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Common Tread

MSF coach skips ring, proposes with a motorcycle

Nov 21, 2019

It started with old mopeds.

Matt Schmitz and Elizabeth Cunningham met through their love of two wheels, and their relationship grew as they progressed from moped riders to motorcyclists to MSF RiderCoaches.

“Motorcycles are pretty much all we do,” said Schmitz. “She told me years ago that she wouldn't want a ring for a proposal and I ‘joked’ that I would likely propose to her with a motorcycle.” And that’s exactly what he did. 

Suzuki GN125
The tough little GN was more popular outside the United States, where it has provided basic transportation for decades. Suzuki photo.

Matt and Elizabeth used Suzuki GN125s to train students in their MSF courses. While uncommon in the United States, these little bikes are friendly, durable, simple, and inexpensive. In other words, perfect for teaching. Or, in Matt’s case, proposing. The GN125 had become an iconic bike in their relationship. 

Motorcycle proposal
Unusual parking spot, isn't it? Photo by Victoria DeBrosse.

Finding a clean example for the proposal would not be easy.  (If you do spot one, give a wave. It might be Editor Lance riding his!) Fortunately, Matt managed to secure a GN through another MSF coach. With help from his friends Eric, Jessie, and Deanna, the bike was positioned along a scenic river walk, and Matt was ready to pop the question. I’ll let his words explain the rest.

“We arrived and it took a little bit of coaxing for her to walk with me through the park to the overlook, but as soon as she saw the GN she made a beeline for it."

Motorcycle proposal
In the box, a (key) ring. Photo by Victoria DeBrosse.

"‘Is that a GN in the wild? Who is riding a GN? I want to hug it! I want to sit on it!’ She says. "Well..." I replied dropping to one knee, "You can if you want to!" And presented her with the jewelry box. I took her completely by surprise."

"In the box was the key, a keychain photo of us captioned 'Adventure Awaits' and a note. Some mornings before work I leave her little notes hidden around the house for her to find, so I felt it was a great way to ask for her to marry me."

"She was very happy. I asked her later what went through her mind when I asked and she replied, 'Mainly I thought, 'Finally!' It was a good day."

Motorcycle proposal
Success, with a little help from some friends. Photo by Victoria DeBrosse.

There’s just one catch. “I've set a terrible precedent,” writes Matt. “She now wants an RD350 for an anniversary gift!"