Faith and Motorcycling Led Me To The CSBA

mark introTo recall how I came to the CSBA, it makes sense to consider how I came to motorcycling. My brother rode motorcycles for years before I did and I decided to start, so it would be something we could do together. It was around March of 2004 and I bought an old Honda 450 Night Hawk from him. I took the MSF Basic Rider course and finished with my motorcycle license. I rode that 450 until August when the inspection ran out and the repairs necessary for inspection cost more than the bike. I then bought a Buell Lightning that same month, crashed it in October and smashed my right foot. Recovery took until February and by April I was riding again. My brother rides big touring bikes with a moderate pace and I like to ride sport bike style with a slightly faster pace. So, since our styles didn't complement so well, I sought out another group.

I either heard about the CSBA online or a friend recommended them to me, I can't remember which it was. I do know I found out that they met at a diner on the first Saturday of the month and during warmer months, they might ride. I looked them up online and applied for membership immediately. True to their word, it was mostly a ride up, eat breakfast, talk about bikes, then ride home kind of group. We did occasionally go for rides, but not every month. This went on for about a year, then the chapter leader just stopped coming out, no explanation, no goodbye. Within a few months another member took up being the chapter leader and we had a good ride up to the Poconos. I didn't get to finish it because something was on my mind and I couldn't focus. I said good bye to the two other riders and headed home. The next month, that chapter leader stopped coming out, again, no explanation, no goodbye.


There is a time and a season for all things

bob brown introMany years ago, I had a customer who told me about the CSBA, I was intrigued.  The concept of Christ, fast motorcycles and adrenaline seemed like a very odd mix.  I knew as a Christian I did not fit in with the stereotypical version of what a Christian was.  Attendance in the little church on the corner, white picket fence, a wife and 2.2 children. I was and still am an adrenaline junky.  Fast riding, pushing it to the edge applied not just to my style of riding but to how I lived my life and ran a business.  I was fed up with the feminization of the church and was not one of those guys that was going to lay down with the little lamb and be soft spoken.

I check out the bulletin board back then, you could just post and wait for a response, it was very old technology, but it worked.  I posted a query about joining, being very honest about who I was and how I rode, I expected a very nice note refusing my membership.  Instead, I got a call from Brian Philips who was more than glad to have me. 

I chatted on the board for a few months before attending my first rally in Ohio.  Back then Brian was the only one besides me on a sport bike.  Their passion for Christ was real and it felt great to be among Christian believers.  My brother Dave had a church in Columbus, and I had shared with Brian about his success in building a church from scratch and turning it into a very large church.  Dave was to join us that Saturday evening around the camp fire.  In true Brown fashion Dave managed to wreck a borrowed bike on the way to the retreat.  He showed up a little banged up, a little stressed out and a little overwhelmed from the experience of sliding off the road with his first crash, and wrecking a friend’s bike. 

He joined the group around the campfire and asked only for something to drink.  We walked to a cooler to grab something when he shared with me the experience.  I told him not to worry, I would take care of the wrecked bike and to just enjoy the evening and relax.

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