Reconnecting with the Open Road
“The first time I rode my Conquest was the most normal I felt since I was paralyzed.”
~ Thomas Colby
Beginning with his first bike at the age of 16, Tom Colby’s plans to explore the open road forever were almost dashed when he was paralyzed in a tree trimming accident last year. It wasn’t until he took his first ride on a Conquest wheelchair motorcycle that he felt that familiar exhilaration again, and is already planning a 2011 long-distance trip, the first since his accident.
I’ve owned many bikes over the last 43 years, and at one point, even had four bikes at once. One of my hobbies was restoring antique motorcycles, which I’ve since stopped due to the escalating cost of bike restoration parts. I’ve bought and sold them all over the world, including a 1925 BSA from Australia and a 1950 Harley-Davidson Panhead I sold to a fellow antique lover in Japan. Biking is my greatest love.
In my darkest hours following my injury, I was lucky enough to have a fiancée, family members and an employer who were all there for me. I pride myself in my ability to continue to work and earn a living, and I realize many people in my situation can’t do that and it must be tough. I am able be self-sufficient by driving my van, and of course, my new Conquest motorcycle.
I don’t kid myself, riding my new Conquest bike is not the same as riding my two-wheeled motorcycle, but it gives me the same feelings of freedom and independence, which is why we bikers love to ride. The styling has a “wow” factor and attracts admirers wherever I go. I love the BMW platform and engineering.
Traditionally, I take two long-distance trips each year on my bike. I missed last year due to the accident. However, I am planning a trip in June of 2011 and am working hard to make sure I am totally physically independent and able to go. I can’t get old or feeble – I have a young fiancée and a childish mentality when it comes to life!
The first time I rode my Conquest was the most normal I felt since I was paralyzed. I still have my dark days, but they are shorter and further apart as time progresses. I truly love riding my bike. Finally, the open road is accessible again.
Thomas Colby and his fiancée shown riding in his Mobility Conquest. The automated fold-out ramp in the back of the trike has a built-in bench for an additional passenger.
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