Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Well, I knew it had been awhile, but I can't believe it's been a year since I blogged for real!  Once Flickr started limiting photos, it became more difficult to move photos from my phone to the computer so facebook is just an easier avenue to blog rides.

I'm going to save all the personal drama for my other blog.  I made this one specifically for saving and logging RIDES.  Used to be, for my horse ... now, for the steel horse.  Rides are getting more tricky now with this COVID-19 virus causing mass panic across the globe.  Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, as the spike in suicide death has shown.  Riding motorcycles ... NOT going to contribute to spreading this thing unless you ride in mass groups and hang all over each other after getting off your bike.  Most of us ride 2-6 people at the most, we wear full protective gear, and when we get off to take a break, we're well further than the recommended 6 feet apart.  Most restaurants have their dining rooms closed, so we're doing carry out on the sidewalk, or pack a lunch in the saddlebags.  I understand the concern of accidents taking away hospital resources; but we STILL have to drive to buy groceries and essentials and just to get OUT.  I think we're all going stir crazy already, and the time recommendations just keep increasing.  So I will ride, and I will continue to ride.  Soon enough, this will all be over and we can get back to epic road trips ... for now, they're shorter and more local rides which is all I need!

Planning for a few miles with my buddy Lenore on Thursday; it's all because of her I passed my class, I believe!  I'm bad about getting in my head when I'm in a stressful situation, and she reminded me BEFORE I attempt that dang corner, or that dang weave line to get in the friction zone.  It helped TREMENDOUSLY, and I have used that advice many times on the tight, curvy roads I've ridden on.  I'm usually the follower, so to lead a ride is always different for me.  I just hope I don't forget where to turn!

So, I thought I'd go over a few things as I approach 3 years of owning Khaleesi.  I've already hit my 3 years having my license, but I never rode on my own until I got my bike.  I've enjoyed every second I've owned my Indian.  I've had ups and downs with my riding, as has everyone I'm sure, but the ups WAY outweigh the downs!!

1.  My biggest challenge is by far my faith in myself.  I have had several minor accidents because of "bucking up" and believing in my abilities, from jumping horses to riding ATVs.  That negative reinforcement has served to teach me that I don't always have it covered.  I don't have brute strength, and I don't have height on my side.

2.  It was a long time before I FINALLY got my bike 100% dialed in.  Don't give up on your bike if it feels mostly great, but still has that something that isn't quite right.  Keep tinkering and trying things until you get it right.  I had to make improvements piece by piece, and sometimes one "improvement" would actually accentuate discomfort somewhere else.

3.  Confidence DOES come.  You may not feel it 100% of the time, but with miles comes experience.  I've learned to not be hard on myself if I feel like I've "wimped out" in ANY situation involving motorcycles.  Sometimes that "wimping out" may save your life.  We all have days that we just aren't feeling something; that may very well be God impressing upon you that today just isn't your day.

4.  Take every ride with an open mind.  Every small situation can teach you something about being a safer rider.  I didn't chronicle it on this blog, but on our big New England vacation, I wrecked my bike.  I wrecked her because I ignored early warning signs from several rides where I slid in a straight line stop due to locking up my brakes.  It took laying her down at 35 mph down an interstate off ramp to figure out how to brake properly.

And finally ...
5.  Don't fight the motorcycle.  There are hundreds of different brands and thousands of different models for every size, desire, and style of rider.  Once you've found your ideal model, trust that the machine is going to take care of you.  As you carve through canyons and zip around corners, sit up tall or tuck in tight, and let the weight of gravity get you through it.  The more relaxed and "loose" you are, the more you're able to just enjoy the ride and chew through those miles!

The one bright side of damaging a motorcycle tank is having it fixed with some custom paint!!

I've ridden a hair over 32,000 miles in 3 years so far.  I've treasured every mile.  This past week was GREAT, riding wise.  Looking forward to Thursday's ride, weather permitting of course!  Thanks for checking in, I'll try to post more here rather than just on facebook! 

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