Some passions never die. As people age and grow, their interests either develop, deepen, or disappear. For 101-year-old military veteran Ray Weser, Harley Davidson motorcycles were always a part of his life. In a life that has spanned more than a century, he couldn’t remember a time where the iconic brand wasn’t his passion.
The love for riding a Harley Davidson simply never went away. Even as he grew older and unable to ride the way he used to, he still felt an unending desire for one final ride. The intimate interplay between man, machine, and asphalt was something that he had to experience at least one more time.
Just months before his 102nd birthday, Weser had his only dream realized: He took one last ride on a Harley Davidson.
His voice was weak, and crackled under the weight of his age. But Ray Weser’s Harley Davidson obsession was as strong as ever. Weser’s love affair with Harley Davidson started when he was a teenager.
“Harley, dripping oil, smoke coming out of everywhere, and I fell in love with motorcycles right there,” he said via AZFamily.com.
He lived a long, incredible life. As a young man, he enlisted in the military and served in WWII before returning safely home. That’s when he embarked on a 24-year career working for Harley Davidson, where he was able to feed his passion a daily basis.
In September, 2016, he was in hospice, his body failing him but his mind still sharp, and Weser thought his dream would go unfulfilled. But thanks to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, and a local Harley Davidson dealership, it became a reality.
“It was just natural for us to come out and put him on a back of a new Tri Glide and take him for a ride,” says Logan Roberts, general manager of a local Harley-Davidson dealership.
Weser needed to be on the back of a custom-built bike because of his medical restrictions. His seat had to be able to properly support his body. While on the back of the bike, he smiled, pumped his fist, and pointed at the crowd. He spent the whole week resting in anticipation of the event, and if only for a moment, he was a young man again.
The ride lasted only 15 minutes, but it was everything that Weser could have dreamed. He was joined by 50 other riders from the local Harley Davidson community.
Ray Weser’s lifelong love of Harley Davidson motorcycles was given the fitting sendoff it deserved. He got one last ride on the back of the bike he loved for the better part of 101 years. With a grin from ear-to-ear, his joy is obvious to all.
“He’s a lifelong Harley person that really lives in that moment,” his granddaughter Jennifer Miller told Inside Edition.
“This is an amazing thing. I’m pretty sure he thinks he’s died and gone to heaven already,” she continued.