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Michael Charles Messineo

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Books by Michael Charles Messineo
My Progressions in Life
By Michael Charles Messineo
Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2004
Last edited: Sunday, October 31, 2004
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Michael Charles Messineo
· My Dyslexia
· My List of 50 Things
· 35 shameless reasons
· Finding a reviewer
· Stop and Remember Your Past
· Seizing An Opportunity
· Murder Mystery - A writer's high
           >> View all 8
Life is a series of progressions. So hop on board and take a ride with me.

Progression is a series of a sequence of events, a chain of development. When I bought my first Harley, a 1200 Custom Sportster almost 3 years ago, everybody said I was going through a mid-life crisis. I totally denied that because the reason I wanted to ride again was simply because I missed riding. My last ride was over 30 years ago when I had to sell my 650 Triumph because of too many speeding tickets. Oh sure, I was 19 and I thought speed was paramount to the enjoyment of riding. But I was young, ignorant and very lucky to have survived.

Starting at the age of nine, I went from a Schwinn bicycle whose frame grew and grew by the coats of wax I applied to it, to a Briggs and Stratton mini-bike when I was 12, and then the big jump when I was 14 to a very used 1952 Cushman Eagle, which was more of an oversized mini-bike on steroids. I sold that beauty and upgraded to a larger lawn mower, a 1968 Yamaha 80 which got me through high school along with a 55 Buick and a 57 Chevy. Finally at age 19, the big step was the 650 Triumph which required more maturity than I possessed.

The progression also included expanding my boundaries of travel as the mini-bike only got me up and down the dead end road of a nearby church. My bicycle got me to the Mall and completion of my paper route every day. But it was the Cushman that opened up my eyes to the adventures of getting away, riding with no predetermined destination … just riding to ride.

The rules of the road went like this… Bicycle – stay on the sidewalk and it was okay to ride anywhere as long as I was home by dinner time. Mini-Bike – walk it to the dead end road, never ride it in the street… yeah right Mom! Cushman – learners permit, no nights and not allowed on a major highway. Yamaha 80 – no wheelies and be home by 11. 650 Triumph – No speeding tickets.

Ah yes, speed… let me digress a little bit here. In Florida, living near the beach, we would ride our bicycles to the beach against the wind, but on the return ride home the wind would be at our backs and we could hit speeds of about 35 mph. The mini-bike would do about the same speed but it only took a flick of the wrist. The Cushman could break the sound barrier at 60 mph. The Yamaha could do 85, but only driving home from the beach on those days of an approaching Hurricane. Now the Triumph was a little different. It had a mind of it’s own and for some reason I could never keep it under control as my 4th speeding ticket was the mother of all speeding tickets being clocked at 123 mph. I talked the State Trooper down to a respectable 90 in a 55 mph zone. That was the ticket that ended my riding days as I sold my Triumph and bought the slowest car imaginable… an old VW Beetle.

Years later life caught up with me, as I got married, had two daughters, bought a new house, put one daughter through college, and now it was time to scratch an old itch. I wanted to ride again. I wanted a Harley. I immediately experienced sticker shock remembering the progression of my old rides - bicycle was free (Christmas present), mini-bike was a slick trade for fireworks, Cushman $100, Yamaha $295, Triumph $1300, my first Harley – well it was priceless and I had to have it.

The Sportster had a similar feel to my old Triumph and I was in love. But there was a new catch I was unprepared for. New laws have been passed since I was a kid. I soon learned of a special motorcycle road test that had to be passed and I was freaking out. How could I pass my test without being on a bike for over 30 years. The answer was simple as my new Harley came with a 4 day Riders Edge Course which was great. What made it better was that my teacher was a Colorado Motorcycle cop who was also the Director of my Fort Collins HOG Chapter in Colorado.

The Harley had my friends and relatives accusing me of going through a mid-life crisis, so I started to think about writing a book about that very thing. One day I sat down at the computer and started writing, but what came out surprised even me. I started to add things from my life to the characters I created, like riding the Harley in the mountains, and taking classes to get my motorcycle license, etc. The funny part was that once I started to write, it seemed like my hands were typing faster than I was thinking. The story that came out was nothing like I had planned. It became an adventure into thinking back on one's life and saying "what if I did this, or that,” and “gee I wish I did that when I had the chance.” As the story unfolded I created an unusual plot involving the FBI, International terrorists, and motorcycle gangs. I wrote my book “Rigby’s Roads” because it was a lifetime of progression that was deep inside of me and wanting to come out.

Based in the Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado, the story unfolds as mild-mannered think-tank wizard Jack Rigby becomes an accidental witness to a shoot-out between a cop and members of a biker gang. Jack brings home the only survivor, a biker, and nurses him back to health. The biker befriends Jack by giving him a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and an unwanted house guest: a 15-year-old orphaned computer genius. Both the biker and the kid help Jack discover valuable lessons in life, while Jack falls in love with a young woman and helps her overcome her own challenges. Biker gangs, the FBI, and National Security become interwoven into an adventure that involves the President of the United States and an unwavering solidarity among bikers. The journey leads to Sturgis, South Dakota, with a half million bikers, as Jack faces the biggest challenge of his life and is forced to stand up and fight for his self respect.

The story is threaded with Harley mystique, the Rider's Edge Program and reads like a movie - fast, fun and exciting. It is selling well in the UK, and Australia because that is where my initial PR was focused.

You can get Rigby's Roads at,,, or ask your local book store to order it.

The progressions that I now reflect on, are my differences in life. I used to be a speeding punk kid, now I am a safe old fart. I struggled in school with reading, now I am writing books. I used to fight for my freedom, now I ride for my freedom.

Thanks for reading, and keep the shiny side up.
Michael Charles Messineo
Fort Collins HOG Chapter, Colorado

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Reviewed by Tami Ryan 2/19/2004
I enjoy your style, Michael. This is well written, and I appreciate the wisdom woven throughout. Thank you.
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 2/19/2004
This is a wonderful story of growing up in the bike world, I didnt quite do all that, but did own, well it kinda owned me, or maybe it was the bank that owned it, as it cost money everytime I kick started the beast. Anyway, I had this 79' Harley softtail, was my Dads, but he lost the itch when he dropped it a few times...Then I dropped it off a cliff in western Pa, in the snow one dark and lonely night, thank the gods I was in full leather and wearing a helmut or I would not be here to tell you this story. Also, it went over the cliff, I just missed it by grabbing a wayward tree that happened to be in the way...the cop that was kinda following me, for no more reason than I was doing a buck twenty in the snow, (seems right to me), asked if I was okay and i replied, wow, man what a trip, lets do it again...he promptly arrested me and I have no memory of the next four nights in jail...supposedly I beat the shit out of someone trying to get into my pants, but thats another story,I am told...Sorry to be so long winded, but i joined, while serving time a group in jail called, Aryan Brotherhood, which happened to have a chapter not far from where I lived...well I am still a member, not active at all, as I cannot afford to ride anymore, but someday...

Again,sorry to be so long winded, but really enjoyed your piece, Mike...I have your email address and mine should be attached somewhere so we are both on AOL, if you see me, IM me and remind me who you are, we can talk from there...peace thru words, Ed & Rufuz

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