I’m a union carpenter, local 13 Chicago Illinois.
I have been riding motorcycles most my life, and since I was a child I have loved motorcycles! From riding mini-bikes before bicycles, to dirt-bikes, to being that kid dragging everything home that had a motor and learning how to fix it and ride it. Motorcycles and traveling have always been a passion of mine. My father was one who used to take me everywhere on his motorcycle, then as I got older we would ride everywhere almost year-round together on our own bikes.
I'm still someone that would drag anything home with a motor, fix it and ride it or sell it. I currently have a motor sitting on the bench and can't decide what kind of hardtail I want to put it in. At times I would have multiple motorcycles in my garage. A few times in my life I didn't have a car, and I would ride my bike year-round. A few friends have recently brought up how they remember never seeing me in a car, only on a bike! One person in particular who I did my apprenticeship with for the carpenters union brought up how I never drove a car, always a motorcycle. Throughout the years, I have met a lot of great people and have ridden with a few organizations that have lead me to traveling to most of the lower 48. I really value all the life experiences I have encountered with riding and people I have ridden with! From riding throughout the Rockies, down to Gunison, to Tucson, to El Paso I love riding through the desert! I used to ride to Laconia New Hampshire every year, which I'd ride straight to from Rockford IL. Riding in New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York I have always loved! I just always hated the rain in June for bike week. One day I’d like to move somewhere in the Appalachians, after having travelled through on my way to Myrtle Beach. I have learned the hard way that life is short and not to be taken for granted; you can't take material possessions to the grave with you! It's your life experiences, the things that you have seen, the things that you have felt, the things that you have lived through, the things you have accomplished when everyone said you couldn't or wouldn't again. The memories are the things that you will take to the grave with you.
A few years ago, I was in a very bad motorcycle wreck, and by all counts I should not be here writing this right now. After doing a long trip southwest and riding through the desert, I was only 5 minutes from my house when a 17 year-old girl made a left turn in front of me. I woke up weeks later in the ICU, after funeral arrangements were made for me, after I was read my last rights. I was able to pull through it all! I had multiple broken bones, multiple facial and skull fractures and temporary brain trauma. Doctors and others said I would never be the same, never be able to be a carpenter again, never be able to ride again. I have proved everyone wrong, all with my glorious one finger salute! It has been a long and winding road to say the least, from almost losing everything I own, the aches and pains, both physical and mental; looking back and seeing how low you can get in life, and then achieving great goals to overcome setbacks through hard work. Now I truly look forward to those long and winding roads, but on my motorcycle!I
Recently had an amazing trip this past June, I rode through the state of Alaska! As of yet this was unexplored territory for me, and I made great memories riding that will last a life time!
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge started off as something I wanted to do for myself. It has been something I have followed since lying in a hospital due to the wreck, from something I wanted to do, to something I need to do. After lots of thought and seeking advice, The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge has turned into something that isn't just something that I need to do, but a challenge that I can accept to help others too. I was unsure about how to fundraise, and then saw The Grunt Style Ride on Facebook, and so I walked into their office asking for advice. I met with The Director of Motorsports of Grunt Style, and, after a long talk with Bridget who was nothing but awesome and encouraging, she said to me that she is behind me and will help anyway that she can. After meeting Bridget, I then met Mark Palmieri from the Three Rangers Foundation. I have felt compelled to raise money for this foundation; a foundation that is really true-hearted in helping our vets with the life struggles that occur when coming home, and overcoming those issues
Vicky, with Animals for Awareness, is someone who I have known for over twenty years. I have watched her go through the worst of hardships; from losing her husband, her son's friend committing suicide in her house, and so on. But one thing she has never lost is her love and dedication towards animals, her heart for family and friends, putting everyone and animals that no one else wants first before herself. She has dragged herself out of the hospital to bottle feed wildlife, she does school demonstrations with her hawks, she fundraises for animal shelters. I couldn't do this ride and raise money without raising money for someone and a foundation that truly puts everything before themselves.
So with the The Hoka Hey Motorcycle challenge being something of a great goal and meaning of accomplishment for me personally, it also gives me the great opportunity to assist these causes.
- Peter Welsch
- Patti & Art Kleckner
- Carol Sutherland
- Barb Crum
- Holly Davis
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