SCRC Loudoun VA Featured Member - February, 2011

Name:   Bruce Scherzinger

Nickname:   Zinger

Marital Status:  Married since 1983 to Eileen "NY Girl".

Location:  Vienna, VA

Hometown:  Connersville, IN

Children:  David, Rachel, Andrew

Age:  54 and starting to feel it.

Occupation:  Aerospace Software Systems Engineer

Current motorcycle(s):  2004 Yamaha Roadstar Silverado Midnight

How did you hear about the SCRC and when did you join?
Tom "Tank" Geery first told me about SCRC several years ago. I also work with member Ken Kueny. I joined in February 2010, shortly after purchasing my current bike.

How long have you been riding?
I started riding in 1975 on my father's request (of all things). He helped me buy my first bike, which I rode to college in Dayton, OH, through 1979. Traded it for a new Yamaha 650 Maxim in 1981 and sold that one in 1984 before moving to Dallas. Took 27 years off from riding, picking it up again in March 2010. So let's see... if you count all that time, I've been "riding" for over 35 years. But actually in total only about 10 years.

Have you ever taken a motorcycle safety course?
I took the MSF course at NVCC in Sterling, VA, in April 2010, but had no prior instruction other than what my father taught me.

What was your first bike?
1971 Honda 750 K1

How many bikes have you owned?
I am on my third. My second was a 1981 Yamaha Maxim 650. I loved it.

Why do you ride?
The freedom of the open air, the power, the fun, and most recently the camaraderie. The fact Eileen likes it is a plus. Where and when I grew up, our pastime was "driving around". I guess I never got it out of my system. Now a motorcycle is the most ecologically responsible vehicle I can still enjoy doing this with.

Have you ridden with an organized group before?
SCRC is the first. But I have ridden in small, very disorganized groups many times.

What modifications have you done to your bike?
Some of this I think the newer Roadies come with, some is just necessary. Nuthin' fancy.
1. Corbin 2-up touring seat with driver/passenger backrest.
2. Tall sissy bar (needed to make the the wife tolerate the ride).
3. Progressive rear spring (needed to make the ride tolerate the wife).
4. Kuryakyn run-turn-stop kit.
5. Passenger floor boards.
6. Passing lamps.
7. Headlamp and signal visors.
8. Garmin GPS mount.
9. Luggage rack.
10. Stock exhaust (came with Cobra pipes). Yeah, I really did.

What accessories do you want to add to your bike?
None. I like the bike just the way it is. Ok, maybe:
1. Thermometer.
2. Engine protective bars.

What is your dream bike?
I don't really dream about bikes. But my next one will probably be a tourer. The new Vulcan Voyager ABS looks good, as does the Yamaha Venture. I am not really a Harley lover, nor am I particularly brand loyal. I ride what feels right and is built well.

What kind of riding do you like to do — straight-aways or twisties?
I like both. I'd rather not have a passenger on twisty roads, though. And since I like cruisers and tourers, I am somewhat limited on some switchbacks. I just like riding.

If you have a nickname, how did you get it? Tell the truth!
I've been called "Zinger" since high school. It's the tail end of my last name. There've been other variants of my last name used as nicknames annointed by others, but most of them are not particularly flattering. I was surprised the VA vanity plate was not already taken.

What is your favorite riding route?
Whichever one I am riding at any given time! I had a blast riding through WV on US50W. Don't particularly like Interstates.

Do you ride your bike to work?
Absolutely! In 2010, the year I got my current bike, I rode to work nearly every day in spring, summer, and autumn. I put twice as many miles on my bike as I did on my car in 2010.

What is the fastest you’ve ridden?
I hit 136 MPH on an Indiana back road on that 750 K1. I'll never do that again on ANY bike, but especially on one of those.

What is your favorite time of year to ride?
Spring, summer, and autumn. As long as it's above 35F and the roads are dry.

Have you ever been down? If so, how were you hurt and what did you learn from the incident?
I ran the 750 K1 off an Indiana back road on a 95-degree day. The road had been freshly tar-patched. Going down a slight grade with a sharp right turn at the end at 15 MPH, the brakes kept locking. I knew I'd go down, so I got in the left lane to see around the turn as best I could and then jumped off the bike at the turn, pushing it off to the left. I slid down a 45-degree embankment into a soybean field and busted my helmet on a rock. The bike got caught on another rock and came down on top of me at the bottom. No broken bones, but lots of blood and ripped clothes. The helmet probably saved my life. I learned not to ride on roads with that much fresh tar in the summer heat.

Have you ever done an "Iron Butt" ride?
No, and I am not particuarly anxious to do one either.

If not, what is the furthest you’ve ridden?
In a single day I've ridden up to about 600 miles. In a single tour over a week-long period, 1200 miles. I am sure I could do longer rides, but I am just getting back into it after 27 years.

What was the worst weather in which you’ve ridden?
20-degrees on a 2-lane road covered with ice and snow and only enough room for a single car down the middle. Hey, I had to get to class and my car was dead.

Do you know how to work on your bike?
If I say no, am I a wimp? I can do basic things like change the oil and filter. I added all that stuff in the list above except the spring. But I'm not taking on an engine rebuild or anything big like that. I'm in it for the riding.

What is your favorite road song?
I don't listen to music on my bike. It's too distracting. In the car I like hard-driving industrial tunes. One of my favorites is Filter's "Nice Shot".

What was your most adventurous ride?
Well, that worst weather scenario was a pretty chilling 22-mile adventure. And I had to ride back home after class. I once rode from Dayton to Cumberland OH with my father and camped for a week. The adventure was being that close to my dad for a week.

What rallies or events do you like to attend?
Eileen and I went on the Jimmie's Tavern Annual 9/11 Memorial in 2010. It was pretty wild. I hope to do Rolling Thunder in 2011. I try to go on as many SCRC rides as I can fit in my schedule. Went to Carlisle last year in 105-degree weather on the bike. I have been to the DC Progressive MC show the past two years in 30-degree a cage.

Is there someone who rides "two-up" with you?
Eileen does like to ride along. But she doesn't like long rides or cool/cold weather.

Off the cuff from...Zinger
I hope I never drop my bike again.
I hope I never hit a deer while riding (or anything else for that matter).
I hope someday there'll be a whole garage bay just for my bike.
I have no desire to be a multi-bike owner.
I hope I can continue to ride well into my 70's!
I am especially grateful to be a member of SCRC, great friends!
Is winter over yet?