Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Autobahner Profile - Gordon Courbat

Submitted by Gordon Courbat
Susan and I met about 17 years ago in Denver where she owned a photography business and I was working in the roofing industry. This is our 15th year of marriage and we have been blessed with a son, Kohl, who is 12 years old and attends Tea Intermediate School. Susan is a Coding Manager at Sanford and I work on a seasonal basis with a contractor specializing in stone coated steel roofing, windows, siding and sunrooms. I spent nearly 20 years as a commercial photographer and the past 23 years in the roofing business. We also own and manage a few rental properties which keep me in a constant state of anxiety and frustration. We moved to SD 10 years ago to be closer to family members who had major health issues and we wanted to bring up our son with family and what we thought was a better environment for him to grow up in.
A 1952 Harley Hummer was my first bike at the age of 14 and at 16 I bought a 1948 Triumph 500 Speed Twin rigid frame (picture at bottom of page) that had been built for a flat track racer in Waterloo, Ia., and converted to a street bike. A friend of mine bought a new 1957 Bonneville and it really used to irritate him that my old 500 could leave him in the dust. Why did I sell that thing? My parents sold it for me while I was away in the Marines and needed the money*#*.
As the years passed by I have owned a succession of other bikes. In the early 60's I worked for Kellogg’s Cereal in Battle Creek, Mi. and started racing flat track and TT around the midwest area. We had a group of about 6 guys that rode together year around either trail riding or traveling to the races. Lots of fun and crazy experi- ences those days.
In 1969 I decided I wanted to be a photographer and moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend school at Brooks's Institute of Photography. Later I had a photography business and camera store in Breckenridge, CO., and traveled for an advertising agency doing photo assignments - primarily for Eli Lily Co. in their farm products division. Later I took a job marketing stone coated steel roofing and discovered that I really enjoyed the work, the people, the outdoors and the fact I could also make use of my photo skills. So here I am still selling a product that I thoroughly believe in and getting the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people in the process. But, this weather is beginning to p_ _ _ me off!!!
I was introduced to Autobahn and BMWs by Jerry Zeeb and Gary Landeen. Last summer I bought my first BMW (89 K100RS) and a short time later sold it and purchased a 2003 F-650CS that seems to fit me much better. I have never really done any touring and am looking forward to some good rides and a little adventure with some of the great people I've met in your group. Susan is not too fond of motorcycles so I will be traveling one-up and taking lots of photos. Lately I have been trying to outfit my bike and equipment to be ready for the fun to begin! Always open to your tips and suggestions. Anyone up for the MOA Rally in Pa. this summer???
As a family we enjoy camping and bicycle riding and plan to travel to Chattanooga, TN, this summer to visit Susan's brother, Kevin Ault, and his family. From what I hear there are some pretty awesome places to ride in Tennessee. How do we fit this all in? We're going to try!!!

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