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  • Writer's pictureRay Lamb

The People We Meet.

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

"Here, I want to show you something". Marty led me to the showroom floor and pointed to a banner hanging on the wall.

"Recognize that?"


"That's right! His name is Ken Doss and his bike always looks that clean! Lol. He's a really interesting guy."

"I'd like to meet this fellow."

"Well, he's a great customer of ours and a friend of mine. I'll see if I can make a call"

Marty, the service manager at Richard's Honda in Little Rock, and I were talking about my trip to Arkansas so far and how it had taken me thru Moab, UT. Thats when he led me to this banner that proudly hangs on the wall in the dealership.

On the banner was of a tall, distinguished looking man standing next to his red Africa Twin. He was looking up at, what surely must have been, the fantastic scenery around Moab! I know that look well. I'd had it myself just days before. I really wanted to meet Ken. I hoped Marty could could get a hold of him and Ken could find the time.

And on a side note, If you've never been to Moab...GO! ANY part of the lower half of Utah is other-worldly beautiful and you shouldn't miss it!

So, after the day at the dealership, I found a motel close by and settled in. The next day when I arrived back at Richard's, Marty said, "Hey, I got ahold of Ken and he said he really wants to meet you. He'll be down today." That bit of news made my day and I couldn't wait to meet him and swap stories of our trips to Moab, and elsewhere, for that matter.

Riders are like that. Travelers on motorcycles are like that! Adventure riders, especially, are like that! It doesn't matter what you ride or who you are, the telling of and listening to tales of the road and adventure are one of the reasons why we do what we do. And, the people we meet are a priceless part of me anyway.

By now, the work on the bike was done and the process of remounting all my gear had begun, when Marty found me and said, "Just wanted to let you know, Ken is on his way. He really wants to meet you.'" That was great news and Marty and I continued chatting while we waited for Ken to arrive.

It wasn't long until we both heard the distinct sound of an Africa Twin spooling up from the intersection. "Here comes Ken now!", Marty said.

Rolling into the dealership was the immaculately maintained red AT I had seen on the banner. Ken rolled up, positioned his bike in front of mine and set the side stand. Dismounting from the bike was a tall man, thin and fit. I guessed we were about he same age. Ken got off the bike, took off his gloves and helmet. He and Marty exchange pleasantries then Marty introduced us.

"Ken, this guy really wanted to met you."

"My name is Ken Doss. It's nice to meet you!" Ken extend his hand and I reached out and shook it and I introduced myself to him. "Marty says you rode through Moab?" I told him I had and how much I enjoyed it. He told me he had been there and had enjoyed it as well.

"I saw the banner your son made hanging in the showroom and I recognized that it was from Moab, so I told Marty that I would like to meet you." Ken chuckled humbly and said, "Oh, you saw that?" Ken is a soft spoken man and I could tell he was honored to have that banner hanging there, but he seemed to be a humble guy and he didn't focus too much on himself. Instead he proudly said, "My son made that! His name is Ken too and he made all these stickers on my bike for me." Then Marty chimed in and said, "Walk around the front and take a look at his work. You won't find another Africa Twin that looks this nice." I walked around the front, then down the right side of the bike and Marty was right, Ken had one nice Twin! And the detailing! Ken was a retired machinist and if you know anything about machinists, they are perfectionists. Ken's bike was clean and nice and was a clear reflection of its rider.

Ken and I talked like old friends about travels and about Moab and such. He asked me about travels and my route back home and which way I planned on going. I told him I wanted to avoid Oklahoma because of the tolls. He shook his head and said, "I didn't like Oklahoma. The wind is really bad. I was riding like this the whole time." He simulate the position of riding a bike at an angle. We both chuckled and swapped "wind" stories. Something I have been very familiar with in my travels. We talked about a lot of things and the conversation was the best! I love talking to riders like Ken. We share a common passion. "The soul of a rider", I heard said once. And we ADV guys seem to have it in abundance!

As Ken, Marty and I looked at ways out of Arkansas, Ken finally said, "Let me call my son Ken, he's a lot better at this electronic stuff than me. He's our route planner. I just follow him. I'll let you talk to him". With that, he picked up his phone and made a call."

It is always good to hear a proud father talk to his son. He explained to Ken where he was and what we were trying to do, then I heard the prompt, " I'll let you talk to him." That's when I got to talk to the other Ken Doss for the first time. We talked like we'd know each other for a while! What a great experience! We talked about a route 412 out across OK, about the inevitable wind, the tolls, and other options. Then we talked about our bikes and the other roads we have traveled. I told him if they are ever up in WA state to look me up. "Definitely, definitely! I will definitely take you up on that!" I told him I will hold him to it and that we really need to do this. With that and good information exchanged and how nice it was to be able to talk, Ken wished me safe travels and I gave the phone back to his dad. I looked at Marty and said, "This is so cool! Thanks for making this happen!"

"I told you he was an interesting guy.", Marty said with a smile.

I could tell Marty and Ken had more than a customer/dealer relationship. I could tell they were friends as well.

Ken and I talked some more, he looked my bike over and we talked about the things I had done to it. Even though, I was a bit embarrassed with how it looks compared to his. "Oh no,'ve been riding this thing. That's what you're supposed to do." Ken had a subtle way of making you feel at ease. What a weary traveler needs when you're a very long way from home.

Eventually, Ken had to bid me safe travels and he had to attend to the rest of his day. I asked if I could have a picture with him and he was glad to. He also wanted a picture of me as well. Marty was gracious enough to take them, so we set up the bikes and a moment in time was caught. With that, Ken again wished me safe travels and how glad he was that we got to meet and to keep in touch. We exchanged information then I extended my hand. He took it then brought me in for a hug. Then, Ken geared up, thumbed his beautiful Africa Twin to life, and rode off.

There is a brotherhood that comes with travelers on motorcycles, especially those who are like minded, that a lot of people will never understand. And honestly, I doubt I would still be doing this, if it weren't for the people I meet on the road like the Doss's. How boring it would be. I love these guys!

So, after this trip is done and dusted, it comes down to this...

It truly is about the people we meet on the road.

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2 комментария

Spencer King
Spencer King
02 июл. 2021 г.

Great story brother!


27 июн. 2021 г.

I love this experience. ❤️

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