As a 20-year PGA Golf Professional, I’ve had the privilege to meet a lot of famous people.
WORDS: Jim West
As a 20-year PGA Golf Professional, I’ve had the privilege to meet a lot of famous people. In reality only some of the time it is a privilege – other times the self-absorbing egos of the stars make my stomach turn. But with motorcycling it’s refreshingly different.
Roll the clock back several years to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m at a track day unloading my bike and I notice a familiar face across the paddock. Is that Mitch Boehm? Why, yes it is! I’d been an avid reader of Motorcyclist for many, many years and almost felt like I knew Mitch. I walked over to shake his hand and tell him how much I enjoy the magazine. I was pleasantly surprised to find a complete absence of ego and genuine friendliness. And low and behold – he’s also a golfer! Cool! I’m happy to now consider him a good friend.
The fall of last year, I’m back at Barber for another track day with Mitch and the boys from Motorcyclist, and who rolls up in a huge Dodge truck? World Champion Kevin Schwantz himself! Again, I find a really nice guy with no ego whatsoever! Despite rider after rider asking for photographs and autographs, Kevin remained very approachable and genuinely interested in the lives of fellow riders. Talk about giving back to the sport!
This past August, I’m at Carolina Motorsports Park at another track day and up walks Speed Channel’s Greg White. Again, I find a regular guy with no ego at all! We had a blast ripping around the track, talking bikes and about life in general.
It’s nice to know that many heroes of the great sport of motorcycling are largely ‘regular’ guys! Very, very fast regular guys!