AMHERST - It's music to his ears when Gregg LeBlanc starts up his motorcycle.
"It sounds sweet," said LeBlanc, in regards to the sounds his 1500 Honda Valkyrie makes.
The Valkyrie was back in LeBlanc's possession last Monday, almost two years after two local businessmen - Jeff Bembridge and Larry White - offered to have the motorcycle repaired following an accident on a one-lane bailey bridge in Sand River that left LeBlanc only able to move one thumb.
The accident left damage to the bags and front bender of the bike, as well as the headlight, forks, mirrors and windshield.
"Gregg's been a good customer for the past 25 years and I try to help my customers as they have helped me," said Bembridge, owner and operator of both Bambino's and Duncan's Pub.
Two years ago, White was in one of Bembridge's restaurants talking about LeBlanc's motorcycle and the two men decided to work together to have it repaired.
"Painting's my specialty," said White. "It's the one thing I could do for him."
They brought in Mike Farrow to also lend a hand.
For just over two years, LeBlanc has been on the road to recovery. He was participating in a Biking 4 Bone Marrow bike run on July 5, 2009, when his wheel got wedged in a gap on the deck of the bailey bridge. He was thrown into the steel side of the bridge, breaking his pelvis, arm and two vertebrae, while a third vertebra pinched his spinal column.
"My rehabilitation is doing good," said LeBlanc. "I'm down to a half (leg) brace, the feelings are the same and my (left) hand is coming along.
"I'm getting stronger. It's been a positive attitude right from the start."