Dave Eady: Pacific Northwest ambassador to motorcycling

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Dave Eady

Pacific Northwest ambassador to the sport

Throughout the years there have always been upstanding riders in the region who have shared their time, talents and wisdom with others, promoting the sport we love with each event, each conversation and each chance to inspire others. Dave Eady is one such person and is considered a jewel by many of the riders and enthusiasts he has worked with over the years.

He recently caught the eye of the hosts of American Pickers, who made a visit to his home south of Seattle. During the 30-minute segment, they tinkered with getting him to sell some of his livery, but could only walk away with kitch, as his bikes are not for sale. The show’s hosts also did an outstanding job bringing to light this northwest gentleman and revealing his colorful past.

Eady was born in 1941 and raised in the south moving around between New Orleans and parts of Mississippi. He quit school in 11th grade and at 17 joined the United States Marine Corps. Ahead of the Vietnam war, Eady was instead part of the forces that worked off Guantanamo during the Bay of Pigs. Following his service, he returned to the south and worked with his father on various aspects of floor finishing.

While back in the south, Eady got regular letters from an uncle in the Pacific Northwest encouraging him to move west where he could earn upwards of $100 a week, something he hadn’t been able to achieve in the much-depressed south. One such letter included a $100 bill and Eady used it to move to the Pacific Northwest.

It didn’t take long before he landed a job in a Bremerton shipyard, and with Vietnam in full swing, Eady was working many hours of overtime and taking home $600 every two weeks.

Back in Mississippi he had learned to ride on a Cushman. In 1969, he purchased a Harley-Davidson FLH and a Honda 100 to play in the dirt with. It was during this time he saw an exhibition by the Cossacks Motorcycle Drill Team and knew immediately he wanted to be part of that. In 1971, he began commuting by ferry from Bremerton to Seattle to take part in the Cossacks practices that were held, then, in the Whitefront Parking Lot at Aurora Avenue and 130th St (today it’s occupied by Albertson’s and Hobby Lobby). He remained active as a riding member of the Cossacks into the early 2000s.

Later he moved to Seattle and continued to work in local shipyards like Todd and Foss. For extra income, he began working as a motorcycle escort in 1991. During a tough economic time in 1995, Eady was laid off from the shipyard and he began his own escort service, known today as Elite Motorcycle Escort Service.

But instead of just escorting dignitaries and funeral processions, Eady purchased an old sidecar, refitted it with a flat base and began offering a motorcycle hearse option for his clients. Many families of deceased riders took advantage and One Last Ride was born.

Throughout the decades, Eady had been collecting motorcycle memorabilia. Today his garage is floor to ceiling with well over 1000 bits from the past. Belt buckles, lunch boxes, pins, patches, toys, motorcycle themed bicycles and more adorn the interior. A chunk of his collection was documented in 2012 by Carol Wiggers. It can be viewed at http://dave-eady.org/

Of course, there are bikes in the collection as well. Eady has been generous with Sound RIDER! and others over the years, sharing many of these bikes in displays at various motorcycle shows around the area. Whether it’s his Blue Angels inspired Harley, rare Topper scooter, H-D Servicar, or his Rat Bike that features a spigot that pours alcoholic beverages from the split gas tank, his bikes have been enjoyed by many over the years.

TM/June 17

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