Throughout his 40-year career in computers, David Kirk wrote technical manuals and articles about computer mainframe systems.
“They were pretty dry,” Kirk said, “but they were the focus of my career.”
When he retired as associate director for computing management at Syracuse University in 2005, Kirk, who lives in Cicero with his wife Linda, wanted to keep writing. He took on some small writing and web projects for local companies. He also started volunteering with the Cicero Police Department.
But he wanted to do more.
“During the warm weather months I enjoy riding my motorcycle in the local area and started keeping a diary of my rides several years ago,” he said. “I felt that there may be an interest in reading about our local area, reading about motorcycles as part of a lifestyle and in reading my presentation of relationships between a person and a machine.”
From those diaries and that interest came “The Bikes and I,” a nonfiction book about the relationship between a man and his motorcycle. Each chapter details one of Kirk’s rides — or one of his struggles — with his bike.
“Several readers have commented that the book isn’t about motorcycles at all, but about relationship management,” Kirk said. “As we face life, we are always needing to compromise with others and we see that, even between a man’s relationship with machines.”
The book incorporates many local sites and features, something else Kirk said local readers might find interesting.
“They may appreciate seeing a new perspective on the roads they routinely drive,” Kirk said.
He cited one of his favorite essays in the collection, “Ride to the Red Onion.”
“The ride takes you by many farms and the canal and makes one happy to live in Upstate New York,” he said. “I take this ride several times a year just for the smiles.”
Kirk thinks other area residents will find some smiles in reading his book, as well.
“Okay, I’m biased,” he admitted. “But the book explores the relationship and the dependencies of the man and the motorcycle. Each chapter/encounter touches all of us, whether in our contact with our special someone or others in our lives. Riding the motorcycle brings the details to life — flowers along the road, sights and sounds and smells of being in the world. Much of this is never experienced when riding in a car with the windows closed and the air conditioning running. There is a world outside those windows, and motorcycles bring it all home.”
The book is available on Amazon.com.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.