Memorial to a Passing Motorcyclist
I am writing this piece to pay tribute to a great guy who was a huge motorcycle enthusiast and someone I was lucky enough to call a friend.
Steve Lenge was a North Jersey man whose life was tragically brought to an end while astride his motorcycle two weekends ago. While on his way to a side job at the Meadowlands Arena, Steve suddenly found himself in the path of two out-of-control speeders. He never even had a chance to react, I am sure.
I first met Steve back in the 80s when I was soliciting record shops to take my band Hades’ recordings on consignment. He owned one of the coolest shops around – Things From England in Cliffside Park, N.J., which even had their own sponsored segment on a major NYC rock station at that time.
I can remember being very psyched that he displayed our stuff in his store. Steve was so cool to me and he did a great job of promoting my band’s music. He also was personally responsible for turning me on to new bands (at the time) like Queensryche and many others. I have many great memories from that time in my life and relished my many moped and later, car and motorcycle trips to his shop from my home in Closter, N.J. Oftentimes, those rides were done just to hang out and talk about music.
Fast forward to about eight or nine years ago while dating my wife, (who ironically also knew Steve from back in the day when she was a Poison and Bon Jovi fan waiting for hours on line outside his shop for concert tickets) I learned via email that he was a regular reader of my weekly moto-column in a local lifestyle magazine and loved to ride.
Thus we resumed our friendship, though this time we added motorcycles as a common interest and we met up now and then at places like The Andiamo Run and the occasional bike night. As a result, whenever I would have lunch with my stepfather at Rudy’s, just a block up from Steve’s store, I would stop in and hang with him or any number of his devout staff members.
It’s just absolutely surreal for me to think that Steve is no longer alive because I had made a vow to myself that I was going to ride with a few people this season that I always meant to ride with but rarely found time to. Steve was on that list. Accepting the fact that his infectious laugh and great attitude will no longer grace this earth is just too dark a reality for me to come to grips with right now.
But we must look at the positives of any situation and premature, senseless deaths like Steve’s can still teach us a lesson. Do the things you plan to do and most importantly-plan to do them now. Fill up your calendars with plans to hang with people you genuinely want to see and cherish your time together.
Make that ride happen sooner than later. You never know when the time will come that you will simply not be able to. Rest in peace Steve and may God watch over your wife and two daughters who are in all of our thoughts and prayers.
As for you, I am sure you are stirring up the clouds as you wail by on your bike up in heaven. Twist that angelic wrist my moto-bro. Twist it.
CliffviewPilot.com did a very touching tribute to Steve; check it out here.
Alan Tecchio is a freelance writer based in the NY metro area who has interviewed hundreds of celebrities. He is an avid motorcyclist and active Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach. Alan also wrote a weekly motorcycle column for twelve years in an entertainment magazine. He is the lead singer of the rock band Autumn Hour (autumnhour.com) and sings for the heavy metal band Hades (myspace.com/hadesusa) Seven Witches and the musical project Minds Mirrors (myspace.com/mindsmirrorsproject).
Photos Courtesy of CliffviewPilot.com