testing them out and learning all I can about them.

I think there are a lot of guys out there like me, circa 2007: frustrated middle-aged guys who see other guys riding past them and wonder, “Why have I never done that? And if I wanted to get a bike, how do I do it?”

I want to help. I want to share my experience, as a relative newbie to the obsession of motorcycles and provide advice to the new rider or the wannabe-new-rider. And I want to connect with others who share my love of motorcycles and share ideas, bullshit about bikes, compare notes on bikes we’ve ridden and gear we’ve used.

I’ve tried blogging before and always started strong then run out of gas. This time, by picking a topic I’m passionate about, I’m hopeful that I can keep the momentum going. My day job is in public relations, and I’ve helped other companies start blogs and build followings, so now it’s time to do it for myself. I’ve done a lot of the things I recommend that clients do: I have a Twitter feed tied to this blog, and I’ve reserved URLs and even Google+ accounts, so more to come. And I have an editorial calendar of stuff I want to write about. So I think this time I’m set up to make this work.

Stay tuned.