HomeNewsArticle Display

Lt. Col. pushes high-speed hobby to the limit

Lt. Col. Stewart Aitken-Cade, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, speeds past competitors during a motorcycle race. Aitken-Cade has been riding motorcycles for nearly two decades and has won four national championships. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stewart Aitken-Cade, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, speeds past competitors during a motorcycle race. Aitken-Cade has been riding motorcycles for nearly two decades and has won four national championships. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stewart Aitken-Cade, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, maneuvers through a corner during a motorcycle race. Aitken-Cade has been riding motorcycles for nearly two decades and has won four national championships. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stewart Aitken-Cade, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, maneuvers through a corner during a motorcycle race. Aitken-Cade has been riding motorcycles for nearly two decades and has won four national championships. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stewart Aitken-Cade, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, right, receives and award after competing in a motorcycle race. Aitken-Cade has been riding motorcycles for nearly two decades and has won four national championships. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stewart Aitken-Cade, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, right, receives and award after competing in a motorcycle race. Aitken-Cade has been riding motorcycles for nearly two decades and has won four national championships. (Courtesy Photo)

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. -- We all have hobbies. While some of us like to fish, others like to camp, hike, cook, eat, sleep, etc. Whatever your hobby, one could venture to say it's something you do to relax or at least relieve stress. How relaxed would you be traveling 140+ mph on two-wheels, only inches away from other motorcycles and flirting with the edge of control at every turn? Chances are you'd be pretty tense. Maybe even white knuckled.

For Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Aitken-Cade, that's a fun weekend of relaxation at the race track.

Aitken-Cade's first experience on a motorized bike came when he was a kid. He'd ride his friend's minibike around the yard and would occasionally ride with his dad on a neighbor's street bike.

"My father grew up in Southern Africa and rode a motorcycle just about everywhere," said Aitken-Cade. "He wasn't a 'biker' per se, but he knew how to ride so didn't have issue with me riding mini bikes."

During his college days at Virginia Tech, Aitken-Cade and a group of buddies enjoyed motorcycles and riding around town and blasting down the back roads between classes.

"We enjoyed the thrill of it all. Southern Virginia is just a great place to ride with so many twisty back roads and awesome scenery."

It was during one of these rides that a buddy suggested going to "track day" at a nearby race track. There, expert racers took those interested in racing on a closed track and taught them the basics of road racing.

"I remember they split us up into divisions. They put me in the "slow" division because of the size of my bike."

After blowing away the competition on his 400cc motorcycle, Aitken-Cade moved up to the "medium" division. By the end of the day he was riding in the fast group against guys on 1000cc bikes and holding his own. The rest is history, the instructors encouraged him to get his racing license, and he enrolled in his first real race.

Nearly two decades later and after winning four national championships, Aitken-Cade is still beating the bigger bikes and their riders and teaching new riders how to discover their own limits.

"The guys on the bigger bikes can take me on the straight-aways, but I fly right past them on the corners," Aitken-Cade says with a grin. "It drives them nuts. It's addictive, being just inches away from another rider at break-your-neck speeds, but you learn to trust these people. It's hard to describe the feeling of speed and accomplishment when you get it right."

Over the years, Aitken-Cade has logged thousands of miles traveling across the country racing. Along the way he's created and ran one of the most popular semi-pro road racing organizations around, the United States Grand Prix Racing Union.

Aitken-Cade also enjoys getting others involved in the sport. One of his first mentees was 2013 American Motorcycle Association Superbike Champion Josh Herrin, one of today's hottest professional sportbike racers and the 2004 USGPRU national champion.

"To me, the most rewarding thing is to help guys like Josh along. I look across the professional racer ranks now and recognize almost 50 percent of them that I've helped in one way or another. Many of my young friends are even racing in Europe against some of the best racers in the world."

When asked if his experience on a motorcycle has had any impact on his everyday life, Aitken-Cade said, "Of course. You learn to be a better driver as you can react to situations faster and proactively in many cases. You recognize vehicle limitations, road conditions and other operators and adjust your own habits to accommodate. "

That awareness may be why Aitken-Cade doesn't really ride his motorcycle on everyday roadways. Between distracted drivers and debris on the road, Aitken-Cade believes keeping his riding to the track is much safer and still allows him time to test the limits of his bike. It also allows him to satisfy his need for an adrenaline rush without putting other folks in danger.

As for when he might stop racing, don't expect that to be for a while.

"I have a buddy who's in his 60s and has been racing for over 45 seasons. I hope to be like him someday. I don't intend to quit anytime soon."

Beyond competing for championships, Aitken-Cade also wants to set records. His long-term desire is to someday set a new land-speed record for a 125cc motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

"Right now the record stands at 122 mph, and I've gone as fast as 144 mph on my bike at Daytona Speedway. I'm gonna break that record some day."
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.