Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Milestone - Fight Terror with Terror

So I haven't been posting, been working long hours and then my dad has fallen very ill. Spending time with him and my mom.

But today when my guy and I went to lunch before I returned to the hospital, we took the freeway for the first time. I did well and went just from one exit to another a few miles down, passing a big 18 wheeler and they always make me nervous. But I stayed focused, and did well. I figured as crazy as things are going now, why not. It was good for my ego to do it. Good to be focused on something else so intensely, even if only a few moments.

We have some good, distance rides planned for the future, I'm looking forward to them though my little Virago makes me feel very vulnerable when on the freeway. I'd like a bigger bike. At some point.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day. Hopefully an even better one. Things all aound seem to be improving. I hope and pray.

But I did something new today.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

One Other Cool Thing That Happened Yesterday

I was so tired when I got in I can't beleive I forgot to mention this!

I was waiting at a turn signal after buying (and wearing!) my new boots when a car full of four lovely women drove next to me. One asked with a great smile, "What size engine are you riding?" I replied, "250 - I'm still new but I love it for now." They all became very enthusiastic gave thumbs up and tons of encouragment. The blonde who spoke to me revelead she rides a Virago 535 and couldn't find a 250 when she was looking, told me to keep it forever. Then they all gave me a lot of encouragement, telling me to ride my own ride and that the turning, the curves and everything would come together in time.

It was a wonderful gesture and feeling, a great boost to my spirit and day. I hope those girls never break down, get tagged or get tired! Just makes me want to ride more!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"A good long ride can clear your mind, restore your faith, and use up a lot of fuel...."

Fantastic Riding Day!

* Woke up went to breakfast with my guy. Lovely blue skies perfect weather neither too hot or cold. Just right.

* Picked up awesome boots. Normally used for Equestrian riding, but perfect for motorcycling and very, very light, durable and ridiculously comfortable. Check out Ariat Boots

* Rode to one of the local cycle part places and bought on sale an awesome windscreen. Installed in their parking lot and instantly noticed when I started riding the difference in wind drag and in amount of dead bugs on me.

* Followed my guy and rode...the coolest road...I wish I had thought to pack a camera, beautiful scenery lush green, scents of earth and flowers. Passing by other motorists who all seemed to wave and be in the same happy spirits. We rode and it was so fun to make the curves, to be with my guy who darted ahead leaning into his curves and just enjoying the ride. We traversed until we made it to a very little Ione. A little biker friendly town (mostly) with at least three establishments that specifically cater to bikers as patrons. We stopped at Rides and Rods Cafe. Friendly down to earth people, timely service, clean establishment, fantastic food and great prices I highly, highly reccommend. (Wendy makes a GREAT salad!)

*Milestone number 1: rode on a two way highway home for quite a while and did ok, with speeding and merging. Though many, many bugs killed themselves in process. (which sucked not just for them but me...yech clean up)

* Milestone number 2: I drove at night first time doing any sort of night driving and it really is a different experience. I'm a bit more tense (maybe cause I'm new) I try to keep an eye on the road but of course you can only see so far. And yet...its so lovely at night too the sensations of the road and the path and riding. I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone but me. Still impressed myself for hitting another goal. And taking my time to be ready when I did it. Patting my own back alot but...hey I'm very quick to cut mysef too. I'm just going to focus on posting the good stuff here as much as possible :)

Wonderful day....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Things I Learned About Riding This Week...

* It is a good idea to have emergency "gas cash" hidden away in your tank bag in case you forget to put your wallet or your debit card in it.

* Riding in very warm weather in leather requires contant motion and venting.

* Venting is your friend

* The road changes day to day even ones you know well, but especially so when construction crews show up.

* Boys like girls on motorbikes

* Other girls are curious about girls on bikes

* Do not underestimate the power of the reserve tank

* Adjust your speed before the curve, accelerate at apex

* You can "cheat" and use rear break in curve, to have more control of bike

* The other night I only had a few hours of sleep (and I was suffering unknowingly from a major caffeine hangover from a week of pounding redbulls for breakfast. I don't drink coffee or a lot of caffeine so....imagine if you will someone stabbing needles *behind* your eyes to a crazy constant beat and you have a taste of my pain. Moral of this ramble, read the label before you drink it!)

Anyway...I realized I was bone tired. So despite the sun, the lovely day the desire to ride and the view of it seemed hundreds of motorcyclists riding, I drove my car. And in the end, I was happy with the choice cause as tired if I was I don't think my response time was great and I was not alert. I'm pleased that I seem to have enough sense not to let my enthusiasm kill me. :)

* People keeping thinking my little 250 is a 500. I'm pleased and I already feel the pangs of wanting a bigger bike, if not a bigger gas tank good mileage but I can't go long distances on this bike without a lot of stops. Butconsidering where I started, from no experience biased against motorcyling and no confidence, I think while I've made huge progress I definitely need more time and practice on the 250. But I'm dreaming of a biggr bike, cushier seat, saddle or bac bag and a larger gas tank. I can dream, dammit.

I'm still not sure if I'll keep with cruiser or move to sportbike but so far, I lean toward cruiser...we'll see I need to test ride and gain more experience.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Why I'm Riding Now..

Been riding....

Posted the following in a friend's journal today - didn't realize I had said it until I did...(minor editing to give you some context)

"...I'm alright. Been on my motorcycle jag...I think more than anything now it's because I can get to a state of relaxation with it...I can just ride and suddenly doors in my head open. I lose the shackles of being "responsible goes to work gets it done" woman and get a little more free. Don't get me wrong - it's a lot of work, I have to be aware 'cause a lot of people are stupid when they drive on the whole :). But that break when no one is around and there is a patch of blue,lush green pasture, little glass like ponds..where the road has these sensual curves, while the scenery is equally luscious. Suddenly, I feel my heart beating and the door opens inmy head, words, ruminations flow into my mind and it's those, the road, the movement, the lean, the press, the speed and me...it's amazing...."

That's me right now.

Monday, April 17, 2006

All Signs Say: Ride!

I went to work today on my own. The last time I posted about going to work and traveling about, it was in the company of my guy who trailed or lead me but was there to support and encourage. But this morning, the sun shone brightly, birds were singing and playing in the bird bath, that cats didn't barf on the floor (at least that I've found) and my car has a pancake flat tire so fate seemed to say with all these positive signs "go ride!". So I did. Handled the traffic, the road and the few minor mishaps just fine. (Another milestone for me)

My minor mishaps and solutions

A) My left mirror wobbling uncontrollably. Relied on my right and head turning. Waited till a long stop light to tighten it.

B) Missed a turn cause of some big slow moving truck. Improvised stopped and refueled at a gas station and then turned around and kept on.

C) Got to a stoplight where I needed to make a left hand turn but the light didn't change because it didn't sense me and when I tried to accelerate I kept cutting out. Realized I was (in my excitement of riding fairly well till that point) still in a higher gear once I downshifted - no problem moved back to first no issue moving. Left the turn lane to go straight and U-turn at next light with cars that help trigger senses. Easy common sense fixes if embarrassing to make. But I'm still learning.

The wind chill has it at about 67F today, so for me my knees, outer thighs and fingers were icy but the ride itself, the knowledge I'm on my own and that I'm thinking and doing... was exhilarating. I LOVED it. My bike true to the descriptions pushed itself to 65 without much whining and I think I could get to 75 without too much issue too.

And then....I get to work and find due to technical difficulties I have to turn around and work from home.

So a ride back without the traffic or stress. Taking a scenic detour, I ride by fields, cows and hills. The scent of a gardening nursery with the blooms of spring is heady in my helmet, at least until the scent of hay and farm animals chases them away. A blue sky with some silvery white clouds stretches out on the horizon before me. I ride on, and I'm grinning ear to ear with the movements and vibrations of my bike down the road. This grin continues as I turn my way back toward suburbia and home.

I am so deliriously happy!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Could It Be...The Sun Has Come?

Weather reports say sun will shine all week...spring is actually...springing?!!

YES!

That is all! Thank you! Happy Easter or Sunday! Good Night!