While living in southern CA I got my first Triumph. It was only a 250 single but I loved that thing. When it had some mysterious electrical issue, I took it to a local British Harley shop to have it repaired. Long story short, they moved away and took my bike and a bunch of other bikes with them. After that I picked up a 500 BSA and a book I swore I would never take another bike to a shop after getting my Triumph ripped off. Needless to say that bike eventually needed some stuff fixed so I did it myself, that where it all started, my interest in working on British bikes.
I met my awesome wife in Pacific Beach at the boardwalk. She was attending law school in San Diego and I was a beach bum. I eventually graduated from living on the beach to living in a '59 GMC school bus. I had my bus parked on the hill in Encinitas and was buying and selling Triumphs working in a makeshift shed. It only had a roof on one side but it does not rain much in SoCal.
A few years later and several more bikes later all while on tour with the Dead I decided I was going to go to MMI to get certified to work on Harleys. At that time, I had bought my friend's '68 XLH so he could buy a gold dredge. There was gold in the creek where we lived in Oregon but it turned out to be a better deal for me as my friend never found much gold. I ended up riding that bike for over 10 years.
After I got out of school, I lived in Phoenix, AZ for an extra year because I could not afford to move. Finally, I got a job here in Ohio because my wife was originally from here. I have worked at a couple of different H-D dealerships and the Easyriders store here in Cleveland. At first I was pretty stoked to be fixing bikes and getting paid for it but after 15-20 years of that I was pretty burned out on the modern Harley scene and I always liked vintage stuff way more.
Nowadays, I pretty much only work on pre-70's Triumphs and 650's both stock bikes and bobbers. I build several bobbers every year but I did just buy a '67 XLH because I missed my old bike so much. I met Tyler, who owns Lowbrow, when I bought a 650 pre-unit he had for sale on eBay. We hit it off pretty good and I used to stop by his place pretty regularly and help him with bikes he would drag home. I ended up bugging the shit out of him enough to give me a job and have now been with Lowbrow for 4 years. I do not really miss the Harley shops at all.
I do not work on any customer bikes but I am in my garage every night after work and on weekends doing my own thing rebuilding Triumph engines and building custom bikes. I just love motorcycles and the thrill I get every time I fire up one of the bikes I have built from scratch and putting these vintage bikes back on the road!