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Chapter Member Spotlight - Kenneth Bingham
In high school I always wanted a motorcycle. Back then being from a small town (New Iberia), the bike to get was a Cushman Scooter. But having a very sensible father, “NO” was the answer. “Those things are dangerous.”
Life moved on… Out of high school (class of 63) and then to schools in Hartford, Connecticut and Terrytown, New York. I started working in the family business (office supplies), then along came the U.S. Army, marriage and the first child. The passion for a bike never left my soul. In 1975 I bought a used Honda 125 on/ off road bike. After a few months of riding around, I decided it was time to jump a ditch. You guessed it, the bike and I jumped the ditch just fine, it was the landing that didn’t come out too good. My father’s words “Those things are dangerous”. In two months the bike was sold!
After that two sail boats, show dogs, flying, weight training and body building, little league , Jaycees, Optimist Club and ten years of running. I ran three marathons, two triathlons, numerous 10K’s and 10 milers. Also did some bike cycle racing (50 and 100 milers).
After working for 34 years in the family business, it was time to sell and start looking to retirement. After selling I continued to work for the company. Before I retired, “mid-life” started pushing on me real hard now. So I bought my first “Big Bike”, a new 2004 Kawasaki 1500 Nomad, black and chrome. I started riding short stuff at first (less than 100 miles) by myself and really enjoyed riding. But I always had a feeling there was something better than 100 miles. I heard about an overnight ride to Galveston. They called it a “Poker Run”. I had no idea what the hell that was. It was called the “Autism Ride”, again I’m clueless as what to do. All I knew I was going “out of state” on a motorcycle. No “rain gear”, no room reservations and no nothing. Lucky for me before I left I asked somebody what to do. They invited me to join their group and they would show me what to do. After that ride I was hooked on long bike rides. And by the way, I won $500.00 on my first “Poker Ride”. The three couples that helped me all belonged to the Goldwing Club. I was invited to join the club and I did. That’s when I really started riding long rides. I rode that Kawasaki 30,000 + miles. I rode as far west as California, as far north as Indiana, and as far east as Washington D.C. eventually I moved to a 2006 Goldwing 1800. I even got some “rain gear”. Back then the Goldwing Club was big and had lots of long rides. But on all our Goldwing rides there was always those “Harleys” out there.
One day I decided I wanted one of those “Harleys”. In 2010 I bought a used 2005 H-D “Deuce” with 5,000 miles. Now that I had a Harley, two good running friends (Lee and Shirley) invited me to a “HOG “ meeting. At the first meeting I reconnected with some old friends from years past, Julie C. and Larry L. I joined the Cajun HOG Chapter in 2010.
In March of 2011 I retired from the business world. I worked in the same business for 51 + years. In just a matter of one year, I put 15,000 miles on the Deuce. I moved to a new H-D Switch Back (11,000) , then to a new Street Guide and then a new H-D 2013 Elec Guide “Classic” (60, 000 miles now) white and blue.
Since in the Cajun HOG Chapter, I’ve been on the best long rides of my life. Route 66 (17 days 6,500+ miles), Key West (2,000+ miles), Colorado (3,000+ miles), Nova Scotia and Canada (5,700+ miles), Sturgis and Canada (7,100 miles), Outer Banks and Kitty Hawk (9 days 2,900 miles), as well as other rides to Hill Country, TX, Milwaukee and Chicago. I’ve been to all three H-D factories and the H-D museum in Milwaukee three times. There have been many other shorter and overnight trips with this chapter. The “Road Captains: in this chapter are the best.
I still have the Goldwing with 79,000 miles and the H-D “Classic” 60,000 miles. Right now I have 194,000 riding miles on motorcycles. My goal is to do 200,000 miles. Another goal is to do 100,000 miles on the Goldwing. I had a goal of making all the 48 states on a motorcycle. I achieved that goal in 2016 with Melissa S. when we crossed into Vermont. That just happened to be her last of the 48 states also, 48th together. Thanks Melissa. I have also ridden in three providences in Canada.
In October 2018 I had a little set back with prostate surgery. My riding was shut down for 3 months. I’ve recovered from surgery and I’m ready to start back riding in 2019.
I was a Cajun HOG Chapter photographer for three years, Road Captain and attended HOT (Harley Officer Training) in 2015. And “yes” I was in the HOG magazine (Colorado ride) and high mileage member two years. Most of my long rides have been when I was over 70 years old. Even at the age of 74 now, I feel like I still have a few more years of long rides. I want to go back to Utah and out west again. Another place I want to go see is “The Ark Encounter” in Kentucky. We have a beautiful country here!
By Yvonne Menard