Cavetown couple has logged many a mile on motorcycle

Married 64 years, Basil and Lucille Harne have ridden to the Smoky Mountains, Nashville, Daytona Beach, Pittsburgh and Canada, among other places

November 18, 2012|By JANET HEIM |
  • Cavetown couple Lucille and Basil Harne who celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary recently have logged many miles on motorcycle.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

CAVETOWN — Basil Harne estimates he’s ridden more than 300,000 miles since he started riding motorcycles as a teenager.

At age 85, Harne rides his 2002 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic daily, except in rain, snow and ice.

“I rode a motorcycle most of my life,” Harne said.

While he prefers to ride in temperatures above 20 degrees, Harne has a windproof suit that he wears to block the cold and wind.

He and his wife, Lucille,celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary Sept. 3, followed by his 85th birthday on Sept. 25. They have ridden together for most of those years, until Lucy, 81, had back surgery seven years ago.

She said she couldn’t walk for a year and credits Harne for pushing her so she regained her ability to walk.

“I’m just grateful to be walking ... He was very determined I’d walk,” Lucy said.

Still, she can’t easily get on a motorcycle anymore, so his rides are solo. They disagree on which bikes they prefer.


“I like the quietness of the Goldwing (Honda, his previous motorcycle). He likes the noise of the Harley,” Lucy Harne said.

For Basil Harne, a daily “ride around the block” might mean a trip to Frederick or Thurmont, Md., from the Cavetown home they “built from scratch up” in 1960. He once rode to Frostburg, Md., for a piece of chocolate pie, only to find out the restaurant didn’t have any that day, he said.

Basil Harne has put almost 50,000 miles on his bike since he bought it used.

His drives often include errands to pick up parts for his motorcycle or the couple’s motor home, which they drive to Florida every winter. They celebrated their 50th anniversary with a trip to Alaska in their motor home, 11,000 miles round trip.

They don’t take the motorcycle to Florida with them, though, because it is too crowded and there are too many tourists who don’t know their way around, Lucy said.

They love to travel and over the years, they’ve ridden via motorcycle to the Smoky Mountains, Nashville, Tenn., Daytona Beach, Fla., Pittsburgh and Canada, among other places. Most trips were taken with another couple.

Their only child, Jerry, also of Cavetown, is a long-haul truck driver. The father of two and grandfather of four, Jerry Harne shares his father’s love of motorcycles.

Basil and Lucy, whose maiden name is Cline, met at the Smithsburg Firemen’s Carnival in 1946 and married in 1948.  She attended Smithsburg High School and Basil Harne attended Middletown High School.

Basil Harne was a supervisor for Callas Contractors for 35 years. Lucy Harne worked at R. Bruce Carson Jewelers in downtown Hagerstown for 23 years.

He stays fit with daily walks to the post office, a mile round trip, and does all the yard work, since his wife’s back surgery.

“He’s not happy unless he’s doing something,” Lucy said.

Lucy Harne credits their long, happy marriage to several things.

“I guess just looking out for each other, caring for each other,” she said. “We share the work and do everything together. We worked hard together and played together.”

“We had a good life together,” Basil Harne said.

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