About Jim Ford
Since my first motorcycle purchase on my 40th birthday, the pure joy of riding motorcycles has taken me by storm. Now I am closing in on 600,000 miles. I have learned many of our region’s great motorcycle routes through the Appalachians from south of the New York line to the Smoky Mountains, and west to the Ohio River. Nearly all of my riding has been in these mountains; it’s become my backyard.
In eight years as the lead salesman at a prominent Mid-Atlantic BMW dealership, I had the opportunity to meet with many experienced motorcyclists—dedicated high-milers. I always made it a point to ask these riders about their favorite roads, wanting to know where the curviest, hilliest and prettiest roads were. I marked up maps, got a GPS and rode every road I heard of, discovering many on my own along the way. I also was able to massage a natural talent of mine: I seem to have a nearly photographic memory for terrain. With this experience, I have stitched together hundreds of miles into a complex tapestry of motorcycling landscape.
Most of these roads are largely unknown to the average rider. Riding tens of thousands of miles on these back roads, I seldom see another motorcyclist. It’s as if these roads are invisible.
Along the way, I have developed a riding style that enables me to confidently and effortlessly ride these “invisible roads” covering hundreds of miles a day. It’s all about riding smooth. Interestingly enough, this smoothness came from years of flying airplanes long before I ever rode or owned a motorcycle.
Riding smooth leads to confident situational awareness, and safety at any speed. Riding smooth also leads to relaxed, steeper lean-angles, endurance and effortless speed. As you master this skill, your self assurance will soar. Like Zen, riding smooth is a trained state of mind.
“Thanks again for a memorable weekend. First class accommodations, delicious meals ,and good conversation. I feel I am a better rider after attending, but more importantly you gave me the theories and techniques to become a really good rider. On my ride home,after having some time to digest what you taught us, I understand how keeping the mind and the body focused on the ride will lead to the precision needed to really ride well. I understand that these skills are not acquired easily, but with constant practice and execution, can be raised to a level that makes the ride more than I realized possible. You have raised the bar and I am now on a mission that will last as long as I am able to ride. I feel that I will be back to your workshop for more instruction. Thanks again, Sam Mead Princeton, IL