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“We were all part of a unique culture that created a world move- ment of professional thrill seeking athletes.” tive and that gives me a sense of pride. My thoughts, mindset and entire outlook on life were molded by the motorcycle rac- ing life. Though I was born for this life, I did choose it at a young age. Swimming and Surfing I knew from the instant I saw my first mini-bike in 1967 what I wanted to do. This was between 4th and 5th grade. My parents had recently divorced; I was a competitive and successful swimmer and diver starting at age 6 at major events all over So. Cal. I was an intense swimmer and diver. I swam for a while on Olym- pic Gold Medalist Sammy Lee’s team in Buena Park and was within contact of a prolific mass murderer while at another team in Midway City. At 8, I would swim out into the big waves at Hunting- ton Beach and body surf in to shore. No wetsuit, no fins, no board and I’d do it for an hour at a time, take a break and do it again. From a young age I’ve been a voracious reader and that is not often a trait of physically active kids or adults. Because of these disparate traits, people have often judged me wrong and this started with my second grade teacher. Miss Newville inferred to my dad that I was borderline mentally retarded. She made my life miserable to the point I still associate the smell of her per- fume with dislike. She, like others I’ve encoun- tered, can’t understand people like me, who always like hav- ing fun, with brains and bodies always pegged on the redline. They simply choose to desig- nate you with the “label” Du Jour. It’s their crutch to explain My SL125 Honda in my front yard. I had riding gear, but I wanted to ride my new bike around the yard and pop a wheelie in the street. I tricked it out with a Webco pipe, Petty Fenders and knobby tires after stripping off the electrics. Play riding in the desert. My girlfriend, now wife Cinda getting a tan after riding. www.dirtillustrated.com