Thursday, May 24, 2018
Human Interest

Who needs a sleigh? This Santa rides a motorcycle

Lately, Santa Claus hasn't taken his sleigh to the parks or schools or other places he goes to hear children's Christmas wish lists. Instead, he's been riding his 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic Cruiser decked out to match his holiday spirit.

On both sides of the tank is an image of Santa himself praying over baby Jesus. An image of the Abominable Snowman from the 1964 classic Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is on the windshield. The mirrors are painted in candy cane colors.

Truth is, Mike Kelzer is the one riding the motorcycle. He's been playing Santa Claus for more than 16 years, including at the Oldsmar fire station and in St. Petersburg's Straub Park. A few years ago, Kelzer decided to fix up his old bike and give it some tender loving care.

He loves every minute.

"It's fun because you're going down the road, and you see people, they got this like depressed look on their face," Kelzer said.

"And they see me and all of a sudden they get a big smile on their face. If that smile can last a mile down the road, I accomplished something."

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