My best childhood memories are of riding motorcycles with my dad. It’s what we both loved to do and we did it a lot. Sure, there were weekends spent at soccer games and many weekends dedicated to adding square-footage to our once tiny house, but overall motorcycles defined my family.
The Freeman household back then was similar to what you saw on TV shows like “The Wonder Years” and “That 70s Show.” Until I was a teenager, my mom didn’t work. She cooked, cleaned, and was there for my sister and me. Meanwhile my dad went to work and supported the household financially, much like Jack Arnold and Red Foreman did for their TV families. And much like Jack and Red, my dad would come home from his job in a less-than-cheerful mood.
Now that I’m a father and I no longer have a job that consists of jet-setting around the nation from motorcycle race to motorcycle race and from photo shoot to photo shoot, I understand why my dad was not Mr. Cheerful, Monday through Friday. He had work stress, a household to support, my sister and me to guide, and a marriage to uphold. All of that and then some, but maybe selfishly, all along what he really wanted to do was ride his motorcycle.
That may explain why my fondest memories of not only childhood, but of my dad are of motorcycle riding and racing. Maybe that’s when my dad was at his best, or at least felt his best. No traffic to deal with, no deadlines to meet, no meetings to sit through, no mortgage to pay. Just him and me, the trail, and our motorcycles. If that’s the case, then maybe one day Ryder’s fondest memories will be of riding mountain bikes with me.
I spent Father’s Day with my dad, mom, and Ryder at the Kenda Cup West Round 7 in Big Bear where I finished fifth in the Pro class. Although my back was killing me from working in the yard the day before and I had a horrible training week due to life’s nagging errands, I couldn’t have been better than I was on Father's Day.