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My Life In Bikes

My Life in Bikes

Dave Richardson's story in two parts

After nearly four decades in the motorcycle business, Pacific Northwest moto writer decided to put his memoirs out about owning motorcycles, working at motorcycle shops, and ultimately being a part owner in one of his own.

Richardson is no stranger to the printed word, authoring Guzziology more than two decades ago. That book became the go-to bible for anyone who owned a Moto Guzzi and wanted a detailed manual of not only how to service a multitude of models, but a jam-packed compendium of wisdom gleaned through the years as an owner, enthusiast, and dealership.

In 2018, after a long stint as part owner of Seattle’s Moto International, Richardson made the move to retire. He snuck off about 60 miles north of Seattle to property on the Tulalip Reservation and set out to compile his 34 years of tales. The end result? Not one, but two books.

Book 1: A 50-Year Love of Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Other Motorcycles

The initial book is a play-by-play collection, laid out chronologically that traces his initial interests in motorcycles up to his landing a job at a dealership and then being an owner in a new venture. But it also runs somewhat as a timeline of motorcycle dealerships in the Puget Sound featuring well-known names like Jeri Dragger, Darrell Johnson, the Gregg Family, Keith and Anne Thye, Jim Boltz, and countless others.

But the book reaches out on an international level as well, as Richardson recounts numerous meetings with top brass at Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, and ultimately Piaggio who purchased the two lines in the 2000s.

Richardson shares numerous stories through the timeline - but wait – there’s more.

Book 2: The Rest of the Stories

In the world of motorcycling, it seems like every day one rides, a new story surfaces. And if you spend an evening with multiple riders sharing stories, you are essentially entertaining one another using the storytelling art of ‘bench racing.’

With 35 years of stories, one book isn’t enough to scribe them all, so Richardson split the storytelling between the two books. While the initial book recounts the ones that are important to the timeline, the compendium takes the liberty of jumping around the decades, more appropriately condensing them by subject.

To make a small dealership profitable year after year, certain things need to happen and they are not always what you might expect. Had you ever wondered what it might be like to own a shop and scrimp by during the lean years, Richardson’s tales weave an interesting look into the inner-workings and sometimes dark side of owning a shop.

Following the tech downturn of the early 2000s, Richardson came up with a brilliant way to scoop up inventory from other shops closing and providing great deals for his customers on new units. This didn’t always set well with competitors.

Keeping your nose to the ground as government weaves a tangled web around the motorcycle industry, Richardson shares interesting perspectives about gong with the flow when valid or working against it when warranted.

If you’re thinking about buying one of these books, you’d be leaving open gaps in the whole story by not buying them both.

SR!/August 2020

Both editions of My Life in Bikes are available in print and e-book on Amazon.com


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