When I was seven years old my grandparents had an old school mini-bike that they would let the grandchildren ride around on. Very similar in design to what used to be called a tote goat back in the day. Two wheels, a lawnmower engine, and no suspension whatsoever.
One day while speeding around the back of my grandparents house I decided to do something that resembled a jump over a small clay culvert that was running through the backyard. Since the bike had no suspension, at all, the wreck was inevitable. I got up, shook myself off, and found that I was bleeding profusely from my left knee. Shortening this part of the story, I ended up getting six stitches. (Sidebar: from my dad, who was working as an ER doctor.)
In the spirit of “when you fall off a horse you get right back on”, dad purchased me a Honda XR 75 motorcycle. It took a week or two to stop riding around in first gear, but I finally began to master it. Sometimes dad and I would take it across the street in front of our house and ride it on the long piece of real estate that ran adjacent to the Allied Chemical factory. (He had a CZ dual sport that he rode to and from work.)
Later we would move to Kernersville, North Carolina, where there was a much larger patch of land that several kids and I who had bikes would ride on. The bike was still in good working order by the time we moved to Elkins, West Virginia.
We hadn’t been there very long, and I hadn’t really made any friends yet, when I decided to take it out onto a patch of land that sat right next to the housing development we lived in.
It was there that I met at the Dean boys. Brian first, and his older brother, Bruce. Brian had a Trail 90, and Bruce had some flavor of Yamaha YZ.
We spent a few years riding together, tearing up the trails, before I could no longer deny that my XR75 was just too small and I sold it.
Eventually my friends went off to college, and I joined the Air Force. I returned to broadcast radio after my stint on active duty was up. I would find myself in Morgantown, West Virginia for about a year and a half, where my buddies Brian and Bruce now lived.
Soon after, I left Morgantown for another radio job in Raleigh, North Carolina.
A year later Brian informed me that he had taken a job with SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina. While he worked out selling his home, and getting his family moved, he stayed with me in our guest bedroom until he was able to get everything settled.
About a year later, things got shaky in the radio world, which led to Brian sending me three links to job openings at SAS. I applied for all three, and was hired for one of them.
I worked there for 21 years.
During my time, I became a member of a couple of different customer advisory councils. This led to being in the right place at the right time when a product marketing position opened up at Lenovo, in the ThinkStation business unit, where I assist in setting the direction for the future of high-end desktop computing…
…because, this one time, I wrecked a mini-bike.