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‘Once riding’s in your blood’
Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally Brings Thousands Of Riders To Baker City
Editor’s Note: Coby Hutzler is working for the Herald this summer as an intern through the Charles Snowden Program. We’ll publish a profile story about Coby later this month.
By Coby Hutzler
The Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally brought riders to Baker City from all over the country, on all kinds of machines, with all kinds of stories.
Here are a couple of them.
Neal Chamberlain from North Powder has been riding motorcycles since 1966 — including a 3ﬁ-year stint in the Air Force that ended in 1972.
Then, in 1974, he had a motocross accident that fractured his C6 and C7 vertebrae, stripping him of the use of his legs and almost all the use of his arms and hands.
Though he had been racing motocross for a few years before his crash, the accident didn’t happen during a race.
“I was just goofing off,” Chamberlain said. “That’s usually when you get hurt, is when you’re screwing around.”
Chamberlain gets around these days in a powered wheelchair.
“I’ve been in the chair 40 years,” he said.
Chamberlain’s injury didn’t stop him from riding, though, and while he’s had a couple of special project bikes over the years to accommodate his chair, the latest is a three-wheeled Honda 750 called “The Dragon Wagon.”
See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald.