(In Photos: Left- MJ and Gloria Rhoads Berlin in Neverland; Right- MJ riding a motorcycle for his Speed Demon Short Film)
By: Gloria Rhoads Berlin (Gloria met Michael when he was in his teens and lived in the same neighborhood in California)
“When he was about 24 years old, Michael was given a big, shiny, black Harley Davidson in return for a favor he had done for someone. The motorcycle was a fancy one, worth around $35,000, and it was placed in the foyer of the house on Hayvenhurst, right below the staircase.
(The author says she has a talk with Katherine and she tells her she’s worried about MJ riding because he’s inexperienced.)
Later on, I went over to the music studio where Michael was working. He was writing some new lyrics and creating new arrangements for a song. When Hw as finished I visited with him and he told me he was going to ride the motorcycle.
“Are you sure? I don’t think you should risk it in town. There’s too much traffic.”
Michael replied,”I ride very early in the morning, when there’s little or no traffic. Sometimes when I ride, I ride around the park.”
(The author explains that the park is the 2,500 acre Encino Glen Park)
I said,”Michael, now you’re sure you want to do this? You need to take care of yourself.”
He said, “Well, I want to feel the wind. I need to fill my lungs up with fresh air. And I like the purity of the park, and the smells of the park.”
“Well, you know best what to do,” I replied.
Eventually, he persuaded me to take a spin with him. I reluctantly got on the back of the bike and put my arms around Michael’s chest.
Suddenly, he zoomed off at such a speed that I was holding on for dear life and screaming like crazy. That only made Michael laugh-and go faster! We sped around around the park, me scared out of my wits but loving it in a way, Michael going faster and faster and enjoying the whole ride.
Of course, he returned me safely to where we had begun, but what a ride.
After that day, I understand he only rode the motorcycle about six times. Everyone was concerned for his safety because he really had to be careful. Michael Jackson was insures by his record label and by the companies that employed him to do commercials. If he took unnecessary risk, their policies might cancel.
source: "In Search of Neverland" Book by Gloria Rhoads Berlin