#85 Jason Wadzinski
2018 Motorcycle Cannonball Rider Profile – Jason Wadzinski, Dayton OH
I got a late introduction to the wonders of vintage motorcycles. I rode newer bikes when I was younger, but after laying a bike down shortly after starting my first business when I was 25, I decided that I wanted to see the business succeed and that I wanted to have children some day, so I quit riding for a while.
During what was probably my “mid-life crisis” at 48 years old in 2013, I bought a 2009 HD Road King, and attempted to make up for all the miles I missed over the past 23 years.
Two years later I purchased a bar/restaurant called Jackass Flats that was on 7 acres of land in Dayton Ohio and renamed it Rip Rap Roadhouse (because it’s on Rip Rap Road). The bar is in a barn that was built in 1853 and was known as the premier destination for bikers in the Dayton area. On a typical Wednesday Night in the summer, over 1,000 motorcycles show up for Bike Night. After a year of extensive renovations in both the bar and restaurant, the Rip Rap Roadhouse opened full-time on January 1st, 2016.
Because of the age of the building, the décor for the bar is mostly vintage motorcycle themed. I purchased 3 vintage motorcycles – 2 to put on display behind the bars (a 1920 Indian Powerplus and a 1937 Indian Jr. Scout), and one to ride (a 1947 Indian Chief).
Riding “Jess”, my 1947 Chief got me hooked on vintage motorcycles. Even though Jess caught on fire at a stop light and the tip of my nose and right arm got burned (it’s amazing how fast you can get off a bike when it’s on fire), I couldn’t wait to get her back on the road.
While Jess was being rebuilt, I purchased a 1953 Indian Roadmaster (“Louise”) and a 1964 Harley Panhead Police Special (“Pepper”) so I had a vintage to ride while Jess was being fixed.
For the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball I acquired a 1924 Indian Big Chief. I still have my 2009 Road King, but “Meg” doesn’t get many miles these days due to incredible experience of riding vintage bikes.
We are very fortunate in Dayton to have a very strong vintage motorcycle group. While I’m still a novice at wrenching on my bikes, there are many people in the area that help each other out. I believe our 3-man team (Rip Rap Riders) will have some of the best bikes, riders, and road crews for the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball thanks in large part to our local “vintage bike guys”.