‘Higher’ education

Like, wow. Like, bow wow, man.

Like, wow. Like, bow wow, man.

In 1973 I was a 19-year-old college dropout with a part-time job and no car, riding a bicycle everywhere.

But I went back to school, got that diploma, and today I’m a 61-year-old man with three part-time jobs and no car, riding a bicycle everywhere.

Stay in school, kids.


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44 Responses to “‘Higher’ education”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    “…I’m not Jesus, man….don’t even play him on TV”

    Wow. Long ago and far away, brah. Somewhere I have a picture of me and Tom Kellogg streaking on our motorcycles at the Univ. of Rochester. Like you, higher education for me had a different purpose than pure study.

  2. Steve O Says:

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    All I remember about being 19 was choking on tear gas trying to get to Union Station to catch the train back home. Chicago, 1968.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Wonder if I saw you on TV, Pat. That was a pretty grim year for a lot of reasons.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Not a participant, just collateral damage to a kid trying to get home from work. I was walking down Madison Street that evening to Union Station to catch a train, and the wind was carrying the tear gas into the area.

  4. Libby Says:

    The Dog abides!

  5. JD Dallager Says:

    Aaaah….the circle of life. Sometimes that wheel just goes round and round.

  6. Larry T. Says:

    Or not. Other than automotive technology classes I pretty much hated school. Never really understood why until I read “Shop Class as Soulcraft” http://www.matthewbcrawford.com/new-page-1-1-2/
    Side note: I suggested this book for my wife’s senior faculty book club. The dinner at which it was discussed turned out to be…well…pretty lively, based on accounts from those who were there!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I tested well, especially if essay questions were involved. Early versions of the rant, don’t you know. But mostly I found ways around the sharp edges of academia, turning in cartoons in lieu of term papers and videos in place of presentations.

      Also, I skipped class. A lot.

      • Larry T. Says:

        I didn’t mean I did badly in school, I just hated it. They let me start taking high-school classes while still in grade-school and I had all the HS graduation requirements done by my junior year, despite skipping a fair share of classes and fooling around with motocross. Smartest thing I probably did was taking typing – though the reason was the classes were mostly filled with cute girls rather than any great desire to learn how to type. But the typing skill’s come in handy for sure!

  7. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Mad Dog for President. Bernie Sanders for VP.

  8. charlespelkey Says:

    But look at how many more bikes you have now.

  9. Chris Says:

    Happy birthday, el perro viejo. I was just thinking the other day how little I learned in college. Probably because I spent so much time hanging around w you.

  10. Chris Says:

    And hey, I just realized it’s not your birthday, so I rescind all felicitationes. In fact, the hell w you, you old dog.

  11. Sharon Says:

    Happy birthday! Hope there are many thousands of miles to ride!!

  12. md anderson Says:

    “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”
    -Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

  13. Ryan Says:

    That was almost Haiku like – nicely done

  14. si little Says:

    well, you made it to 61….

  15. veloben Says:

    Aah, but you are a much more erudite 61 year old on a bike.

  16. Debby, south of Longtucky Says:

    I worked hard to earn my degree and all these years later I’m almost as successful as you, PO’G. I do own a car, two bicycles and nine (9) motorcycles. So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice. 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Nine scoots? Holy moly! Did we know you were a throttle-twister, Debby? What all you got in the fleet?

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Inquiring minds want to know, Debby. Any scooters in the fleet?

    • khal spencer Says:

      Nine? Holy smokes. I’d love to have a few more in the fleet, but for two reasons. One, don’t know where I would put them. Two, unlike bicycles, each requires insurance. Its bad enough having a car and a pickup truck, plus the K1100RS. Pure overkill.

    • Debby, south of Longtucky Says:

      Yeah, I tend to get a little carried away with things. 🙂 But motorcycles actually pre-date bicycles for me. I originally got into mountain biking as cross training for riding dirt bikes. Then I got into road biking. But now I can’t ride bicycles much because of several chronic health issues. I can still twist throttles though.

      These days I mainly ride on the street. Couple of Norton Commandos, a few vintage Suzukis (our favorite brand when I was growing up), a first generation Ducati 900 Monster, and a few dirt bikes that I haven’t ridden in a few years. I like vintage. My newest bike, a Kawasaki W650, is 15 years old and it’s a replica of an old Triumph. The garage is full for sure!

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Norton Commando, wow. One of the Suzukis wouldn’t be a X6 Hustler, would it?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Wow. Nortons. Now that’s cool.

        Most of the strong bike-handlers I know — especially the good descenders — are throttle-twisters. Wish I’d learned how to ride one when I was a sprout.

        But back then my mind tended to (ahem) wander a bit, and I might not have made it to 2015.

        I believe Suzuki was the brand favored by my friend and former neighbor John Crandall of Old Town Bike Shop. Ironically, his worst crash ever happened while riding a road bicycle, and he wound up having to sell his beloved scoot because he had doubts his repaired leg could bear the weight of it if need be.

        He’s long since back on the bicycle, though. Rough ol’ cob, John is. No quit at all in him.

        I’ve always liked the looks of the Suzuki TU250X. That’s about as close to a starter bike as you can find on this side of the Big Ditch anymore.

      • Debby, south of Longtucky Says:

        I don’t have an X6 but I do have a T500. It’s not very fast but it’s tons of fun!

        I was a pretty good descender (on the road) but couldn’t climb to save my life. I did the Mount Evans race one year and finished about an hour behind the leaders. Most of the other riders had already gone back down by the time I arrived. I sucked less at TTs but what I really did best were flat crits. I had a pretty good sprint. Eventually all the crashes scared me off. Oddly, in mountain bike races (novice class) I could climb competitively but those rocky downhills put The Fear in me.

        Patrick, the TU250 would be a nice little bike for running around town, although your scooter fills that role. Yamaha has a similar bike called the SR400. They’ve been selling it in other countries since the 1980s and it’s basically unchanged other than being updated for modern emissions standards. They look pretty cool.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Norton Commando. Wow..

        Back when I was 19 and started riding road motorcycles, I bought a Honda CB-450, used, sold to me by the father of a good friend. It was way more affordable than the British or German bikes I lusted after. The Honda was plenty fast, but a little top heavy. It handled well enough, though. Given the number of times I got it horizontal during my first couple years of clueless riding, its probably good that I did not have a more expensive or faster bike. A friend of mine had a Kawasaki 500 triple, the old two stroke. I rode it a couple times. It put The Fear into me.

      • Hurben Says:

        I had one of those Yamaha SRs back in South Africa except that it was the 500cc model, tons of fun once you’d mastered kick starting a 500cc 4 stroke single.

        Also a Yamaha HT1B, Yamaha DT400, Suzuki GT550, Yamaha XS750, Yamaha XV1000 & a Yamaha IT425B, (I swear that this one is the reason I’m grey, scared the shit out of me regularly).

      • Larry T. Says:

        Khal, guys I know who rode them say the only thing more dangerous than the 500 (H1) was the 750 version (H2) though I never rode any of those. Came close to buying a 350 triple to race, but came to my senses and got a Yamaha RD400 instead. One of the best motos ever made, from the first 350 versions through the last 400’s with the easily defeated emissions equipment.

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