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#49 John Roppel

Bayfield, Ontario, Canada

1949 Harley Davidson FL

My name is John Roppel. I am a retired CPA. This year, 2022, marks the 55th year I have been riding motorcycles. Participating in the Cross Country Chase 2022 seems like the best way of commemorating that milestone. The motorcycle I will be riding is a 1949 Harley Davidson FL that has been in the family most of its lifetime.  I got involved with motorcycles when I was little kid watching my Uncle repair Harley Davidsons and Indians in his shop in evenings and on weekends. I was allowed to watch but not touch. I have many fond memories of watching old motorcycles go together on a winter’s afternoon with a wood fire burning in the woodstove and Johnny Cash playing on the radio. The first motorcycle I owned was a Yamaha 100 Twin and then, while in university, a 250 Harley Sprint.  After university and working for a year, I bought a 72 Harley Davidson Sportster. Since the 72 Sportster, came a 69 Sportster XLCH and a series of Hondas with the current Honda being an ST1300. The ST1300 has been to the edge of the Arctic Circle twice and currently has 150,000 km on the clock. My Uncle passed on in 2008 and left me with the remnants of his shop and the motorcycles he rode in his lifetime. We sorted through the remnants, sold some of the parts and partial motorcycles. We restored 4 and sold 2 of the 4. We have, with help, gotten the 3 motorcycles he rode in his lifetime running and ridable again. A 1961 Duo Glide was easy, the other two, 1949 FL and the 35 VLD were not.