By Mitch Boehm
Dec. 13, 2021
Pretty much everyone’s in a warm ‘n’ fuzzy celebratin’ mood around the holidays, us included. But there’s more to this time of the year than just trees and lights and presents and goodwill toward one’s fellow man.
December, it turns out, is a banner month for Hall of Famer birthdays, with a large handful of our legends and heroes having shot through the birth canal in the 12th month, many, we’d guess, with their wrists pinned in anticipation of a great holeshot.
It’s a mix of legendary racers and industry luminaries, with the latter category featuring such names as, in no particular order, Harley-Davidson co-founder William S. Harley, motorcycle safety guru Harry Hurt, the ‘Wheelie King’ Doug Domokos, Cycle News co-founder Chuck Clayton, industry expert Tom Cates, stunt pioneer Victor McLagen and one of the most beloved men in all of motorcycling — filmmaker Bruce Brown, who conceived, shot, produced and assembled the moto-documenatry On Any Sunday, which to this day continues to thrill and inspire motorcyclists young and old the world over.
The racer column is every bit as special, with guys like motocross/AMA Supercross superstars David Bailey, Jeff Emig and Danny LaPorte listed; and dirt trackers and road racers such as Don Castro, Skip Van Leeuwen, Ricky Graham, Kenny Roberts and Freddie Spencer.
Roberts was born on New Year’s Day, which, given the amount of unabashed craziness that often occurs on that last day of the year, is somehow wholly appropriate. It is quite likely that Roberts emerged from his mother’s womb with not only his throttle hand pinned, but his left foot out in anticipation of a sustained drift along the line of straw bales at Indy in the summer of 1975.
So as you’re sipping on your eggnog (spiked appropriately, if that lights your tree) on these last few evenings of December, thinking of all the cotton-headed ninny muggings you know – and love – in your life and considering the seven levels of the candy cane forest, keep these Hall of Famers in mind, and wish them a Happy Birthday alongside a very merry Christmas.