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R. Bruce Steinert Jr. has yet to earn his own nom de motorcyclist, but he is keeping rather casual company of late with a Proskauer Rose colleague known on the highways as “Jake Stone” and Jake’s biker wife, “Sparkle Plenty.” The three will blast off together from an upscale biker bar in Manhattan’s meatpacking district — Hogs & Heifers — on Sunday morning, Oct. 19, as part of a motorcycle caravan to Bear Mountain as a fund-raiser for a new youth group known by the acronym LOVE (for Leave Out ViolencE). “Jake” is the alias of motorcycle enthusiast Sheldon I. Hirshon, 56, a bankruptcy partner at Proskauer. It happens that Hirshon’s firm, at his behest, is counsel to the Motorcycle Association of New York State. “Sparkle” is his mate, a/k/a Claudia Glenn Barasch, a professional special events organizer. Steinert, 36, is the nicknameless newcomer to the sport of roaring along the open roads on fine autumn days. “I’ve got to get a name,” said Steinert, a third-year corporate associate who was a guitarist with the rock band Buzzkill before graduating from Rutgers University School of Law. “I’ve got to get my colors, too. That’s slang for whatever biker’s emblem you wear on your jacket. “Oh, and I’m shopping for a leather jacket.” Steinert responded — immediately — to Hirshon’s recent e-mail announcement of the charity motorcycle event, meant to seduce more women into the road sport and thus officially named the “Lady Liberty Ride 2003.” So far as Hirshon and Steinert know, there are only a handful of male attorneys at Proskauer who possess colors, or are about to. On the distaff side, they say, there is precious little interest in the sport. Sparkle Plenty, however, had no reservations. Thirteen years ago, when Barasch met Jake Stone, lawyer-biker, she said, “It was love at first sight. Oh — another motorhead! And also someone sophisticated and warm and delicious. “Here was this blue-eyed guy,” she added of her husband, Hirshon. “And he was riding a big white motorcycle back then. Well — he just swept me off my feet.” Hirshon had his own idea of what enticed his wife: “Bikers like myself, and I have been riding for 25 years now, we all have a little bit of the bad boy in us.” Just why would a middle-aged law firm partner, a limo passenger most days, spend weekends swanning around on a Yamaha FJR 1300 in helmet, boots, jeans and leathers? “There is a sense of freedom that comes with the open road,” said Hirshon. “In a sedan, you’re in an enclosed, moving environment. You’ve got music and air-conditioning, and you just don’t sense the road in the same way. You can’t smell it, you can’t feel it.” But what about all the noise? “We like that race-car engine sort of thing,” said Steinert, who rides a Suzuki Intruder 1400, a sort of Japanese version of the classic American Harley hog, the bike model with perhaps the most expressive exhaust pipes of all. With reference to the number one danger to bikers — being ignored by automobiles — Steinert added, “There’s an old rule called ‘loud pipes save lives.’ “ SAFETY FIRST Hirshon is big on safety. In fact, he has served on the Motorcycle Association board, which administers free training programs for newcomers like Steinert. “You have to know the physics of motorcycling,” said Hirshon. “It’s scary to think this way, but you have to lean to turn a bike, which is a controlled fall — sort of like skiing.” Hirshon, and Steinert as well, is also big on promoting motorcycling among attorneys. “It’s good for us,” said Steinert, speaking of lawyer-bikers. “You take in the air and the road, and you become immersed in it all and you don’t think about anything else. It’s good to just sort of ride and really not have to be going anywhere.” Steinert believes, too, that the sort of people who would pay anywhere from $25 to $150 to zoom up to Bear Mountain on a crisp October Sunday in the cause of LOVE are lovely people. Bikers, he said, care about the teenagers served by LOVE: troubled kids who are counseled at School of the Future on East 22nd Street to turn from violence to writing poetry and prose. Speaking of just plain love, Steinert said he is searching for just that, as well as a leather jacket. “I’d love to meet somebody like Claudia for myself,” he said. “Claudia’s cool.”

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