Agnew man rides into Hall of Fame; his ticket is preaching motorcycle safety

AGNEW — Author and longtime motorcyclist David Hough of Agnew was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Hough is best known for his series of books, Proficient Motorcycling, which is considered an authority on motorcycling safety.

“While I’m blown away by the personal attention, I see myself not as some highfalutin riding skills guru, but rather, as this year’s ‘poster child’ for the serious endeavor we call ‘motorcycle safety,'” Hough said.

“So I’d be proud to share the spotlight with everyone who has been involved in educating riders, including those dealers, salespeople and enthusiasts who have simply passed on some advice to a new rider or loaned them a book on riding skills or cajoled them into taking a training course.”

The second edition of Proficient Motorcycling has sold more than 150,000 copies.

Serious risks

Because of risks involved with motorcycling, Hough said it should be taken just as seriously as flying a helicopter or an airplane.

Past inductees of the Hall of Fame include such notables as Steve McQueen, Evel Knievel and Jay Leno.

“In recognition of your outstanding and lifelong contribution to safe and enjoyable motorcycling for millions of riders, we welcome you to the AMA Hall of Fame,” Rod Dingman, president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association, said at the ceremony.

The event was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near the Las Vegas strip. The Hall of Fame itself is located in Pickerington, Ohio.

Joining Hough in the Class of 2009 were industry innovator Robert Bates, off-road champion Randy Hawkins, motorsports giants Bob and Geoff Fox, suspension pioneer Gilles Vaillancourt, off-highway rights activist Mona Ehnes, race team manager Gary Mathers and dirt-track racer Chuck Palmgren, the AMA announced.

Motorcycling commuter

Hough’s passion for motorcycling began in the early 1970s when he was a commuter who lived on Bainbridge Island and worked at Boeing, where he penned a motorcycling safety column.

Hough, 72, has logged more than 1.5 million miles on several continents. He survived two serious wrecks, one in 1980 and one last year.

He and his wife, Diana, moved to Dungeness in 1989.

Last summer, Hough said he was surprised to learn that he had been inducted into the Hall.

“He tries to be pretty humble about it,” Diana Hough said on Monday.

“It wasn’t something he was working for.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at [email protected]

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