SEPT. 19, 2014 - ERIC SHIRK

Friends of the Freeway: Michael Hartsenveld


At times, traveling across the country can be quite a process. Between traffic, map miscalculations, and (in our case) motorhome issues, making it to any destination in one piece is a miracle. However, through it all, there’s one portion of traveling that I absolutely love — new acquaintances. In all honestly I’m fairly sure that these, “Road Buddies” are the only reason I’ve made it back safely from every one of my travels. This in fact, has always baffled me. Why would people I’ve never met be so quick to help me when I’m need? From wrenching on the motorhome, to giving me food, shelter, and a place to rest my head — these hospitable humans have helped me in nearly every way possible at some point in time.

This in turn is why I'm proud to present to you a brand new blog series entitled, “Friends of the Freeway”. If you're looking for another write-up about practice lap times or Supercross team announcements for 2015, then hit that little back arrow in the top left corner of your browser,  because you’ve come to the wrong place. The goal of this blog is to highlight the raddest people that we encounter across our journey on the East Coast on the Good Times and Dirtbikes Tour. I know it isn’t a lot, but I thought it’d be awesome to give back to these remarkable individuals by telling the story that they’re too humble to tell themselves. With that being said, I’d like to present to you our first freeway friend, Michael Hartsenveld. 

Before I commence this story, let me just say, this kid is a boss. When we parked the motorhome at Matt Walker’s Moto X Compound, we weren’t there five minutes before Mike had introduced himself and told us, “Don’t be afraid to ask if you guys need anything!” Some people just say that to keep a smile on your face, but not Mike, this kid was completely serious. Thank god he was too, because it just so happened that we needed quite a bit. The young ripper hadn’t known us 10 minutes and he had already allowed us to check off the first order of business — going to the grocery store. As soon as we said we needed groceries, Mike hopped up in his truck, cranked that thing up, and drove us 20 minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart. Did he want gas money? Nope. Mike didn’t want a thing. As I cringed my teeth in nervousness to even ask anything else from him, I finally brought up the fact that our shower didn’t work in our motorhome. Before I could even get the question out of my mouth, Mike told us that it was no problem and that we could all come use his shower if we wanted. At this point, I was wondering if the kid could possibly do anything else for us this weekend. 

As the fog cleared with daylight's arrival on our ride day, we cranked up the ol’ equipment and began getting plenty of photos and footage. We found out fairly quickly that Mike wasn’t just a rad guy. He’s also not too shabby on a dirtscooter either. Actually I take that back, the kid’s a rippa. If you don’t believe me, check out the Moto X Compound Gallery from earlier this week. Mike definitely tosses it out with the crowd pleasin’ steez. However, the dope whips and bar draggin' good times soon came to an end along with the ride day. So, it was time to say our goodbyes, pack up, and head on with our travels.

Wednesday happened to be our day off. What do three dudes do on their day off? We go slash coping at the local skatepark that’s what. After not skateboarding for almost a week, I was exceptionally stoked to go carve some corners and get pitted — so pitted. There was only one problem, I could not seem to find my wallet. If you know me, then you know that anytime I look for something that I’ve lost, I might as well be looking for Waldo in a candy cane factory. Basically, when I lose stuff, I lose it good. I figured I'd give it one last try though and text Matt Walker to ask Mike if I had left my wallet in his truck. Well, it happened to be my lucky day… sorta. My wallet was in Mike's truck, so technically I knew where it was. However, we had already driven an hour and a half from where he was. I don’t know why I even worried though. In his typical courteous fashion, Mike drove my wallet all the way from the compound to where we were so that we wouldn't have to drive the motorhome an hour back in the opposite direction.

All in all, what I’m trying to say is, you’re rad Mike. You were remarkably hospitable to all of us GTDT boys after knowing us less than 24 hours, and never once asked anything of us in return. Ashton, Jimmy, and myself would like to say thank you, and leave you with this. Keep it courteous, keep it humble, and most importantly keep it up — you're killin’ it kid.

Eric Shirk