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I started riding fairly young as a passenger with my Dad, so I blame him for this ‘fetish’.  Riding with Dad gave me one of my favorite (out of few) childhood memories.  I was probably 10 or 11, and it was late in the riding season and Autumn was already well settled into the Heartland.  We lived on Whiteman AFB in Missouri, which is about 70 miles east of Kansas City, MO, and KC is where my Dad’s favorite bike shop was.  One crisp Saturday morning, Dad decided he was going to ride to KC.  He needed something for his bike and had called the shop and talked to Bear.  (I promise, I’m not making that up.)  Bear said he would have it at the counter for Dad, and I wanted to ride with Dad to go get it.  Of course I wanted to go with him.  I loved riding with my Dad and it didn’t matter that the weather was already pretty cool as far as riding goes.

We took off from Whiteman already bundled up as well as we could be, and I tell ya’ it wasn’t riding gear.  It seemed like we were already freezing when we stopped in Warrensburg, which is only about 15 miles away.  It was damn sure a colder ride than we anticipated when we left home, and we needed to warm up and evaluate the situation and the idea of going to KC.  The conversation was short, and didn’t really include much talk about going back.  Hell no!  We were going to KC.  So Dad bought a couple of newspapers and we laid them flat on our chest and belly underneath our coats, and we rode to KC.

I’m sure the trip back was not as harsh.  After all, it was a bit later in the day and a bit warmer, and it’s not as prominent in my memory as stopping to stuff newspapers under our coats.  We returned home with lips so chapped and split that I remember it to this day.  We made it to KC for whatever part that was that Dad needed, and I made it home with my favorite memory of my Dad.  I miss you, Dad.

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