Thomas Stidham has been a member with Brother Moto for more than a year. His kind smile and laid back attitude makes him a joy to have around. Even though he does not live in the city he is usually the first to sign up for a ride or meetup and is always arriving with a big ol' grin on his face.
Let's get to know Thomas a little better.
What do you do for a living or when you are not riding motorcycles?
By education and trade, I am a Technical Architect. Essentially, integrating new technologies with large scale infrastructure utilized by corporations extremely reliant on much older mainframe core systems. In the same capacity, I have also worked heavily in Business Resiliency and Disaster Recovery.
For quite some time now though, today, or for as long as we see fit... I am a Dad and Husband. I happily married into my children nine years ago. I think ‘family’ is missing today. My wife and I have a plan. Raising well adjusted children is a primary part of said plan. Maintaining sound reasoning and sanity is another hopeful outcome.
What do you do for fun? Or what drew you to martial arts?
I was introduced to Tai Chi and Qi Gong about 20 years ago. Let me start by saying those aren’t ‘fighting words.’ Qi Gong can be simply equated to formatted stretching exercises. Tai Chi, although it most certainly has a ‘fighting’ side, is exactly what you see on the television infomercials. Kidding.
Both of these practices require a mental mindset and breath control that I cannot under normal circumstances achieve. My mind doesn’t sit at rest as much as I would like. Taking the time to perform any of the aforementioned and really focus on the ‘now’ can reset a person. I think everyone needs the ability to find inner peace and tranquility. This is one practice/hobby that provides just that.
I have practiced with instructors along the way and I believe having one to help you achieve proper form is the only way to get the full benefits of these practices. One sees arms flailing about and looking all american kung-fu … what one doesn’t see is each internal organ being massaged back into ‘normal state’ through the fluidity of the transitions. The medical science behind the practices are every bit as interesting as the associated kung-fu grip.
How long have you been riding motorcycles?
I started riding at a very young age. At around 6 years old, my neighbor had two little Indian 50’s and I was able to take my first ride and several fun filled ones after that at the time. Done. I mean, D-O-N-E… A bicycle would never truly cut it again.
We moved a year later. Devastation.
At 7 or 8, my parents picked me up from home after school (unusual) and announce they are taking me to a school conference. I sat in the back seat absolutely livid. I had done nothing, I mean nothing at school. Okay, nothing I had been caught for.
I did notice and mention that ‘this’ didn’t look like the way to my school. My dad then parked the car and we walked in a motorcycle shop. I assumed he was getting a part for his. We looked around, I sat on a few.
Soon after answering the question of, ‘ Which color do you like better?’ between two pointed out to me… we left with a little silver and red one just my size. My little Yamaha GT80 Enduro… a Life changer!
Any good stories about how you got involved or what drew you to motorcycles?
The insanity of a motorcyclist’s brain, at least this ones…
I have always enjoyed racing both as a spectator and on the track. Going fast in a proper sports car or on two wheels of any form is thrilling. I been an owner of said cars for most of my adult life.
About two years ago I sold my pride and joy (car) as it simply wasn’t family friendly. It was, fast, dangerous, not a parent’s car, back seats weren’t really back seats, not practical for family activities, expensive maintenance, our SUV just sits there, drive that… blah, blah, blah. Never once from my daughters or wife was this even mentioned, in fact the opposite was true… the family preferred that I kept my ‘prize.’
So yes, with this unnecessary four wheeled ‘evil’ removed from my life, life would be much simpler.
Often going to kick tires and look at motorcycles over the years, I’ve fancied the thought of owning again and feeling that freedom. I knew my capabilities and limitations in my cars for the most part. Two wheels again… hmm, I’m too old, they are dangerous, I have a family and children to think about. My wonderful wife allows me to enjoy my passions and was excited about the possibility of ‘one day doing something like that.’ On the other side of the spectrum, my daughters both stood on the firm footing of ‘No Daddy, just no.’
Children left our home on Sunday for a couple of weeks of vacation… Daddy had a bike in the garage by Friday night. Hah! Bad Daddy. (Mommy was involved throughout the finding, test ride, final purchase, and ride home of this purchase … Sorry girls! … Bad Mommy.) #snitchesstitches
End result, my wife rides with me, my daughters love to see me ride off as they know ‘Daddy Fun’ is about to ensue… I feel the thrill again. Another ‘Life Changer’… for all of us.
How many motorcycles do you own?
I have always enjoyed vintage. My cars weren’t new, my homes weren’t constructed ground up for me. A vintage bike to scoot around on, perfect! My first purchase, a 1980 Honda CB650C. I was never a mechanic and never developed those skills. This was the perfect ‘tinker toy’ I needed to build those skills. It has lived up to the request for skill development. I have learned to cuss better, lose tools better, and that I rarely have the right tool required. And I’m not complaining.
More recently, I’ve purchased a button that I could push that would start a motorcycle every time. It has a 2016 Triumph Speedy attached to it. Button works every time, motorcycle follows button.
Do you have a favorite motorcycle or one that you gravitate towards?
The one attached to that button I mentioned.
How did you get involved in Brother Moto?
My wife and I stopped by the shop to take a look around a bit after finding Brother Moto online. We met two great guys with a dream, a few other genuinely nice people, and a really great space. After stopping back by a time or two and meeting a few more people; I had shared, I had listened. I got it. I understood.
A place to relax with like minded people, a full shop with ALL-of-the-tools that I may need once and don’t really desire to purchase, minds to meet, rides to take, camping, comradely… all of this and ‘go fast’ stuff? Yep. Okay. Fine. Mmhmm… sign me up.
Would you recommend Brother Moto to anyone?
I would recommend Brother Moto to anyone and everyone. Stop by the shop, have a coffee, meet the folks hanging out or working on their bikes. Come to a bike night and meet a few people/see some great bikes/eat some great food. There is certainly a friendly and diverse crowd to be found.