It’s late spring in the early-70s, and a group of grade school kids are taking turns whipping their Stingray bicycles with banana seats through their makeshift dirt track somewhere in the Hollywood Hills. Their dreams of speed and catching air on small jumps are interrupted by the familiar braap! of the Honda 50 two stroke pulling up abruptly, idling noisily, its teenage rider stopping to watch.
One can imagine that kid with little effort -- bushy, unkempt hair, worn jeans, a multi-colored striped shirt and dirty white Converse tennis shoes, now mostly the color of the dirt seeping from the surrounding hills.
Time stops. This is the kid who pulls wheelies after school like they were nothing in the cul de sac below. Parents probably told the young kids this one was trouble. An eight-year old Gard Hollinger wouldn’t have cared. This was the coolest kid in the neighborhood. He was on a motorcycle, and he wanted to ride on their makeshift track!
At least this is the way one might imagine how that first encounter went for Gard as he briefly relays the impetus for his interest in motorcycles.
For those of you who don’t know or haven’t paid much attention, Gard is now one half of the founding duo that created Arch Motorcycles. Keanu Reeves is the other. And if that motorcycle-riding teenager from Gard’s old neighborhood could meet Gard today, the envy would no doubt be reversed.