Before I finished my bachelor's in fine arts at Ohio State University I knew I wasn't going to make my living as a sculptor. I wasn't a good enough salesman, nor was I outlandish enough to attract the people who actually spend money at galleries.
I decided that I was actually more interested in metalworking than self expression, so I went to welding school as soon as I got my degree. Unfortunately for me, most welding shop foremen don't want to hire a fellow with a fine arts degree and a few weeks of training at Lincoln Electric. After almost 2 years I got my first welding job, thanks to a good word from my land lord.
It didn't take long for me to prove myself at work and begin to get some of the interesting assignments. I was anxious to learn and spent time reading about metallurgy and old time layout tricks. I quickly began to apply my new knowledge to my love of motorcycles and began making custom parts for myself and my friends.
I wish that I had taken pictures now. I only have pictures of one machine that I never finished. It was a Kawasaki H2 750 that I converted to monoshock rear end with a cast aluminum Interceptor 500 swing arm. It was loud and messy and fun, but it had a circular vibration that made it impossible to hold the clip-ons at 60 mph.
After watching my friend race an old CB350 in AHRMA sportsman I decided that I needed to go racing, too. I started in the "Production Lightweight" class on a nearly stock CB350. It was fun and I had some success but I wanted to build a real racer so I moved up to "Sportsman 350" just like my friend. I also bought a well used Honda RS125 grand prix racer that I hoped would teach me how to ride fast. I spent a lot of money and time trying to keep both those bikes on track and in the end made my self so frustrated it wasn't fun any more. I found that I can't ride fast when I'm not having fun so I decided to take some time off from racing.
By this time I was working at a major engineering firm welding, machining, assembling, and testing prototypes. It is the perfect job for me where I get to exercise my creativity and problem solving and learn about advanced technology.
During my time off I heard about The TTXGP races at the Isle of Man and decided that I wanted to go electric bike racing, too. I tried to recruit some engineers at work but, while some were interested, they were too busy with their lives to donate a lot of time and money to a hare brained idea like that. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from Sean Ewing. He wanted to build electric bikes, too. He wanted to build them so much he started a company. Sean invited me to use the equipment that he and his partner, Jordan Rhyne, had purchased to make a racing motorcycle while they got their business going.
So here we are. From sculptor, to welder, to engineering research tech, to race bike engineer and team principal.