Born a Biker: Jim Griffin

First, let me set the stage. I was born on May 15th, 1947 in Dallas Texas to a beer drinking rodeo cowboy and a mother who was orphaned at birth. I never knew a grandparent. I was always moving from one school to the next, always the outsider. I never built those close friendships as a kid.

My first ride on a motorcycle was when I was 10 years old. My cousin has a Had a Harley-Davidson, I guess it was a 30’s model. It was a moment in time that I have never forgotten.

Fast forward: My first bike was a Honda 250 Scrambler.  I began to make friends of mutual interests, “Bikers”.  A series of bikes followed, and a dirt bike phase was in there.  I liked dirt biking because you could get out in the sticks, build a campfire and see the stars.  In 1972 I got my first Harley Davidson, and I felt I had arrived.

My Son Steve and I, 1973

Now to the real subject, “Easy riders”.  My first introduction was in 1969 as most of us.  I came away from the theater with a new appreciation of riding with friends.  The main characters in the movie were like my childhood heroes.  The cowboy and his sidekick.  From that day on I knew that some day I would follow the route from L.A. to New Orleans.  1973 brought a new profession.  I was now a Barber…inside work, no heavy lifting.  Along with that came a need to be working a lot with not much time to be off long enough to complete my wish of covering the route.  I did a lot of riding.  However, only a few days at a time.  I did Colorado a lot and the obligatory Sturgis, Daytona and R.O.T. Rallies.

Inside my barbershop

Enter Barbara.  We had been dating on and off and then married in 1999.  We did lots more riding.  Then I retired in 2010.  Encouraged by Barbara, I now have time to complete a trip I’ve been wanting to do since the night I saw Easyrider in 1969, 40 plus years earlier.

Route 66 from L.A. to Amarillo.  Then on to New Orleans.  Plus, side trips to Monument Valley, Wupaki, Sunset Crater and the campfire scene.

Riding the Easy Rider Route — Ballarat California
Pine Breeze Inn — Bellemont Arizona
Easy Rider Camping Scene, Waputki National Monument Arizona
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Krotz Spings, Louisiana

Since then we have done the PCH from Washington to San Diego, by the way of White Fish, Montana and the Columbia River Forge, Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. and lots of Texas Hill Country.

                Yes, you could say that the movie had a lasting impression on me.  Many thanks to Mr. Zip.

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