Ride Out

Derek Reed maintains a four-point blueprint for a successful business: make a plan, commit to it, focus on your mission, and take the necessary steps to execute. Reed, vice president of sales for Internet security company SecureWorks in Atlanta, applies the same rules to his hobby — remodeling Harley-Davidson motorcycles. An avid fan and rider of the popular bikes since his college days, Reed, 46, owns two: a RoadGlide and a 2003 Anniversary Edition FatBoy.

“I wanted something I could enjoy on a lot of different fronts, something I could tinker with,” he offers. “I like the whole idea of customizing; it is the perfect mix of a lot of different things.” One is already completed. Having removed most of the stock parts, Reed spent between $17,000 and $20,000 on detailing. “It’s all chromed out,” Reed beams.

His ultimate joy, however, is the ride. “On tough days I will ride down a long stretch of road as fast as I can. It’s a perfect relief.”

He also frequents bikers’ rallies, among them the National Round Up, which is made up of predominantly African American Harley riders. “I love the brotherhood that the rallies have. I love riding. It is my escape; it is where I do my best thinking, and best unwinding.”

Getting Started
Respect riding. Contact your local DMV for operating requirements and take the proper safety classes through national organizations such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Pace yourself. Do your research and take a few test drives to find the motorcycle best suited for you. A new Harley-Davidson can cost between $8,000 and $35,000. Consider a secondhand bike to start.

Get information. Once you’re a Harley owner, join the Harley-Davidson Owners Group (H.O.G.). Visit www.harley-davidson.com for more information.