Celebrating The Need For Speed: The Motorcycle Gang

Willow Valley Communities motorcycle group

At Willow Valley Communities, Residents have seemingly limitless opportunities to embrace our Life Lived Forward philosophy and engage in what interests them most. Hundreds of clubs, classes, presentations, and exhibits in an almost mind-boggling array are offered regularly for Residents to choose as they desire.

But of these many passions Willow Valley Communities Residents can pursue, the most celebrated ones are the deep personal interests they bring to their new home to share with their new community. We never tire of featuring these unique passions that make Residents at Willow Valley Communities, well, unique. Here are just a few of them.

The Motorcycle Gang

If you happen to hear the rumble of motorcycles turning a corner on campus, you might just be seeing Jim Comey, Jerry Covey, Jack Dunlap, and Dick Tennies coming back from a motorcycle ride throughout Lancaster County. The group of fairly new Residents found each other through the shared passion of motorcycle riding, and they decided to meet up to ride together. The gentlemen may have different backgrounds, different journeys that brought them to Willow Valley Communities, and different models of bikes, but they all have one thing in common: they love riding motorcycles and want to share their passion for the pastime.

SouthPointe Resident Jim Comey from Kennett Square, PA says he’s been riding since the mid ’70s, with treks to Canada and the Blue Ridge Mountains. He stopped while raising his children, but took it up again in 1990. He says his prime time to ride his 2019 BMW 1200 R nineT Pure bike is Sunday morning. “The world’s quiet,” he reflects. “There are not many people on the curving country roads yet, and all’s right with the world.” Jim also describes how riding a motorcycle is the best mental health therapy there is. “Merging with a machine in the open air, your senses are alive and your mind’s sharp — there’s nothing better!”

SouthPointe Resident John (Jack) Dunlap, originally from Oxford, PA, says his love of motorcycles goes back to childhood, when a neighbor who was a Philadelphia Highway Patrol Officer asked if he would like a ride on his police motorcycle. Jack recalls his answer was an enthusiastic “YES!”, and the lifelong love of motorcycle riding began. “The ride was magical,” he recalls.

Through the ’70s, Jack admits to being a bit “obsessed” and says he’s owned about a dozen motorcycles over the years. As a young, new pastor, ministry allowed little free time for his obsession, but he got around that challenge by starting a motorcycle club at one of his churches. Now you’ll see Jack riding the unique three-wheeled 2013 BRP Spyder RT Limited, explaining that he’s recently “swapped two wheels for three.”

Jerry Covey of Spring Run currently rides a bright lime
green 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe. He grew up in Northeast Ohio, where he got his first motorcycle after high school graduation. He’s ridden ever since, and once or twice a year he goes on a four- or five-day motorcycle trip with three of his best friends from college, all retired engineers.

Jerry says he really enjoys the back roads of Lancaster. “Most of my local riding is with Dick Tennies. We have taken many rides in all directions from here. Fun, fun, fun!”

Dick Tennies, also a Spring Run Resident, is from Annapolis, MD, and says he rode while he was in college and until he was 26. He then sold his cycle and got busy with life, but picked up riding again with his college friends at age 61. They all enjoy going on annual rides and have been all over the lower 48 states, to Italy, and last year his friends visited Willow Valley Communities to ride throughout Pennsylvania.

“Lancaster County has fun motorcycle roads, curves, and elevation changes. Beautiful countryside with the Amish contour farming,” explains Dick. He recounts that he started back with a 1200cc cycle and has downsized to a 2009 BMW F800GS, chuckling that “lighter is better as you get older.” But as he approaches his 80th birthday this year, Dick says, “I will ride until I let the old man in, which won’t be too soon!”

We agree!

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