While the majority of feedback I receive about this venture is beyond positive, admittedly, I do occasionally receive a mixed reaction or two after explaining EtURNal Ride to some people. The idea of taking cremated remains and somehow attaching them to a motorcycle seems a little “curious” to some. There is certainly the question of mechanics, “how is it done.” I’ve also been asked why people might want to do that. Of course, one question I hear a lot is “how did you come up with that idea.” In this post, I hope to shed a little light on those questions while giving you a little more insight about myself in the process.


It All Started with My “Real” Job

Since 2003 I have been involved in the funeral profession. This adds up because I grew up on a dairy farm, wanted to be an actor, and served in the Army. Mortician just makes sense, doesn’t it? As it turns out, for me it did. I enjoy helping people and being there for others. Being a funeral director gives me lots of opportunities to do that in many ways. There are many aspects of the profession that make it great. As I became more involved in it, I found that one of my favorites was the opportunity to create these amazing tributes for really special people. I came to learn, and show others, that funerals aren’t just “Amazing Grace” and flowers – unless that is appropriate for the individual being remembered. Instead, funerals, memorial services, tributes – whatever you want to call them – are whatever you want them to be. Whatever is the best possible way for you to say “goodbye” to that person you care about, that is a funeral. I found a calling to learn about people and then help find that best possible way to honor them. This was done by way of personalizing everything from music to food, to the events, and even to what to do with the deceased.


Anything can be an Urn

Traditional services provide a pretty obvious answer to the question, “what to do with the deceased”. Generally speaking, traditional services are those where the body is placed in a casket, the casket is placed in a vault, and the vault is placed in a cemetery. Caskets can be beautiful. They can be hand carved, custom painted, and very special. But, to be honest, only a casket can be a casket. Not so with cremation services. Do you know what can be an urn? Pretty much anything. Before I go any further, I do want to say that I am not intending to take away from a traditional funeral. There is great value in them and in my opinion, even if you are planning on cremation, there should always be an opportunity to see a loved one before. More on that in a later post. The point I am trying to make is that urns give people an opportunity to create a really special final resting place. Was the person a fisherman? How about a tackle box? Did they collect beer steins? There you go. Personally, I’ve used hockey sticks, saddlebags, and even an acoustic guitar for a final resting place. So, the question is, “why”? “Because we can,” might seem a good answer, but there is more to it. I think another part of it has to do with the idea of creating a service and even a resting place that is appropriate, even perfect, for the individual. For some people, a wooden cube or a metal vase just doesn’t seem to fit. We want to do our loved ones right by putting them in a place that provides some meaning, significance, and a way to remember them and share their story. So, if the tackle box fits the fisherman and the sewing kit fits the seamstress, what would be a good fit for a biker?


“Cremated remains on a motorcycle?”

Over the years, I have done a fair share of services involving motorcycles. I’ve parked and displayed bikes in the funeral home, ridden to cemeteries in a procession of motorcycles, called upon the services of the motorcycle hearses, and participated in memorial rides. All of this was done as a way of paying tribute to who somebody was. There are many groups of people who show pride in who they are and bikers are no exception. Just as I’ve mentioned on our site, go to a bike night or a rally, certainly, the bike builds and shows in your area, and look at the bikes on display. Custom paint, colors, decals, trim and accessories make every bike a beautiful work of art. What is added to the bike shows the personality and character of its rider. It tells some of the story of that rider.   And when the rider is gone from this earth, their bike often continues on as a kind of special memorial, even passed down through generations. That’s where my idea for EtURNal Ride took shape. What better place for one who loved the open road so much to be than on a motorcycle – on this bike where they had adventures, made memories, and truly lived? I wanted to create an authentic way to make that happen.

“So How Do We Do It?”

These days, you can attach just about anything to anything. They have glues for that. But instead of just tacking on a container, I wanted to find a way to make our products a true part of the bike. I wanted what we create for riders to be subtle, but still have meaning, while offering the chance for personalization. I also wanted to provide something that was safe. The products we offer do all of the above. By serving, not only as an urn but as a clutch or timer cover, our products attach the way any standard cover would attach and function the same way, while providing a space for cremated remains to be permanently and safely sealed inside. The fact that every cover is created to honor an individual, makes each one-of-a-kind. I’ve been really honored to be able to produce these covers and enjoy creating designs as unique as the person they represent.


As this business continues to grow, I plan to share more with you about myself, my ideas, and where we are headed. I also hope that just like my profession as a funeral director, I can use EtURNal Ride to help others and make a difference. If you ever have any questions, comments, or would like to know more about the topics I’ve covered, feel free to reach out. I’m always looking for more blog ideas. Let me know what you want to hear about.


Until then, enjoy the ride.


Gabe Schauf


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