Live to Ride

A motorcycle accident cost Bill Rucker his leg, but that won't stop him from building-and riding-bikes

Bill Rucker has put the fear behind him, if he ever had it. He even seems to make light of the experience. The helmets they wore that day are mounted on a wall in his shop. "My outlook on life is better than it has been in a long, long time," he insists. He says he has no hard feelings or regrets. He wishes the best for American Ironhorse.

"I want my life to be the same again," he says. He pulls out a black Teflon "swim" joint on which he can install a flipper before attaching it to his leg. He moves the joint back and forth to demonstrate. Rucker got back into the pool for the first time in May, and he plans to continue as a dive instructor. "Sometimes when I'm lying in bed and I'm rubbing my stump, I really wish I still had my foot. But when I look around, I'm alive. Life is so short. It can change in a fleeting blink of an eye."

Tracy Litton forms a stainless steel tailpipe.
Mark Graham
Tracy Litton forms a stainless steel tailpipe.
Every part of Rucker's engines are polished to a chrome 
gleam.
Mark Graham
Every part of Rucker's engines are polished to a chrome gleam.

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