Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Best Friend Mike

We all have aquaintenances that we work with, go to school or church with but it is rare to find people that share a passion for hobbies so much that a simple ride turns into a long lasting friendship. I have had this happen with a few of my best friends and would like to share a couple of them with you.
Mike is one of my two best friends that I have. We first met by chance when we were both 18. He was supposed to meet some other guys to ride with, but they didn't show and I passed him in my truck with my dirt bike in the back. He followed me and asked if he could ride with me. He was new to the area, moving from the middle part of Kansas and knew no one in Arkansas that rode dirt bikes. We started riding together and hit it off really quickly. I had started to venture into motocross racing but he introduced me to enduros and harescrambles. I immediately loved cross country racing, but I required a lot of improvement. Over the next 13 years we raced on the Black Jack Enduro Circuit, Arkansas Hare Scrambles, Missouri Hare Scrambles and OCCRA series as well as a couple of SERA events, a couple of National Enduros, 1 National Hare Scramble and some ISDE Qualifiers. We were in each others weddings, have watched our kids grow up and still have the same love for riding that we had when we first met 33 years ago.
With family responsibilities and careers, we don't get to see each other like we used to but when we do, it is like we have never been apart. My wife once told me that she envied me having a friendship like that because her and her girlfriends do not have that connection.
I had not ridden with Mike since a large group of us went to Colorado in August 2007. He came down on Thanksgiving weekend 2008 and we rode all day (120 miles). But more than the ride, we just enjoyed seeing each other again and along the ride we stopped at a small town and had a cheeseburger and caught up on family stuff and relived some past racing memories.
I don't have to worry about Mike's friendship. I know we will be friends and continue to talk on the phone (we now live in different states) and ride together when we can until one of us passes on.