Hello, my name is Kevin Gallaher, aka, "Big Sprocket". I was born in 1960 and raised around the corn fields and flatlands of northern Illinois where the sun is shy. I started watching westerns at a young age and fell in love with those things called mountains and the mystic old west. I wanted to live there but was too young to make it happen. In 1967, '72 & '73, my parents took my sister and I out west to Albuquerque and southern California via Amtrak train. I got to see those things called mountains for the first time. I was in awe and did not want to go home!
About that time in the early '70's, my parents bought a snowmobile. Soon we all had our own sleds. I loved winter and all I wanted to do was ride. My dad graduated from following, to leading rides as he learned all of the trails in our area and passed that knowledge on to me. Now I could lead my own rides. The distances got longer and we learned other trail systems which made our knowledge more valuable as we could lead rides only a few others could.
Now the goal was to meld my appreciation of the west with something I could ride and explore the west on. Snowmobiles were only good for a few months out of the year but motorcycles could be ridden year around. But, I had to complete college first. In August 1982, I received my "Big Sprocket" (BS) degree in Automotive Technology and took a one month trip to visit family and friends. States like New Mexico, Arizona, California and Colorado...WOW...I was blown away with the scenery and knew it was just a matter of time before I moved to the west.
In 1983, at the age of almost 23, I bought my first street bike and started to learn how to ride. But something was still missing...mountains! Finally, in November 1984 my dream came true. I moved to Albuquerque, N.M. and started my car business career. I was a kid in a candy store. It did not take me long to learn the fun and twisty roads in New Mexico and was soon branching out and riding Arizona and Colorado roads. My boss would require us to tell him our goals and objectives for the upcoming year. It did not go over so well when I told him I wanted to ride at least 12,000 miles and see new places via my motorcycle. Coincidence or not, I was transferred to Denver. This allowed me to learn much more of Colorado and Wyoming mountain roads. I even took up mountaineering and bagged 39 of the 54 peaks over 14,000 ft. in Colorado.
In March 1995, I turned in my suit & tie forever and became a small business owner. I moved to beautiful Moab, Utah and bought a restaurant. In December of that year, at the age of 35, I bought my first dirt bike and got hooked. It took me a while to learn how to ride but each time I got better and more addicted. I soon made friends that rode dirt. A few of them rode multi-day and point-to-point rides. I asked if I could go on one of their rides...I did...and it opened up yet again another brand new world of riding and adventure in my life. Then I rode the entire length of Baja, Mexico with them in 1999 and have been back nearly every year since. I know that peninsula very well.
Through the Moab years, I rode my street and dirt bikes all over the west and got to know Montana, Idaho, Nevada and California extremely well. For the last ten years I have lived in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains north of Albuquerque and owned, operated and sold another small business. During that time I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Motorcycle tours is the only thing that kept my interest. I met River Pilot in the summer of 2013. He inspired me with his vision of dual-sport/adventure riding tours in the west which is exactly my vision. We hit it off and now I'm a part of his team!
My current line-up of motorcycles: 2009 KTM 690R, 2011 KTM 990R, 2009 Ducati 1198, 2013 BMW K1300S. I have over 30 years riding experience with 497,000+ combined street and dirt miles. Yes, I'm one of those who keep track. Through the years I have designed and led many street and dirt bike trips. I love taking riders to places they have never heard of or been to before.
In 2007, I became GPS savvy and am a very good mechanic. Riding the west is obviously my passion. I know my way around the west from Baja to Western Canada. Old mining towns to ghost towns. I do not know where Comet, North Carolina is but, have you ever been to the ghost town of Comet, Montana? I have...let's go!
If you want to ride the west, come on and ride with the "Big Sprocket". See you on the trail...then at the saloon.