My first motorcycle brought freedom.
I roamed twisty back roads,
flicking from corner to corner.
Lost and tired one ride,
I stumbled into a motorcycle shop I never saw before.
Not expecting much
this far away from the city.

Mr. Varnes, John Lawless & Ed Fisher with John’s Yamaha TZ racer.  [Michael Lawless]
But in the shadows lurked an honest-to-goodness Yamaha TZ racer.
Gobsmacked – how did it get here?
I walked over and soaked in the details.
A  soft voice behind me said, “that’s something, huh?
“Bikes like that take constant work,
you really don’t want that.
See those FZ’s over there?
All they need is an oil change every now and then.
You can ride’em all day.”

‘Fast Eddie’ Fisher won the first National race for Triumph.

He’d changed my focus in a gently paternal way.
We talked motorcycle for a bit.
I heard one of the guys call him Fast Eddie.
To me, he was always Mr. Fisher.
His humility inspired me.
He never bragged about the things he’d done.
That just wasn’t how he was geared.

Ed with his son Gary Fisher; both men won at Loudon.

Years passed,
and my brother started racing vintage motorcycles.
We would leave Friday after work,
drive straight thru the night to reach Mid-Ohio by dawn.
Things got tricky when John switched from four-stroke Hondas to two-stroke Yamahas.
He had no time to test or tweak before getting to the track.
We couldn’t get the bike to run right.
Practice was coming up soon.

Ed Fisher with his daugher Kimberly and his Indian 101 Scout at Daytona.

Seeing our struggle,
Mr. Fisher and his friend Jimmy (AKA Mr. Varnes) came over to give us a hand.
They never asked for anything.
Just happy to see my brother make the show.
I was impressed by the way they carried themselves.
Humble yet gracious.
They inspired me to try and be that way too.

Godspeed, Ed Fisher.  



Michael Lawless [@electric_horseman], our ‘Poet of Packed Earth’, is the Flat Track Editor for, and has his own blog: Electric Horseman
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