The back of the cart of Lance Baldwin after the men had finished it for him.
The back of the cart of Lance Baldwin after the men had finished it for him.

Kind Gympie strangers make a dying man's wish come true

Australia day stamp
Australia day stamp roxanabalint

DECEMBER 2018, a year where dreams were coming true.

My dad, Lance Baldwin, at the age of 55 finally felt like his life was coming together.

He was about to move into his newly built home. It was a home he had saved for ruthlessly over the past 15 years and a home where he and his family, which included a beautiful five-year-old son, would make lifelong memories.

I remember speaking to him on the phone around this time and he shared with me that he had honestly never in his life been happier.

Then, in the blink of an eye his whole world came crashing down.

After countless visits to the doctor for unexplained back pain he was sent for a CT scan. This scan would change his life. In December last year my dad was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

To his absolute credit he took this in his stride and remained as positive as he could, that is until a few weeks ago.

As recommended by his oncologist, Dad began palliative chemotherapy in March. Unfortunately he was just too frail and the treatment was quite literally killing him.

It had stripped him of any strength he had left and brought about the earth-shattering realisation that he was now too weak to ride his beloved Suzuki Intruder motorbike. But self-pity was not a word in Dad's vocabulary so he set out to have a side car attached to his bike.

Having a bike with a sidecar had been a dream of Dad's for a very long time. So much so that he purchased the actual side car more than five years ago. Now it was just a matter of having it correctly fitted.

In the middle last month, Dad contacted HHH Custom Choppers and Sidecars to see if they could help. Unfortunately they politely told Dad they were currently time poor and wouldn't be able to do it.

At this stage Dad explained his situation to Hudson Price, the owner of HHH Custom Choppers (who unbeknownst to him was in hospital overcoming a surgical procedure), in the hope that he could recommend someone who would be able to fit the sidecar.

Lance Baldwin
HIS JOY: Lance Baldwin and his beloved Suzuki Intruder motorbike.

Dad explained his prognosis and the urgency of the project given he had just been informed by his doctors it was likely he only had a few weeks left to live. With great sympathy and condolences Hudson explained that he didn't know anyone who would be able to meet his needs and they pleasantly said their goodbyes and the phone called ended.

That night Dad lay on his couch at home, feeling completely deflated and devastated that his dream of being able to ride again at least one last time before he left this world was unlikely to come true.

The next day Dad received a phone call from Hudson that changed his life. Hudson could not stop thinking about Dad's situation and despite his own personal health issues he wanted to help.

Lance Baldwin's sidecar before it was finished
Lance Baldwin's sidecar before it was finished

Hudson contacted his best friend Luke Godbee, a very talented high performance motor mechanic and they decided to grant a good man his dying wish. They rang him and told him they would attach the sidecar.

Dad was elated and from this point on Hudson and Luke went absolutely above and beyond. Hudson and Luke picked up the bike from Dad's house. They worked on it all day and all night for four days straight before organising its delivery to Dad on March 29.

Like a kid on Christmas morning, Dad excitedly waited for the return of his beloved bike with its new sidecar addition. But what drove down his drive that day was so far beyond his wildest dreams.

The first thing he noticed, before he could even see the bike was the sound. The sound of a new exhaust that made his bike purr like a contented cat. And then he saw it. Not only had the sidecar been attached they also completely overhauled the engine, added a little side step so Dad didn't have to lift his five-year-old in and out and completely customised it with spectacular airbrushed artwork.

Lance Baldwin's sidecar before it was finished - front
Lance Baldwin's sidecar before it was finished - front

Not a day has gone by since Dad received the bike that he has not ridden it. He is just so proud of it and as I type this he is literally outside polishing it.

Everyone who knows and loves Dad now loves the two beautiful souls that made a dying man's wish come true. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our Dad's dreams come true.

Hudson got his first bike at the age of nine and was immediately hooked. He began designing and doing up bikes at a very young age.

Keen to learn all he could, Hudson who was home schooled completed a mechanics course at the age of 12 then at 16 went on to complete a heavy vehicle mechanics course through Tafe.

Throughout his life he has had numerous home panel and mechanic businesses but he wanted more.

He wanted to use his love and talent for designing and building motorbikes and sidecars and in his late 30s started his business of custom making bikes and sidecars.

Unlike many bike shops, Hudson proudly builds most of his own parts from scratch and creates one-of-a-kind customised bikes and sidecars.

If you would like to make your own your own one-of-a-kind custom bike and or sidecar contact Hudson on 0458155692 or via his Facebook page HHH Custom Choppers and Sidecars.

Never say never.

Ashley Treyvaud