jonathan bear murren2007 Ohio Dawn to Dusk 500

Story by: Jonathan "Bear" MurrenBear

People often ask what drives me to jump on the ol' scoot and take off for parts unknown, just to stop for gas and keep going. They wonder what loose screw in my noggin tells me to suck down highway miles like soda pop, stop in a sleepy town in the middle of the night, sleep for three hours, wake up and do it again. They can't fathom why I'd just ride straight through all those big cities and past tourist traps for the sake of racing the clock.

Truth is, sometimes I'm not sure either.

My back trail in long-distance rides is meager at best, compared to those I ride them with. And the ride I participated in last summer was even a baby one by my standards, just 500 miles from dawn to dusk. Yet, just like the previous two summers, I jumped on the bike, gave 'er a twist and headed west to our starting point.

I don't recall all the minute details of the day, but I will say that our 500 mile tour of South East Ohio was one of the best days I've spent on this here globe. The scenery was amazing, and Momma Nature gave us a perfect day to see it all. The ten people in our group were about as good riding' partners this ol' country boy could ask for. The wind whipped refreshingly through my hair as I flogged the ol' twin down the long, straight highways. When we rolled into the finishing point, I hopped off the bike as refreshed as I'd felt in weeks. It was only my third official Hoagy's Heroes ride, but it was far and away the best of the bunch.

So yeah, back to that reason. First off, it's for charity, and that's the reason I started doing these in the first place. But there are underlying reasons too, like the things I see and the camaraderie I share with those I ride with. Perhaps it's the way I can just leave my worries on the pavement as the miles tick off the odometer. Hell, maybe it's just because I love motorcycles and I love riding them. No matter what the reason, this ol' boy is hooked for life.