This article was originally printed in the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club monthly newsletter.

A Legion, by Bob Humphries

As an Old Timer, I have an impression to share with anyone of any age who enjoys motorcycling. Others may recognize what I do, and some others may not.

Anyone who has spent some time riding, would know why they are attracted to that interest. Most of us know some about the history of motorcycling, and we may have some knowledge of famous people who have contributed to that history. The names of people in the Motorcycle Hall Of Fame may be appreciated by many of us because of their achievements.

There are many in a group of any activity, including motorcycling who deserve recognition for their accomplishments, yet that rarely happens. This reference may include you and probably does if you are a dedicated motorcyclist. Do you ever consider yourself and others you are associated with in motorcycling as legions in the making? Perhaps you should.

A few mornings ago I was out riding early to beat the heat of the day, and I saw a crowd of a very large rally, traveling the opposite way of my direction. It was a huge number. As this procession of riders passed by, I looked closely for those who looked like real motorcyclists. If any were there, I did not see them. What I saw was costumers, pretenders, dressed like riders cast in a movie about outlaw bikers. I saw countless numbers like that, but no real motorcyclists by my measure.

We all can project an image and if it is one to be respected and admired, we may not realize when we are leaving a good impression. I worked 36 years in a uniform and badge and did not know how I was regarded until I retired. At that time I was told, and received good compliments. I appreciated that. During the years of my retirement when I see people I worked with, they ask me if I still ride a motorcycle. So it seems we can develop an image without realizing it.

So when you are riding and you and your motorcycle look like my idea of a real motorcyclist, and when you stop at a rest stop or for fuel, an old man may approach you for a bit of conversation, that may be me. It may not compare to having your name on a plaque in the Hall of Fame, but you will be recognized in a favorable way by an Old Timer who has been there. I may be seeing a living legion in the making when I see you.

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