The image of the motorcyclist for many, old enough to remember the movie “Easy Rider,” is captured in the lyrics sung by Steppenwolf’s lead singer John Kay; “Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway, Lookin’ for adventure, And whatever comes our way,” from the iconic 1969 song “Born to be Wild.”
It is the image of running on two wheels, freedom, a counter-culture worldview and disdain for boxier transportation. While the experience of traversing the interstates and backroads on two wheels does provide an extra degree of freedom, the average motorcyclist just likes the experience of being on the back of a bike. It is just a different way of getting around.
Chris Jones Sr. is a biomedical CT specialist and lead imaging services technician in the clinical engineering department at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Jones has a bachelor’s in health care administration and is a certified PACS associate. He is also a Microsoft certified professional.
Jones is one of those motorcycle enthusiasts who take the two-wheel approach whenever it is practical.
Jones’ enjoyment of motorcycling goes back to his teens, although his parents were not fans.
“I would say that my interest really started watching the ‘Wild World of Sports’ and seeing a super motocross race from Germany in the late ’60s, early ’70s,” he says.
He remembers when he had his first experience with a bike.
“I guess when I was around 14 or 15, a friend of my brother and I had an old 50cc Honda dirt bike we would ride around on. It was fun and we enjoyed the life on two wheels. Unfortunately, our parents – dad a physician, [and] mom just didn’t like them.”
The enthusiasm for motorcycling grew later on thanks to his brother.
“When I got out of the military in 1984 – from active duty – I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico – he loaned me his Kawasaki 650 LTD and I fell in love with the two wheel life once again. I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia and my roommate had a Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom that he let me ride when he was out to sea,” Jones says.
Today, Jones’ ride is a 2004 Yamaha 1100 Custom that goes by the name of Veronica.
“Well, Veronica and I do a daily run to work and home – weather permitting – cold, snow, and rain are a no-no for us. I have just started to do some MotoVlogging on my rides, maintenance and other aspects of motorcycles. I also have joined a Motorcycle Amino – for meetups, chats and other motorcycle related interests,” Jones says. (The Amino app brings together communities of people with similar interests.)
Besides his local commuting, Jones has also taken his bikes for longer rides. When he lived in Virginia, it was mostly local, but that wasn’t the case in New Mexico or today.
“When I was in New Mexico, I rode to Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming for some trips,” he says.
“Veronica and I have travelled to Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the Eastern Shore several times. I am looking forward this year to making an extended trip in to upper Pennsylvania, Connecticut (to see my sister and brother-in-law), make a trip to Virginia Beach to ride with my brother – he owns a BMW R1150 RT,” Jones says.
Crafting from Wood
Enjoying trips on two-wheels is not Jones’ only pastime. He also engages in a hobby that requires concentration that is more fixed on the material and power tool at hand. He has enjoyed woodworking for several years.
When he was a First Class Scout with Troop 182 in Wellesley, Massachusetts, he earned the Woodworking Merit Badge. That was enough to capture his interest and it never ended. To pursue his craft, it meant accumulating many hand tools and power tools.
“Well, I have used many, almost too many to list, but some include a half-inch router, jigsaw, coping saw, wood chisels, old hand planes, table saw with straight and dado blades, etcetera,” Jones says.
And what projects have taken shape from all of these tools and experience?
“Well, over time, five custom wood clocks from fallen or freshly cut trees, bookshelf, repaired wooden chairs, refurbished a wood coffee table [which] had cribbage and chess board built in, and just recently completed my first shadow box for a friend’s grandson for a Christmas present,” Jones says.
The impetus for these woodworking projects can come from anywhere, but most come from his wife.
“She asks and I can work it up, but mainly from inspiration from my friends – they see some of the work I have done. My best friend (gave him a clock for his birthday several years ago) saw one of the clocks and that is when I built him one. The bookshelf – the wife requested – she loves to read,” he says.
Of course, piloting a motorcycle and fabricating a project from wood are only pastimes. On the job, Jones works at one of the nation’s most respected health systems; Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“My job or job title is ‘Biomedical CT Specialist,’ but the job, like most of us in the field, is not limited to just my title,” Jones says.
“Mainly, I work on keeping the CMMS database on somewhat of a working order, build PM plans, job plans, insert equipment, check for pricing and other database management stuff. I am also the lead imaging services technician – yea I get all the fun calls and I also have mentored a couple of biomeds who have since gotten training in imaging equipment,” he adds.
“I started after my graduation from the 35 G Basic Biomedical Equipment Maintenance Technician School (Fitzsimmon Army Medical Center, Denver, Colorado.) in August 1977 – so a little over 40 years I have been either a biomed, imager or HTM professional,” Jones says.
He is also happy that he may be passing the baton to his son and continuing the HTM profession in the family.
“Our 17-year old high school senior told me a couple of weeks ago that he plans on following in my foot steps and has applied to a local college that has a biomed technician curriculum,” Jones says.
“Life is good,” he adds.
The freedom of two wheels, the enjoyment of woodworking and passing along an important vocation like HTM; you can’t ask for more.
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