Jim Myrick has become a personal hero of mine. It's not all the trophies scattered across his showroom at Maine Cycle in Auburn. No, what impresses me most is that no matter what situation I get into on my dual sport motorcycle, Myrick has seen it before. Bike stuck in a tree? Been there. Sunk to the bottom of a creek? Done that.
No matter what mischief I get into, Myrick has seen it and he knows what to do about it. And that's just motorcycles. He's also a beast on skis, as well – a true double threat and a man for all seasons.
The cycle business, now on Washington Street in Auburn, was launched decades ago by Jim's father, Bruce. Jim opened a ski shop at the front of the store while also slapping together a motorcross team.
Everybody seems to know Jim – if you ride a motorcycle or a four-wheeler, chances are good you've needed him a time or two – but it's not easy to catch him standing still. If he's not playing in the dirt, he's playing in the snow. And if he's not doing either, he's probably elbow deep in sombody's carburetor or spooning rubber onto a rim. I pinned him down long enough to hurl a couple questions at him, anyway. This is what he had to say.
How did you get into dirt bikes and skiing to begin with? My dad brought home a Honda 50 in the '60s. I have two older brothers that rode it till I was big enough to ride. I would ride every day, all day long in a field across the street. From there, I was hooked. Skiing is just something we did in the winter.
If something went horribly wrong with the world and you could either ski or ride dirt bikes, but not both, which would you choose? That's a tough one, I really enjoy both.
Have you broken any bones? If so, how? Broken lots of bones; jumped off a cliff once and broke my back. Lot's of wrists and elbow and lately my feet.
How long has Maine Cycle been around? Maine Cycle has been around since 1985. Many people remember the old building in Lewiston – it was pretty rough, kind of like our warehouse where we sell our used parts out of.
What's with all the trophies in your showroom? I have done a lot of racing over the years. I have kept most of the championship and the Daytona ones. We have been getting some new ones lately from my son Casey – seems to be in the blood.
What's the recommended tire pressure for a Suzuki DR650 dual sport for single-track trail riding? That's a really big bike for single track. We ride in the woods all the time on lighter bikes at 14 pounds. For the DR, a minimum of 20 pounds.
More on the Myricks can be found at mainecycle.net/