Friday, October 17, 2014

My New Book

The name of my new book is “The Way of a Carefree Country Boy.” I was born and raised on a small farm that my family owned and operated in the lower Hudson Valley of New York. The book is about some of the experiences I remember. It’s much like an autobiography that I wrote for the purpose of leaving something for my future generations to let them know what I did with my life while I was still kickin’. Too much is often lost between generations and I was determined not to let it happen here. I wrote about my boyhood, my Navy experiences during WWII and about several years of menial jobs while coming of age in the post-war years with my motorcycle. I served two years in the Air Force after that and 25 years with IBM where I started as a computer technician and held many management and staff positions in Manufacturing before I took early retirement in 1980. I also wrote about my mother’s seven years in an orphanage in Holland and about my being the primary care-giver for my wife Lillian during the last 4½ months of her battle with breast cancer. I included a selection of favorite family photos and a synopsis of my 67 years of motorcycling, which includes my enduro competition and more than a million miles of adventure touring – 220,000 of which was after my 80th birthday. There are about 90 photos in the 224-page book. I sent the manuscript to my printer on October 15, 2014 and I hope to see it in print soon. I’ll post an icon with a link for it in the right-hand column of this blog after it’s been printed and it’s ready for sale.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Accident on May 26, 2013

      On May 26, 2013 I had my most serious motorcycle accident in 67 years of riding. I left the house that morning and took a 100-mile ride north into eastern Dutchess County. When I returned home and was about to put the bike away, I noticed that the odometer was only 30 miles short of 118,000 miles. It was a beautiful day and I had nothing else to do that afternoon, so I fixed myself a quick lunch and took the bike out again for another short ride in the afternoon.
      I was only seven miles out when I stopped at a T-intersection - a three-way stop. After stopping, I proceeded to make a right turn onto a road that had stop signs both ways. I noticed a car on my left coming quite fast with no apparent intention of stopping for the stop sign. I clearly had the right-of-way but I thought it might have ticked him off that I pulled out into his intended path. Seeing him slow down behind me was the last thing I remember. About 1,000 feet from there my bike left the road, went across a grassy shoulder, through a shallow indent and glanced off a stone wall, leaving a mark on the wall. It then careened back across the shallow ditch and slammed into a fire hydrant, totaling the bike. I don’t remember any of it but that’s the way the trooper’s report was filed after a routine investigation. The cause of the accident was listed as unknown. I remember nothing from the time the car pulled in behind me. I don’t know what he did, how fast I was traveling, how or exactly where I landed, how long I lay there unconscious, or who called 911. I woke up in the Trauma Center at Westchester Medical Center several hours later in a semi-comatose state. My clothes had been cut off – including my leather jacket, heated jacket liner, hi-tech long johns, etc – all ruined. They tell me it's standard procedure.
      The incident happened two weeks before my 88th birthday. Now, six months later, I remember very little about the three-month ordeal I spent in two different hospitals and two different nursing homes. The original ER report said I had eight bone fractures, which were mostly ribs and the left clavicle. I was on blood-thinning medication for a heart condition, so needless to say, I bled a lot internally. It was truly a miracle that I made it through the ordeal. If I had hit my head, it would have been even more serious, considering the blood thinner. My doctors said that my recovery was amazing. I’m now 99% recovered from the crash, and I’ve been exercising daily to recover from the three months of inactivity, including a case of pneumonia along the way.
      I’ve been looking around for another bike – one that I can get my leg over and putz around the neighborhood. I have quite an extended list of on-going medical issues so I’m not planning any long trips at this point.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Welcome to Piet Boonstra's Motorcycling Experiences

Thank you for visiting! There are more than 1600 photos posted here from 66 years of motorcycling since I bought my first Harley in 1947. They are from many years of enduro competition and many years of adventure touring, including eight trips to Alaska over various routes, several back-road tours around the US, one each to Newfoundland and Labrador, and two into Mexico - one of which was to visit the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula and the other was deep into Copper Canyon in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of western Mexico - on a Gold Wing! I traveled alone on most of my trips.

I've also posted photos here of competing in seven decades – mostly in enduros, in which I won trophies in all but the first when I competed with my big Harley 74OHV a few times in local events during the late 1940s. Motorcycling has played a huge role in my life since I was discharged from the Navy after World War II. Now as my riding gradually winds down, mainly due to my age, I intend to spend more time writing about it and inspiring others to ride – and to keep riding as long as I can get my leg over it. A brief bio with highlights of my motorcycling career is included in this blog, as are excerpts from my three books about my motorcycling experiences. An index of the posts, including the bio, the excerpts and the photos, can be found in the right-hand column of this blog.

If anyone is interested in purchasing one or more of my books, you can click on the appropriate advertising link in this blog, or if you would rather have a signed copy, please contact me via email at and I will gladly sell the book(s) to you for the list price with free shipping.

I'll continue to add more photos and captions. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Thanks again for stopping by,
Piet Boonstra