Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dean Bartosh - Two Wheels Move His Soul

I got to know Dean from his blog.  It has been one of my favorite blogs for sometime because this self proclaimed "Soul Rider" really gets what riding is all about.  Dean is one of the bloggers I always wanted to meet and I was fortunate enough to meet him and his lovely lady Karen, a few years back.  A big thanks to Dean for doing this interview.  I'd also like to thank Dean for all he is doing to bring motorcycle awareness to the "cage" drivers! 

Give us a bio about yourself.
Born and raised in Wisconsin. I came from a family where my dad was a cop and my mom was the church
secretary. It was just me and an older sister who I constantly fought with but defended against all outsiders. I went to college to become a federal law officer and landed a job on the sheriff's department when I
graduated. When I suddenly became a single dad and had to raise two little girls by myself, the sheriff's department and I had to part our ways. I landed in the manufacturing field where I've held several
administrative and managerial positions for the past 20 years.

How long have you been riding?
I've been riding on and off for 30 years; the last 9 continually though.

What was your first motorcycle?
My first bike was a Rupp minibike that I bought from a friend for $50.00 when I was 11 years old. It had a pull-cord start and barely enough power to motor me down the alley but I still felt like the "king of the road".

What do you currently ride?
I currently ride a 2003 Harley Wide Glide.

How do you feel when you are riding?
Free but I don't really know why.  I'm not any more free than I am when I drive my truck and I've got to
pay a lot more attention to what's going on. But when I'm riding I still feel like my soul goes to another place; hence my favorite term "soul riding".

Is there a motto that you live by?
I live by the Dr. Seuss school of thought. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind
don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Why Harley Davidson?
Is there any other make? Besides, I'm too old for a crotch-rocket and not old enough for a Gold Wing.

Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle?  Absolutely! There's been times that I've been treated differently because I'm wearing my leathers versus the times when I have to wear a tie. I've had plenty of times when folks won't give me the time of day because I've just climbed off my Harley wearing black leather.

Is there really a motorcycle “wave” or is it just something we do to freak non-riders out?
Of course there's a wave! Most of the time I just give other riders a nod but if someone wants to wave, I'll throw my hand out there. Sometimes just to mix it up, I'll give someone the old school raised fist of defiance.

What do you think of helmet laws?
Helmet laws suck! Let those who ride decide.

Do loud pipes really save lives?
They've definitely saved my life a few times. I've had a few times where someone was starting to veer into
my lane until I gave the throttle a quick twist to rev the engine and alert them of my presence.

Is there someone in the motorcycle community that you would like to hang with for a day and have never had the opportunity to before and why?
I always wanted to hang with Indian Larry but sadly will never get to because of his untimely death. I used to watch him years ago when he was on "The Biker Build-Off" on TV and used to think, "Now there's a
guy who understands old school brotherhood." I've heard from people that he was truly a brother of the road and would do anything for anybody. I'm sorry that I missed my chance.


Do you have a favorite rally or event?
Not really because I'm not much for large crowds. I did enjoy hanging at the campground this year when I was in Sturgis though. Met a lot of people and made some great new friends.

Do you have a favorite place to ride and why? Currently my favorite place is to ride is the "Great River Road" which runs down the western side of Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. We get a lot of bikers from out of state who come here to ride the "River Road". I feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

What is the wildest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Not too much really. I really think that I lead a pretty boring life. If you like exciting unexpected surprises, don't hang with me.

What has your most memorable ride or trip been?
Probably my trip to Sturgis this year. Over 700 miles of road each way by myself. Lots of time to think and reflect on life.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned on the road that stand out the most?
I've learned to have a little faith in mankind. There are times that I think the whole world is going to shit and then I meet some really great people on the road. There's hope for us yet.

Do you like riding with a group or are you more of a lone rider?
I'm more of a lone rider. I prefer being alone with my thoughts and letting my mind wander. If I'm with other riders, I get too concerned about the difference in our riding styles and trying to stay together. If I'm alone, I'm accountable to nobody but myself and can go whatever way the wind blows.

What has your greatest accomplishment been?
My greatest accomplishment has got to be raising two girls without strangling either one of them during their teen years.

Do you feel like there are divisions in the motorcycle community because of the type or brand of motorcycle you ride?
Sure there is. Harley riders won't talk to Honda riders, BMW riders won't wave to Harley riders and so on and so forth. Personally, I don't understand it. I'll talk or wave to anyone on two wheels. We all have something in common. We should be using that to advance our common causes; not to divide us.

If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?
I'd have LOADS of sex.

When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing? I'm into reading, writing and photography. I'm also a pretty big political junky so I watch a lot of news shows.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
Nothing really. I'm pretty happy with who I've turned out to be. There are lots of things that I've done that I would go back and change if I could though.

What do you think makes a "Biker"?
Oh boy. The question that gets overly debated more than any other motorcycle topic. Without trying to explain it for an hour, I guess it's anyone who feels the "need" to ride.

What are your thoughts on women riding their own motorcycles?
I think it's great! Women should be able to enjoy the freedom of the open road just like us guys do. Not to mention, I think women look pretty damn hot on their own bike.

You belong to ABATE , tell us a little about that.
ABATE is a motorcycle rights organization that fights for our freedoms of the road. I've been a very active member for a few years now and have been recently appointed to the position of Public Relations Director for the state of Wisconsin. The organization promotes motorcycle rights and awareness by holding awareness rallies and putting public service announcements on the radio. We work a lot with our elected officials to pass pieces of legislation which promote freedom of the road.

Tell us about Biker Weddings.
I have been a legally ordained independent minister authorized to perform all standard services including marriage and baptism since 2001. I realize that us bikers are sometimes a little out of the "norm" and want something a little different for the ceremony. Biker Weddings is my attempt to serve those needs to the motorcycling public. People are used to seeing me in jeans and black leather so it's a bit of a shock the first time they see me in a white-collared minister's shirt.

Do you have a favorite swear words?
I try not to swear because I think over-using swear words shows a lack of intelligence. It's like you don't have a very good vocabulary or know what else to say so you just throw "fuck" into the middle of a sentence. That's not to say that I haven't thrown a few out there during times of frustration.

What are you currently reading?
Earlier this year I read "Harley-Davison and Philosophy: Full-Throttle Aristotle". It definitely wasn't a light read so I wouldn't recommend it for just anybody. It had some pretty heavy philosophical concepts and how they related to the biker world. I just finished reading "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly. It was full of a lot of really cool stories about the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln that I definitely never learned in history class. I'm currently reading "The Reagan Diaries". President Regan kept a diary for the eight years that he was in office. Pretty interesting stuff if you're a political junky like me.

What music are you currently listening to?
I don't listen to too much modern stuff. I enjoy the rock from the late '70's as well as the "hair bands" from the mid '80's. I've also started listening to a lot of country music over the past handful of years.

Do you have any pets?
In our house we currently have a guinea pig, a sun conure parrot, eight zebra finches and a fish tank.

Dean hasn't posted anything in a while but he has a great blog called Musings of a Contemplative Biker.  Check it out. 

4 comments:

Webster World said...

Pretty nice read. I too never understood not talking to someone cause they rode a BMW. I often still give the raised fist. I've done that for near 50yrs. Been wanting to read the Diaries too. I'm sure you did good with the girls. I had boys I'm I glad I had boys :-) Keep up the good work with ABATE.

KT Did said...

Nice insight here. I've always like his writings too I miss them also.

Arline said...

omg he'd ordained?! Am definitely following his blog from this moment onwards ;)

kelly Moore said...

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