Motorcycle Diaries


My Mint Condition Classic 1980 Suzuki GS250, originally uploaded by funchilde.

I will admit that I felt like a bit of a bad @$$ today towing my new ride down the interstate (nerve wracking!). I decided to get a small, classic bike to tool around and make my mistakes on before I jumped into a several thousand dollar bike with a paint job that would send me to the bank if it got dropped or scratched.

Riding her around the block this evening was worth taking my last motorcycle class a couple of weeks ago. Wherein out of the 4 of us that showed up, I was the ONLY ONE who finished the class and got to ride. Not because I’m JUST THAT COOL, but because I”M THAT MUCH OF A DORK! It was 100 degrees, we had on boots, jeans, long sleeves and helmets. One lady just left and went and sat on a curb. But ahhhh, the wind on my face and the breeze on my arms, the look of awe in the neighborhood kid’s faces (yeah kids, I’m a rockin’ old biker chick) was so worth it. Although I took Jumpstart last summer and then the Basic Rider Course (BRC) to get my license, I decided to take Jump Start again just to make sure I am ready since I haven’t been on a bike since last year.

I’m towing her up to NH and I have an 80% buyback guarantee on her, so I’ll probably upgrade to a 500/600 cc in the spring or summer of next year (if I’m in the country). I should then have enough hours/miles under my belt to take the Experienced Rider Course, which unlike the Jump Start and the Basic Rider courses, you need to have your own bike for and you have to have some experience in order to get the most out of the class.

One thing I totally didn’t expect is that when you buy a bike and get your license, you become part of this underground “family” of riders. I notice “My other car is a motorcycle” stickers now, I wave at people on everything from Harleys (the most popular brand in the US) to Hayabusas (the fastes production bike you can buy). It is a diverse group united by the love of all things on two wheels. I have had deep discussions w/ crazy looking white guys with american flag bandanas and grizzly adams beards and full out “leather” cycle gear and teeny chicks who can barely put their feet on the ground but ride Ducati Monsters! Everyone is welcome into the fold. And is it bad that I half want to laugh at this and half want to join?I promise to always wear my protective gear and to always put safety over style.

If you’re working on some goal or dream, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I still have a big one that eludes me, but I won’t ever stop trying. And if you see a wobbly, grinning, chick on a classic bike, tearing around the neighborhood, slow down and give her a smile and a wave. It’s probably me making a beer run on my bad @$$ motorcycle. Now if I can just figure out how to get my afro into this helmet…..

9 thoughts on “Motorcycle Diaries”

  1. I took the basic rider course about… sheesh it was 5 years ago now. LOVED IT. But I couldn’t buy a bike at the time. That’s still on my List of Things to Do. Learning how to ride a motorcycle is scary and thrilling and fun all at the same time. Yay for you!

  2. HA! I thought that was you in the pic from a couple of postings ago flying in front of the pyramids??!! I think that you should take the bike with you when you go back out on the road, that would be a cool roadtrip….riding through Mexico…down through Belize (camping on the beach)…across Honduras, Nicaragua (which I recently read has some kick a$$ beaches)…over the mountains in Costa rica…past the Panama Canal and down into Columbia to be kidnapped by the FARC and held for ransom..LOL!! On second thought just sell the bike in Panama and fly down to Argentina or someplace safe! 🙂

  3. I took a chance that you had posted since I looked yesterday, and man was I not surprised. I called Steve to tell him to look and then went back and re-read the post. I would love to see a picture of you – riding in the wind.
    Still looking to go out to Outback someday soon.
    Keep on keeping on and be CAREFUL.
    Lots of love…..

  4. E: Did you get your license? What kind of bike do you want? Just go do it, you won’t regret it! Just be safe…

    S: Only you would concoct a scenario in which a pleasant roadtrip concludes with me being kidnapped by Columbia rebels…And sleeping on beaches SUCKS all that sand in your naughty bits…or so I hear 🙂

    Ms. D: We are ON for outback I’ll call you tonite! love to you too!

  5. Ride on girl! Good for you! Ride on down here anytime you can!
    Some sad news from the Campbells – Samantha is not doing well, we’re on a “death watch” which makes me sad, grateful for such a wonderful dog, and realize that our lives keep on flying forward.
    We miss you and hope your trip to NH is a good one.

  6. i definitely want to join. and i gotta see the afro in the helmet. congrats on the sweet ride. i’m sure you’ll be cruisin the world in no time.

  7. Awesome new whip! Only in my dreams do I ever really think of cruising down the highway on a motorcycle — my dad sorta placed the bike trauma in me with his wild riding tactics.

    Let the wind ruffle through your tightly curled hair or fro…:)


  8. My daughter was on SAS for the Spring 03 voyage, and so I check in from time to time on the current voyages. Your blog seemed to capture the adult experience, so I bookmarked it and loved reading about your adventure. I just checked back again today and since you are no longer on the trip, I felt as if I was reading someone’s private diary. But I think you’re a great writer and I love reading your musings on life and such. Your career sounds interesting (I’m a teacher), but I can’t quite figure out what you do. I hope you don’t mind that I continue to read; I love reading and hearing about different lives and how people live them.

  9. Kathy: that is the highest compliment you could give me “I love reading your musings on life and such” I’m so glad you commented and tickled pink that you followed during the voyage. I wanted to do something different than the students and other faculty who were blogging about the trip so i chose to write little about the program and more about the actual impact/experiences/people/ports. SAS changed my life, i’d love to hear how your daughter’s experience was and if you noticed marked changes in her upon her return?

    warmest regards and thanks for the kind words.
    oh, i’m a consultant/project manager in the field of Diversity & Inclusion, most of my clients are non-profits and elite business schools (mba). Let me know if you have any interest in the field!

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