#18 Willie Earhart
New Alexandria, PA
1948 Harley-Davidson FL
Howdy folks! I guess I gotta fill out some kind of “Rider Biography…. so here goes.
I was born on July 7th, 1958, so that make me 60 years young. I grew up on the family farm where I still live now with my lovely wife Tracey, and also my little (22 yr old) beautiful girl, Hannah. I also have two great sons, Cody and Zachry.
Cody is married to a lovely girl named Sarah and they have two beautiful children, Isabella (Boo-boo) and
Oscar (Aussie). Zach is our other crazy guy and his better half is a wonderful addition to our crew named Jessica (Jess).
A man could not ask for a better family!!! I feel very blessed in more ways than one.
I guess I started out riding things when I was little first, it was our coon dog, Rufus. Next, I think it was some Duroc hogs. Eventually I graduated to “Hectar” the ram which didn’t end real well. He kicked my butt more than once. Next up was a Brahma cow we called “Stubtail” which worked out real fine till I decided to shoot a shotgun off of her back while ridin’ and she through me for a loop!! There were a couple of ponies and quite a few horses growing up. I just buried my good ol’ horse I rode many years for team penning, ‘Peppy”, a couple of weeks ago. She made it into her 30’s and that’s good for a horse.
Oh sorry, I got a little carried away. You probably want to know about Motorcycle riding!
Well my dad and mom got divorced when I was about 7 years old. The only reason I said that is because my mom bought me and my brother a big shiny new 80cc Rupp mini bike and she did that because my pap HATED motorcycles. So, it was a win -win for her. Kids happy. Dad mad.
Anyhow, from that we went on to bigger and badder things like a purple Yamaha 100 Enduro, a green and white Suzuki Trailblazer and topped that off with a pair of Honda Elsinore 125’s. We were the terror of our little town and got escorted (or should I say ‘pursued) home more than once by the state police.
Next, we discovered girls! WOW! Dad made us a deal. If we got rid of the dirt bikes, he’d sign loans for each of us to get Mustangs. 1970’s. COOL. No more bikes. But we got the Mustangs…and the girls.,
Always wanted a Harley Davidson ever since I was old enough to drool over Easy Rider magazines. But dad was pretty strict, and you didn’t want to make him mad, so I just stuffed in the back of my mind, but never forgot about it. We all worked together driving trucks and hauling coal to the local power plant, which I still do to this day, 43 years later. We also kept on ridin’ horses and chasin’ cows together.
Well I was getting close to 30 years old and I decided it’s now or never. I’d been married for 5 years and had a little boy (Cody) who was three and I found me a 1962 Pan Head Harley ‘Genuine’ Davidson. It had come back from the service with a guy from Lebanon. He said there were four of them leaning up against the post office and his Sargent made a deal on them and he got this one. It had Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the moon graphics painted on the shiny black Fat Bob’s and I loved it! I called it the “Beirut Bomber”. Seeing as where it came from. We had some great times, though Trace didn’t care a whole lot for the ’pea pad’ but she still rode with me a lot.
Next thing I was down in Deep Creek, Maryland setting up a benefit run for the local Hog Chapter and damned if some little old lady didn’t cross the line and drill me. Just saw her coming in the nick of time and got my leg out of the way. Lost a little blood and got stoved up and bruised but didn’t break nothin’. Healed up in a couple weeks pretty quick.
That next year or two was spent down in the basement putting the Bomber back together. By now I had two boys. Zach had arrived. Well, the boys would come down to the basement. Cody would climb up on the frame and make engine noises and little Zach would hunker down beside me jibbern’ and pointing at the bike parts as if he knew where they all went. I’d laugh pretty good. But right then and there I thought, “If my kids get into motorcycles because of me and one of them gets crippled or killed I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself”. The next week I sold it and it was no more bikes again.
It’s now about 25 years later. Dad’s passed on; God rest his soul. The Kids are all pretty grown up. Graduated college and such and I talked to the wife one day and say’s I was thinking about getting back into Harley’s again and asked what she thought. She looked at me and she said she knew I loved them and didn’t want to give them up and she thought I should go for it. I love that girl!
I got me a few ol’ panheads now. A vespa scooter (don’t ask) and my ‘new’ bike, a ’02 HD Electra Glide Classic, I call the “Green Dress” that me and the wife too out west on a beautiful vacation to Wyoming, Montana and Sturgis, South Dakota. We made some of the best memories I’ll ever have.
Next thing my buddy call’s me up and tells me about this thig called “The Cross Country Chase” and says I ought to check it out. Well I tell Tracey about it and being the concerned better half, she asks me some questions and then, guess what – she said …” go for it”.
I was having trouble making up my mind and figuring things out – about how much work I’d miss and if I could afford it. I had a little money I’d saved up for a ’65 pan, I figured I could use that. Sorta tradin’ a dream for another dream. So, I decided that I’d wait to see how much I owed on income tax and that would tell me what I should do.
I get my taxes back and on April 14th the day before the deadline. I figured God’s gonna let me know what I should do cause I’ve been doin’ a lot of prayin’ about this.
So, 3 things had to line up…
#1. I can’t owe a lot for Income tax cause it’ll be out my reach.
#2. There has to be openings left for “The Chase” or I’m outa luck if it’s full.
#3 Even if 1and 2 work out I don’t know if I’ll be able to make the entry deadline.
Well, talk about getting a sign! Opened up my taxes and not only do I not owe a lot, I’m getting a refund- that never happens! Not only that, but get this- the refund is for $2,318.00, and the entry fee for the Chase is $2300.00… WOW!!!
Next up…. Any spots left open? Called up Jason to see if spots are filled. He says there are still openings.
(two down, one to go) …. I tell him I’m not sure If I can get everything to him by tomorrow (the 15th) and he tells me the deadline’s been extended, get it to him as quick as I can.
Well, Thank You LORD!!
With His blessings and the blessings of my wonderful family I guess it’s a go!
I’ll be chasing my way from Sault St Marie to Key West… It’s gonna be a blast!!!
May God bless you all and keep you safe!
1 Corinthians 16:13