Last week I wrote about the women I’d most like as a passenger on my motorcycle. This was in response to an article out of England where Brits surveyed revealed their dream motorcycle passengers.

Here’s the other half of my list – the guys I’d most like in my riding crew.

10. Quentin Tarantino. As I noted last week, Quentin and I have the same taste in women. And I have loved every single one of his movies. He’s got a similarly warped view of the world as I do. Q, let’s ride!

9. Michael Parks. Just because I want to be able to say I rode with Bronson.

Ironically there is a Michael Parks – Quentin Tarantino connection. Parks played not one but two roles in the Tarantino epic Kill Bill.

 

8. Ron Perlman. Just because I want to be able to say I rode with Clay Morrow.

7. Dick Cheney. Love him or hate him, agree with his politics or despise his politics, there’s no more manly man on the planet than Dick Cheney. Think about it. This guy made a conscious decision to every day, by every person, be called “Dick.” And be OK with it. “Yeah, I’m a Dick. And I don’t care. You can call me a Dick and it doesn’t bother me at all.” And he rams around the planet like a man possessed: natural resources underground? Blast it outta there! Best friend standing between me and the 12-point buck? Fill him fulla lead! Suspected terrorist maybe with some information I need? Waterboard the mofo! I want him riding on my right hand.

6. Jay Leno. I rarely watch Leno (I’m a Letterman guy from way back) but he has a cool motorcycle collection so we can talk bikes.

5. Dana White. I’m obsessed with The Ultimate Fighter and Dana White just seems like a really cool guy.

4. Robin Williams. He makes me laugh.

3. The Dalai Lama.

Me: “So, Lama…which road should we take.”

Dalai Lama: “Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga.”

2. John Bloor. This guy is the international business world rock star that nobody’s ever heard of. Get this: he grows up in a mining village to a mining family. Drops out of school at age 15 to go work construction. Learns the trade and eventually builds a house on his own. That’s “a” house. As in one house. Turns it into a billion-dollar fortune in real estate development.

Think about it: England is as old as…well…dirt. People have been developing land in England since the Druids were worshipping at Stonehenge. And the undeveloped land that exists there is probably all owned by the Royal Family and/or controlled by the Royal Family and/or owned or controlled by friends and family of the Royal Family. So starting from humble beginnings and carving out a niche in U.K. real estate development is impressive enough.

The publicity-shy John Bloor doesn't have a corporate headshot available. This photo is linked with permission from a University of Leicester press release when he was given an honorary degree.

But what really makes John Bloor cool is that in 1983 he was looking at a shuttered motorcycle factory, planning to turn it into condos, and bought it instead to become owner of the defunct Triumph Motorcycles marque. In doing so, he honcho’ed one of the biggest turnaround stories in the motorcycling industry and maybe in the business world, ever. Rescues Triumph from the scrap heap and turns it into one of the hottest motorcycle companies on the planet. This is the guy I’d like to meet and ride with more than anyone.

I was critical of Brits last for putting Prince William on top of their list of most-desired motorcycle riders. To me John Bloor is the real British hero: a self made guy who started from scratch and created something in this world. That’s a far greater accomplishment than winning the genetic lottery like Prince William.

1. Anyone who rides. As I was putting this post together, I was having a hard time thinking of guys to put on the list. And it occurred to me that its because there’s nothing about celebrities in the business, acting, or rock ‘n roll world that makes them special. They’re just people. And I like people who ride.

I ride with an eclectic group of guys. Al and Ernie drive trucks for Pepsi. Pete is an airline pilot. Art works for a performance bike shop. Scott is a roofer. Tom owns a little auto parts distribution business. Danny fixes phone lines for Verizon.  I’d rather ride with any of these guys than anyone on the list.

I’d rather ride with John, a guy I met through common friends a few weeks back. John just got divorced. So John bought his first motorcycle, a sweet 2003 100 anniversary-edition Harley-Davidson Dyna. We have a common story: get divorced. Get a motorcycle. I’d have a hell of a lot more to talk about with John than anyone on this list. When the spring thaw comes, I’m sure we’ll be riding a lot.

At the end of November I rode back from Van Sant with three guys I never met before. They had bikes, I had a bike, we chatted each other up and hung out a bit, then rode home together since we lived near each other. One of the guys had an old Street Triple ratbike and so we had common ground right off the bat based on our love and admiration of the Triumph marque. We had a great ride together. I’d rather ride with them.

If you own a bike and ride, we have common ground. I’d rather ride with you.