On Yoda Ralph:
And at the age of five my family fled a remote island swamp, located just 90 miles from Key West, Florida. Father said, the island turned to the dark side, which is why he brought us to “God bless America”, democracy and to living the American dream.
As a free range boy I never lacked in motorized transportation from around the age of six on. I recall riding with friends around a nameless little Havana Miami ‘hood, hooligan style, on lawn mower powered mini bikes and not one adult made a fuss.
Life for a kid was an adventure in the 60’s as there were no cell phones, or the internet, kids interacted face to face and spent all daylight hours outdoors.
By age fifteen I wanted a Harley but, my father and the salesman decided a new Honda CB 100 would better improve my personality; you meet the nicest people on a Honda, he said. Soon after, friends and I motocamped on mosquito infested islands in the Everglades or the Florida keys. We used to race over the original 7 mile bridge to Key West; the highest elevation in Florida at the time.
Washing dishes for $1.60 an hour at a Holiday Inn taught me the value of hard work but, more importantly the value of an education. History he has. Know it, do you?
My parents wouldn’t sign enlistment papers for the Army but, they did so for the USAF, on account of a little war in a far, far, away land. After basic training I soon started but, washed out of Pararescue training but, landed a job in the 3636 CCTW Survival Instructor school in Washington state. I was now commuting on a Yamaha twin 650 with a wild looking Jetta like Windjammer III fairing.
An “early out” program got me out of the USAF and into Gonzaga U and the Army ROTC program. I saw missions in Thailand and a Bosnia deployment serving as a mission commander in Civil Affairs, SOF. I served in training units until the rank of Major guarding our universe against what we perceived as the evil Russian empire. I retired 32 years later as a Lieutenant Colonel
Thru hiking the Pacific crest trail after retirement taught me about my lack of immortality and so does riding with my Bike Bros. Every Gpskevin ride I go on improves my riding skills and my force within.
There are a lot of things about being a new Yoda that are still wrapped up in mystery. A Honda CB450 and a CB750 later followed my motorcycle ownership as did a Honda Africa Twin. Today I ride the ultimate riding machine, a 2022 BMW GSA 1250 Adventure.
By 1991, I arrived in LA California as a newly appointed federal crime fighter to tackle errant behaviors like staged auto accidents, stolen US Treasury checks and robberies but, on the federal level.
My Spanish speaking ability got me on protection details to far off, foreign to me places, like Mexico City. An ex-wife, wild LA freeways, traffic and smog put a stop to motorcycle riding for around twenty years or so, I turned my attention to riding and racing jet skis.
My claim to fame for admission into the prestigious LA Adventurer’s club came to me as a result of a chance encounter with J. Lang who wanted help putting a little 2,000 mile race together. In 2011 we rode over 1,000 sea miles in Alaskan waters from the Port of Anchorage, down the Kenai Peninsula, across to Kodiak Island and towards the Aleutians. The first guy from the lower forty eight to ever do so!
If you love to also write then you already know that story telling is great at documenting just enough of what will likely stay with us, until our dying breaths. My ride stories, like all stories I write on this blog (Trawlercat.com) are always meant to enrich a ride or travel experience.
My stories try to POINT you there. This world is still full of endless possibilities for my mind to contemplate, and so my brain continues-to work overtime at where to put them all but; the moment I get on my motorcycle – the lottery balls in motion all begin to settle right back down to earth.
There’s still dangers out there that deserve our attention before others go out of their way to shield us from them. Yes, in a recent mind melt sort of way all ride Yodas are always thinking of future things to come, of adventurous things worthy of our time and attention; (I) now repeated to myself. It’s not just me I say to her; all my ride friends have this same affliction.
Yoda Ralph was chosen by the “great one” whose quote resonates with all of us like minded riders; “Every day you say no to a ride that is one less ride in life”. – Gpskevin.
And with this chosen honor to join the house of Gpskevin’s Yodas I leave you with this quote.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
“Do the difficult things while they are still easy to do and do the great things while they are also small. And also don’t forget to do them if you can while you are still young of mind, body and soul.”