Behind the Handlebars header


Don’t forget to inhale


One of the most enjoyable and memorable parts of riding a bike is total envelopment of the rider into the environment.

The scent of cornfields and earth conjures my mind cresting a hill and seeing miles of corn all standing at attention in the valley below in the fields of Kentucky. Cool air laced with peppery pine evokes memories of descending from Clingman’s Dome in the Smokies as the rays of morning sunbeams cast diagonally across the roadway. Riding these past weeks has been a pleasure to the senses, especially in the coolness of the evening due to the grills of summer, lilac, honeysuckle and roses.

The actual ability to smell is highly linked to memory. Research has shown that when areas of the brain connected to memory are damaged, the ability to identify smells is actually impaired. In order to identify a scent, you must remember when you have smelled it before and then connect it to visual information that occurred at the same time. According to some research, associating places with the presence of an odor actually increases the vividness and intensity of that remembered place.  So the next time you are riding, don’t forget to sit back and inhale those aromas to completely process your memories of that ride.

Jay York enjoyed a wet ride north to Iowa the end of May.  Raining from Moberly to Minnesota — yes, he had to cross the line to claim he rode in that state, and Jay has decided not all rain suits are created equal!  He now highly endorses the HD suits with the reinforced lining and double stitched seams.  Pricing out at almost $200, he can tell you they are worth every penny when you ride in that amount of rain. Traveling home he rode more than 500 miles in one day and has decided that the Iron Butt ride is not one he will be doing anytime soon (1,000 miles in 24 hours).

Four bikers set a ride without a destination and ended up at Thomasville, Mo., last week. If you haven’t been to Thomasville, it is between Birch Tree and Alton on Highway 99 in northern Oregon County. The Eleven Point River crosses through Thomasville, so it is fitting that the little town is known for its delicious fried fish at the River’s Edge restaurant. There the riders enjoyed a lunch of catfish priced affordably under the tin ceiling of an original Thomasville store. Pictures of the town’s past and people line the walls of the little fish and grill eatery, and it is a delight to enjoy the banter of the locals.  Outside you can easily access the river and watch the fish swim while listening to the bellow of the bullfrogs. The old stone high school where my grandmother attended classes is still standing and now serves as the community center. The filling station, shown in the photo, is a gathering place for local storytellers to sit on the church pews outside and spin their yarns while sipping ice cold soda purchased from the clerks who greets everyone with a smile.  Yes, these places do still exist. Get out, see and experience small town USA on a bike.

Our cruise-in for June was a great success, with more than 60 in attendance. Thirty-two bikes rolled in with the bikers farthest traveled coming 58 miles from Rover, Mo., which coincidentally is just five miles past Thomasville. These bikers — as well as others from Salem, Licking, Evening Shade, Plato, Bucyrus, Summersville, Raymondville and Houston — enjoyed the evening talking of rides and iron as well as playing games and enjoying the company. A street performer who dazzled us with her hula hoop skills, Jocelyn Driesel, had a tip jar that collected $17.  Trying to raise more tips for the young lady, I challenged the crowd if anyone would join her in hula hooping, I would match the collected money.

Jay York gave $20 added money to have his wife (me) hula hoop with the street performer. Although the hoop was not big enough for these hips and I was not coordinated, Jocelyn was able to guide me in a few rotations of the hoop. She hopes to teach classes locally and devotes a minimum of three hours a day to hula hooping.  She is the daughter-in-law of Doug Driesel, formerly of Houston.

Josh York provided our music and PA for the evening. His musical expertise includes DJ, sound system set up for events, as well as HY Element Studio recording. We appreciate his time and efforts to help make the cruise in successful.

Memories and Dreams, a new store in downtown Houston, brought over two nice prizes that were HD themed. This store has something for everyone and if you have yet to visit, make plans this week. We would like to formally say “thank you” to them.

JAZ Trophies of Houston has created some awesome medallions in color featuring our downtown cruise in scene. They are available by contacting me for $5 each. They are a metal medallions, with an adhesive backing and are very pleasing to the eye. Thank you JAZ for your awesome work.

Get out and ride folks, and don’t forget to inhale! Store those memories for the recall, as they’re some of the best of your life.

Kerry York is a lady rider and resident of Houston, Mo., who coordinates monthly Houston Downtown Cruise-In events from spring to fall. Email

A couple of bikes sit in front of the old Thomasville General Store.

A couple of bikes sit in front of the old Thomasville General Store.