Singer/songwriter of country, folk, jazz and blues; six gold records; four Grammy awards; film and television actor. 53 years old. www.lylelovett.com
[When I was a kid] you could rent bikes on the beach [in Galveston, Texas]. There was a guy who rented Hondas… So my dad would rent those and we’d ride along the beach together. I’d just ride [sitting] behind him. But it really gave me the bug to want to learn about riding and to want to do it [myself].
One year—it was either ’69 or ’70—the Sunday after the short track and the TT in the Astrodome, there was a race out at the Fairbanks track and there was a guy on a Husqvarna who was just tearing it up. It was really muddy. And it turned out to be Gunnar Lindstrom. He was there on this Husky, and he just kind of cruised around and beat everybody. It was just a local race; it wasn’t a big motocross race or anything. That was the first Husqvarna I ever saw, so I started finding out about Gunnar Lindstrom and learning about Huskys and started paying attention when I went to the tracks. I noticed every now and then somebody would be on a Husky.My very first bike was a Honda Z50 Mini Trail. Two months later I graduated to a CT70. Then after that, my dad had gotten one of those Yamaha Trailmasters; I started riding that. I found in the paper that next summer a used AT-1, Yamaha yellow-tank 125 Enduro. I bought that and kept it about a year. I saved up enough when I sold that to be able to get my first 125 Penton, which was a ’71 steel-tanker.I don’t get as much time to ride as I would like to, but I always like to keep a bike that works [ready to go]. I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t have a bike.I met people when I was 12 years old who I’m still friends with because of motorcycles, and that’s just one of the best parts about it.The sensation of riding, the physicality of it—it truly is one of those things that unless you do it, it’s impossible to describe. Just the thrill of it and the freedom that it makes you feel. There’s just nothing else in the world that makes you feel like [you do when] riding a motorcycle, and riding off-road is just something I’ve enjoyed the most because it’s sort of what I grew up riding.