Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
"My first bike was a Suzuki 90 dirt bike. I just rode it to death in the fields. We didn’t really have organized motocross back then so some of us would just go pick a place where we wouldn’t be in anybody’s way. That was also the only time I can ever remember falling down on a motorcycle. Falling down was almost the point of riding one of those. You didn’t have far to fall, and I never really got hurt."
Learning to Ride
"It’s hard to realize these days how easy it was to get on a motorcycle when I first did. I literally saved up my money, went to the bike shop with trembling hands, paid my few hard-earned dollars, got on the bike and left. There was no special license needed at the time, let alone training."
"So nobody taught me, except I guess I had a good friend who had let me ride his bike and shown me a little bit. I remember I almost ran it into a brick wall the very first time I was on it. I did a wheelie—the only wheelie of my life, was the very first time I ever got on a bike. I popped the clutch and the next thing I knew I had one wheel way up in the air. But I wasn’t deterred."
Riding as Governor
"Since becoming governor, I’ve had lots of fun riding and meeting people. I’ve found that I can ride on official business and people don’t seem to mind. I’m always cautious or concerned that maybe somebody would find it inappropriate, but that hasn’t happened yet. People seem to enjoy it and think it’s maybe a little bit of fun. "
"Clearly the most memorable bike experience as governor was getting my leg bit by a farm dog near Gosport Indiana. I was staying with overnight hosts, people being so nice as to put me up, but they hadn’t checked with their Great Pyrenees dog. I think she was upset with the noise. My one Harley makes a lot of noise, and she didn’t deal with it very well and left an indelible mark that I’ll have on me the rest of my days. "
The open road
"In almost 35 years of riding, I’ve always enjoyed the sense of freedom on a motorcycle. It’s the best thing in this job; when you have helpful people taking you around and protecting you—even though we keep that to a minimum—the only time I’m really alone it seems is when I’m on two wheels. They are back there a few car-lengths somewhere, but I do have the illusion of freedom. "
"Indiana is just an absolutely great state for riding. I really love the southern part of the state; we have a few more hills there and just an endless variety of back roads and country roads. It’s just beautiful. You can turn in almost any direction and have a lot of fun. Really, anywhere in Indiana is a great ride. Our state was made for things that go fast and almost built I think for motorcycle enjoyment. "