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Stories about Our Heroes - Father's Day 2015

 



This Father's Day, the staff here at Twisted Throttle wanted to take a moment to acknowledge those guys that inspired us to be who we are, to love what we do and let's face it, in one way or another, led us to ride. To all you dads out there, motorcycle enthusiast or not...THANK YOU!






 

 



"Professionals know him as Mr. Bastien, where he is a pioneer and innovator of new treatment methods for PTSD. The soldiers he treats as the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the VA know him as Jim. To his students of Zen Buddhism, he is Daikan Sensei. I just call him Pops. He is the smartest man I know, and the smartest thing he ever did to impact my life was this: insisting that I apply to a school where I thought my chances of getting in were a million to one. Four years later, I graduated RISD with the skills and confidence to make a career out of my passion to create. Thanks, Pops, for showing me that if you love what you do, you'll never have to "work" a day in your life." - Nate B.

  

"Eight years ago, I was lucky enough to have my son Jordan enter my life. That moment turned my focus from having fun to providing for my son. Jordan, I've done the best I can to show you how to be a man. How to treat a woman with respect, how to handle yourself when things go wrong, and, most importantly, how to ride a motorcycle. As you continue to grow older, I want you to remember that everything I do is about helping you achieve your dreams. There are things that I never got a chance to do, and I don't want you to look back on your own life and see that too. Let me know what I can do to help, and I will be there. As a rider you not only have me in your corner, but you also have that special bond with all motorcycle riders: we will all help you if we can." - John R.

  

 

 






"We called him John Henry. There’s a million things about him that I remember and a million more traits I have inherited. He adored my Mom. He was a family man, a man’s man, and had enough mischief in him that he was still a young-at-heart man. He wasn’t a fancy man - just a guy with a lot of brains, a big heart, and an indelible sense of twisted humor. He smiled all the time. He was just happy. I am so glad he belonged to me.

John Henry passed a long time ago, but I swear I still hear his two-tone whistle sometimes. My best memory? He gave me a Volkswagen Beetle to drive around the backyard when I was 10. That’s how I learned how to drive. He rocked. Thanks, John Henry, for the power of example." - Cheryl V.

 

 

"My father taught me how to ride when I was 19, in very much in the same manner that he had learned. Standing in an empty parking lot, he gave me a quick rundown on the Rebel 450 that he was letting me learn on: “That’s the front brake, that’s the rear brake, that’s the clutch, here is the shift pedal. One down, five up. Ride like you’re invisible. Stay off the highway for a little while. See you at home. Have fun!” Then he hopped in his truck and drove off, leaving me there with his bike and my nervous shakes -- the same as when his parents dropped him off at a Honda dealership back in 1963.
 
Riding has been a big part of how my father and I spend our time together. Motorcycles have served as a common ground for us as well as a much-needed distraction and stress relief during our family’s hard times. Without his support, I would never have been able to get into riding bikes. Considering that motorcycling is the hobby that has now become my career, it is impossible to put into words just how much I owe to him." - Jared P.

 

 

 

"The best memories I have of spending time with my dad are riding on his bike with him. It is for sure what excited me to ride motorcycles and go on long trips. I have only snippits of memories of riding across the US and Canada with him…I can remember being in the middle of nowhere, Texas, in the broiling sun stopping to take pictures. A day on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls because he wanted to ride for coffee. Being in Nova Scotia seeing the Northern Lights.
 
By the time I was five years old, we had traveled to 48 of the 50 states and all of the provinces of Canada neighboring the U.S. I now realize what an incredible feat this was, and how spoiled we are today. We rode an old 1960s Harley prior to the completion of the interstate system with gas stations (I remember plugging coins in gas pumps on those trips). Still an amazing journey…the memories of riding with my dad are the most special of my childhood." - John S.
 

"I don't ride yet, but when I do I'm sure my Dad will freak out. He's a freaker-outer. Like this one time, when he was going through a mid-life crisis, he dyed his hair strawberry blonde and then broke his toe kicking my sisters bookbag across the kitchen because we told him he looked stupid... like Stuart Smalley. 

I guess what I'm saying is my Dad instilled in me an absolute wildchild attitude with reserve, wicked humor and a great sense of adventure.

His hair is fine now." - Steph R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

"My Dad, Tom West, is my hero. Not only did he show me how to be a decent person and a good man, but he also instilled in me the love of riding and driving. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but that didn't stop my dad from building us all types of motorized toys through the years. While my friends' dads were on the golf course on Sundays, my dad was in the garage with us trying to figure out how to get more power out of a 6-hp Briggs & Stratton motor so our go-kart could go faster. 

 He got me my first dirt bike when I was 12 years old, a 1981 Kawasaki KDX80. Almost instantly we fell into a cycle of me riding the bike so hard it broke, and then Dad fixing it for me. No matter if my brother or I broke down up the street or three miles down a trail in the woods, Dad was always there to pick us up. He taught us how to be crafty and resourceful when it came to making a fix on a budget. I think I made him proud the time I showed up back home on my 1979 Yamaha IT175 with the exhaust held on by the laces in my boots.

 Dad now has a 2012 Harley Road King that he rides everywhere, and occasionally we ride together. Our most memorable ride was to Laconia Bike Week last year: after six hours of Boston traffic and torrential rain, I still had a smile on my face when I looked over at the superhero to my left.

 One of my biggest fears is not being able to repay or thank my Pops enough for what he has done for me growing up. He is still the person I call whenever I’m scratching my head in confusion while working on my bikes or car, and still the guy I will admit to how bad I screwed up one of my projects. He is also the reason I will know how to be a good father one day. Love you, Pop!" - Josh W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Dad has always supported me, even when he didn't agree with my decisions. When I told my parents that I'd decided to get my first motorcycle, neither was terribly happy about it. Dad had fallen off of his a few times in college, and they were concerned for my safety. Nevertheless, Dad drove the 90-minute ride to Hartford, Conn., where I was to pick up a used cherry-red-and-chrome Suzuki Intruder 800. Once I had the bike, I donned a button-up fashion leather jacket and the former owner's used matching red helmet, and set off on my journey home. Two miles later, as I accelerated onto the I-95 on-ramp, I realized the 25-mph training classes had not prepared me for the speeds of New England interstate highways. I rode along at 45 mph in the right lane with Dad tailing me, hazard flashers blazing, until we got to New Haven, where I could buy a windshield and come to grips with the incredible speed of my mid-size cruiser. About an hour later, we were nearing my home in Connecticut when I ran out of gas. Again, Dad patiently followed with hazards flashing as I pushed the bike up a hill to get to the nearest gas station. 12 months later, I left my day job at a reputable professional firm to start selling motorcycle accessories out of a garage. He told me to go for it.

 Through the 14 years since, Dad has listened and supported through motorcycle mishaps, Twisted Throttle's startup, personal challenges, and more. He was the first person to work with me in a tradeshow booth, and he still puts on his "Pa Twisted" shirt and helps out at our Open House today. This Father's Day, I look forward to the chance to get some sun on Dad's boat, fire up the grill, and share a few stories with one of my best friends. Thanks, Dad." - Erik S.