Dabo Swinney loves riding motorcycles, except when the unexpected storm comes


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You might see Swinney riding around Clemson on his Harley.
You might see Swinney riding around Clemson on his Harley.

You might just have the same reaction as the Clemson coach Dabo Swinney's kids when you hear that he loves to ride motorcycles.

Of course, if you listen to local radio -- you'd know he is a Harley man, and he was asked about that on his radio call-in show Monday.

“When you have kids, they don’t really know you had a life before they ever existed. I grew up riding motorcycles,” Swinney said, adding he had a motorcycle license at age 14. “I would ride everywhere. I would ride to the ballpark. I would ride to school. I rode my motorcycle all over. I loved it. It was just a natural thing...I go on with life and go to college and get on with your life and get married and kids. But Kath (Kathleen Swinney) and I have been married 27 years. For ever and ever and ever, I’ve always told Kath that one of these days I’m going to get me a Harley and me and you are going to ride. It was one of those days things. Back in 2017, I wake up on Christmas morning and we had our little Christmas, and all of sudden Kath is like, ‘Hey, there might be something outside for you.’ I’m like, ‘Huh?’ I walk out there and son of a gun there’s a dang Harley sitting there.

"I was so blown away, and of course, my boys are like, ‘You don’t know how to ride that.’ I’m like, ‘Y’all have lost your minds. Are y’all crazy?’...I jumped on that thing and took off and they’re all looking at me like, ‘How do you know how to do that?’ So anyway, she bought that for me in ‘17 and man, I love that.”

But he did learn a lesson the hard way on a day trip to the North Carolina mountains with his wife.

"She likes to ride with me. We ride all around Clemson. We ride up to Cashiers and Highlands and have lunch," he said. "It was crazy. You’d think I would be smart enough to check the weather. We get up there and we’re about five miles before get to Cashiers and I’m telling you, the bottom fell out. If I had left 30 minutes earlier, we would have been fine. The absolute bottom falls out and there’s nowhere to pull over. It’s a little two-lane road and it’s raining frickin’ cats and dogs...We are soaked. Finally we get into the town of Cashiers and to the little gas station there. We pull over there and we are drenched. And so, I went in there and gave the lady $20 bucks and parked by motor under the thing and she let me park my motor there.

"I said to Kath that we had to go find something. And thank God, across the street there was a little mountain store and literally we went in there and bought underwear, pair of pants and a dry shirt and a pair of tennis shoes. We were soaked. We let it pass. And then it was great. We put our wet stuff in the motor and went on up to Highlands and drove back.

"It was a crazy day...I do love to ride when I get a chance."

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