Rider doesn’t let handicap slow him down

When people say they can’t ride a motorcycle, Don Smith points to himself as an example of someone who refuses to say “can’t.”
“I’ve done it one-handed for 40 years,” said Smith, who at 50 has spent most of his life with a single arm. “People say you shouldn’t (ride), you’ll get hurt, and that’s the main reason I do it, to tell people you can do whatever you want.”
When he’s not farming or working in maintenance for the Melrose school system, Smith enjoys riding motorcycles with his wife. Together, they put 20,000 to 25,000 miles each year on their bikes.
Smith said their love for motorcycles prompted the couple to get involved with the annual Badlands motorcycle rally scheduled this weekend in Clovis.
“It takes a lot of effort, a lot of volunteers and a lot of time,” Smith said.
While bikers sometimes have a bad reputation, Smith said most of that has changed over the years.
“The bad boys just aren’t out there like they used to be. We have a lot of doctors, lawyers, dentists, a lot of police people,” Smith said. “The people at the Harley shop, the Committee of 50, and other cities like Melrose, Grady, and Portales and the (Cannon Air Force) Base all get together and have a good time.”
Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ staff writer Darrell Maurina. Suggested items may be mailed to editor David Stevens at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is david_stevens@link.freedom.com