Life as I knew it was forever altered when I was just 7-years-old. It happened the day my dad brought home a 5 HP 2-speed centrifugal clutch, RUPP mini bike. From that day forward, I was bitten by the bug. Mom wasn’t happy, but she couldn’t fight it – after all, it was in the genes.
Even today as I look at the picture of my dad, Walter (Wally) Hoover with his 1945 Army bike, I can still hear the stories of how he and a couple of buddies would jump on the bike and ride the rough gravel roads from South Cayuga, ON to Lake Erie for a swim.
Then there was his dad, my grandpa Duncan (Dunc) Hoover, and his 1923 J Model Harley-Davidson. Dad can still recall when he was first bitten by it; at the farm, Grandpa would put him on the bike with their fishing poles and together they would scoot off to the nearest fishing hole.
Every Saturday, my great uncle George (Geordy) Hoover would head off to Welland and race for the afternoon on his 1931 Indian, then he would put on the sidecar and take his date out to the nearest watering hole. Now those were the days!
All these pictures of generations of my family and their bikes are proudly displayed in my home. And it’s these stories I fondly recall when I am cruising down the now-paved back roads on my custom Roadie. It makes me proud to carry on this tradition, knowing that my dad, grandpa and great uncle are always along side of me.