Wish Stories

David Rides Again

The freedom of the open road. That’s just one of the answers you might get if you ask David why he loves motorcycles. There’s also a sense of community with other riders. And, of course, the adrenaline rush that comes with the thrill of speed.

These are just a few reasons why David, age 71, has been a motorcycle fanatic for over 20 years.

David discovered his passion for riding motorcycles after his time in the United States Army. In 1969, when many men were being drafted to serve, David volunteered to fight in the Vietnam War. But, his path took him elsewhere—he was sent to work as an instructor at the Signal School in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

David continued to serve after the war, and his posts took him across the world. He was stationed in Turkey, Germany, and Korea. After 22 years serving his country, David retired from the Army when he was 42 years old.

Sign in Circuit of The Americas stands reads Welcome David
David sits inside Harley Davidson motorcycle side car

In his newly found free time, David discovered that riding a motorcycle was not just a hobby—it was his passion. He found a sense of community by joining a few different Harley Davidson clubs. And David discovered that he could also give back while doing what he loved; he rode his motorcycle for various charitable causes, raising money and awareness for 9/11 and Multiple sclerosis.

David was riding his way through retirement and loving every minute. He traveled around the country with a trailer and his motorcycle, seeing the sights and enjoying the freedom of the open road. He would open his map, choose a destination, and embrace the adventures that came with the journey.

But two years ago, David’s life changed in a moment. He was riding in Austin, Texas when a drunk driver hit him on his motorcycle. In the aftermath of the accident, David’s foot had to be amputated, and he was moved into assisted living.

In his new community, David enjoys deep breathing exercises and chair yoga. Staying active reminds him of when he was a younger man, a self-proclaimed “gym rat” who loved doing yoga. He also enjoys watching movies and playing bingo with his friends. But, since the accident, David has not been on a motorcycle or felt that unique flavor of joy that comes after a long ride on the open road.

When we heard David’s story, Wish of a Lifetime was honored to help him get back on the road. And a particularly famous road at that—the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

Close up of happy David inside side car
David and drive inside motorcycle on Circuit of The Americas track
David with his hands raised enthusiastically as he rides in side car

Have you heard of the need for speed? Well, more than a million people find their fix at Circuit of The Americas every year. The 3.41-mile race track was designed to be a challenging and thrilling course for competitors and viewers alike. It is recognized as the premier destination for world-class motorsports in the United States and is home to the country’s only Formula 1 and MotoGP races.

David joined the ranks of elite athletes and thrill chasers on a perfect sunny day in May. He and his driving companion took three exhilarating laps around the world-famous track! With his image projected on the big screen, he was cheered on by his companions and the race track staff.

“It was a beautiful day, a beautiful motorcycle, and beautiful people,” he said. “It was fabulous.”

Many riders do it for the simple fact that riding a motorcycle makes you happy—it stimulates the brain, which has positive effects on emotional and mental health. And after two years, David felt that rush of endorphins he had been missing.

David sat in the sidecar as his motorcycle operator took them to full speed—up to 150 mph! He thought his grin was so wide it would burst right through his mask.

“I think my attitude is better, and my smile is probably bigger. I’m more optimistic. I feel better about life,” he explained.

As they went over the turns and hills, David relived 20 years of motorcycle adventures—and he certainly made new memories, too.

“Everyone involved was so kind and supportive,” he said. “My appreciation for everyone who made this possible. Thank you very much!”

David gives thumbs up from motorcycle sidecar

One incredible story at a time, Wish of a Lifetime is changing the perception of aging—not just how we view our oldest citizens but also how we see and value ourselves as we age.

Do you have a wish you want to realize? We want to hear your story!

Become a wish Nominator and submit an application for a deserving senior in your community.

Learn more about how wishes connect seniors to people, purpose, and passions to eliminate feelings of isolation and help them live vibrant, purposeful lives.

All wish activities are conducted in accordance with CDC, state and local health regulations and may be subject to increased COVID-19 preventative precautions as outlined in WOL’s COVID-19 Policy.

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