October 13th, 2017

Excelsior, 1920, oil on canvas, 24×36, one of a number of vintage bikes I painted a couple of years ago.

I have a thing for motorcycles. Ask my wife. I can hardly go by one that’s parked without going over to it and pointing out something I know about that particular make, model, or era. To her they’re rather all the same, or so they would be without my continually sensitizing her to the nuances.

I first learned to ride when I was 14. It was at a family reunion for the Moore clan out in Rawlins, Wyoming. All Dad’s brothers and sisters were there: Comer, Sterling, Muriel, Burwin, Melva and Orelle, all great names. Then, of course, there was Dad, Hyatt junior.

Sterling had a motorcycle, a German made Zundap, and Dad taught me to ride it. There was little risk there, out in the wilds of sage brush and jack rabbits and maybe a dirt path. Maybe! But I got bit by the thrill and after that did nothing but pine for a driver’s license and with that, a motorcycle.

Actually, I didn’t wait and got my first traffic ticket speeding down Pacific Coast Highway on a motor scooter. Happily that one never showed on my record. The reason: there was no record to put it on . . . I was only 15 and still didn’t have a driver’s license. But that’s another story.

In high school I drew Triumphs on my notebooks. When I didn’t own a bike, I borrowed one, and over the years got familiar with all kinds.

There was I time I loved dirt riding more than road crusing . . . the risks, the jumps, the speed . . . sometimes the camaraderie of doing it with others . . . or just the joy of being out in the wind and the roar, the surge of power, the freedom. And fun!

These days I can still get tempted to own one again. They can be very beautifully designed; maybe I’d buy one just to look at. And why not? It’s what we do with paintings!

But I know I’d ride. And I’d ride too fast.

Life’s horizon is approaching fast enough. Why rush it?



PS  Speaking of paintings, I’ve been posting some pretty interesting new works on Facebook of late. Check them out here.


  1. Sue Oct 13, 2017
    11:25 am

    Is there a link to those paintings?

    No, don’t buy one. You prayed for wisdom and God answered.

    • Hyatt Moore Oct 13, 2017
      12:22 pm

      Another time I prayed for fun . . . and guess what showed up? A motorcycle!

  2. Judy Brocato Oct 13, 2017
    12:00 pm

    I am still smiling reading this. My husband loved motorcycles as well. He had an Indian years before we were married…..and then for our 25th anniversary, I bought him an old one that had a kick start……He cried when he saw it. It wasn’t too expensive and I had saved some money. I bought it, because one day while our family was taking a drive, we were at the stop light, and a Harley came up beside us. Being the gentleman he was, he always offered my mom to sit up front if I was driving. I was that day, and my husband took off his seat belt, and climbed to where he could see that Harley, almost to the front seat……That’s what gave me the idea to look for one. He loved that old “bike”, but with all his health issues, the kick start became a problem……and we went together and bought him a Harley Sportster.

    Of course it was my “pushing” him to do so, as I told him let’s go, life is too short, …..and it was. He passed away before it was ever paid for, but oh how he enjoyed it. He and his friend Rob would go riding together often. He’d come in the house and say, “Judy, Rob and I are going for a bike right, okay?”…….like little boys going out to play!!!

    It brings me joy to remember this. Thanks for this blank slate….(If he had lived, we would be celebrating 50 yrs. of marriage next week! Thanks for letting me share….

    • Hyatt Moore Oct 13, 2017
      12:20 pm

      Wow, a wife that would buy her husband a motorcycle. That’s love! (The risky kind.)

  3. Frank Oct 13, 2017
    12:02 pm

    Well, for evermore! I did not know we had motorcycles in common and I really appreciate the English and German bikes of long ago. I still ride to the gym and occasionally to our JAARS center. I’m surprised you don’t own one now. That is why you paint them?

  4. Ashley Oct 13, 2017
    12:21 pm

    Got the notification on this one!

    Love those names- they sound like characters in a great book and I too agree with the “look but don’t touch” crowd.

    • Hyatt Moore Oct 13, 2017
      12:26 pm

      Thanks, Ashley. Yes, great names. Much of that family’s story is in the “Mom and Dad” book.

  5. Pil Ho Lee Oct 13, 2017
    4:23 pm

    I didn’t know you had a thing for motorcycles. I think Triumphs are beautiful too

  6. Rich Shultz Oct 13, 2017
    4:49 pm

    Like you, I had a motorcycle before I was old enough for a car license and had them off and on over the years. Recently I succumbed to the siren call of dirt riding and am back exploring the trails of the Cascades- with permission from Colleen!

    • Hyatt Moore Oct 13, 2017
      4:53 pm

      More power to you Rich. And good to hear from you. Did we ride together in Papua New Guinea? I often did weekend jaunts with various or alone on roads no car could traverse. Great memories.