October 11, 2021 at 7:05 p.m.

Welcome to the club

By Tim Zweber- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

I am having a midlife crisis or at least that’s what my family keeps telling me. I disagree with them but I did do something often associated with 40-plus-year-old men attempting to relive their youth. After decades of driving ATVs around our farm to move cattle in the pastures or to run and check a field’s conditions, I bought a motorcycle instead of another ATV. The decision to cut the number of wheels from four down to two was partially because my kids wanted a dirt bike, and also my dad and I wanted a dirt bike. It seemed like if everyone wants a motorcycle, and we need a new thing to drive about anyway, we might as well get one. It didn’t hurt that the price for a brand new Yamaha TW200 motorcycle is half the price of an ATV. I’m always up for spending a bit less money.
What I didn’t realize when I started the search for a sturdy motorcycle for the farm was how much I would enjoy riding it. We hadn’t had a motorcycle at the farm since I briefly owned one when I was a teenager. I liked riding the new bike around the farm so much I went to the DMV to get a motorcycle permit so I could legally ride on the county roads as well as the field roads. I hadn’t taken a test at the DMV since I was 15 but not much has changed, surprisingly. With a freshly printed sheet of paper from the DMV folded up and jammed in my wallet I was ready to hit the roads. Not to head off to Sturgis – if you Google what a TW200 looks like you’ll see why – but to move our beef cattle and heifers on a pasture we rent by New Prague, Minnesota. Turns out, I had unknowingly become part of a community much like the agricultural community.
Riding that motorcycle to move cattle and check hay fields I got waves from all the other people out riding their fancy Harleys and Hondas on a sunny afternoon. People I didn’t know would come talk with me about how cool my funny looking fat tired dirt bike was at the gas station in town when I’d stop for a Snickers. I realized quickly that when you ride a motorcycle you become instantly part of the motorcycling community even if you don’t have a fancy vest with a bunch of patches and a nickname like BlackJack.  
The other night I had to run to Wal-Mart after milking for some whipping cream so the local ECFE kids could make butter when they toured our farm. Of course, I took the motorcycle because it was a nice evening and there are only so many of those left before fall takes a turn toward winter. While I was searching for the last couple cartons of whipping cream in the oddly empty dairy case, a man on one of those motorized shopping carts was trying to get a gallon of chocolate milk out so I held the door open for him. Turns out he recently lost his leg for reasons I didn’t inquire about making the motorized cart an annoying necessity for him. I know this because he noticed I was wearing an armored jacket for motorcycling and after thanking me for holding the door for him we had a nice conversation about motorcycles and life in general. He had to sell his Harley when he lost his leg but he bought a Yamaha scooter so he can keep riding a motorcycle even with prosthetic legs. I think I’ve stumbled into a group of people as passionate about their lifestyle as farmers are.
Sometimes in agriculture we get hung up on who’s a real farmer. In a community as small as ours I’m not sure there’s much reason to be picky about who’s part of the crowd. Let’s all make sure to give a farmer wave to every tractor and grain truck we pass and compliment random folks on their chore boots or free seed hat because you might just be making a new farmer feel welcome in the agricultural community. Until next time, keep living the dream, and to quote Freddie Mercury, “Get on your bikes and ride!” I think he was referring to pedal bicycles but you know what I mean.
Tim Zweber farms with his wife Emily, their three children and his parents Jon and Lisa by Elko, Minnesota.


You must login to comment.

Top Stories

Today's Edition



27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.