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Riding a motorcycle: it’s not about the destination

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On a recent solo excursion I spent most of the time inside my head ruminating about why we, riders, ride.

I passed through rural communities and small towns…

Riding a motorcycle: it's not about the destination

…and I rode by the ocean.

Riding a motorcycle: it's not about the destinationAs I rode, I breathed in the scent of fresh cut grass, baking bread, and the sulphery-marshy fragrance of saltwater.

In traffic, my body felt hot and dewey inside my black riding jacket.  At 60 mph, the wind cooled and refreshed my skin, and I felt light and alive.  Sometimes, the air felt warm-cool-warm in just seconds.

I rode over bridges.

On back roads.

On major throughways.…

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Learning to ride a motorcycle: making progress

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Two months ago I jotted down some notes for a blog post that I wrote.  I wrote the notes after I’d owned my bike for less than two weeks; about a month after my new rider class.   I just came across them, and as I read them, I was surprised by what I’d already forgotten.

Here’s what I wrote:

  • Scary leaving the confines of my safe parking lot.
  • Wide turns…into the other lane.
  • Mirrors weren’t adjusted….couldn’t see behind me.
  • Had never actually used my blinker until that day.
  • Still shaky on my stops.

Yep….all that was true!  But two months and 600 miles later, I don’t feel any of those things.…

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The fear of dropping my motorcycle

Fear of dropping my motorcycle
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When it comes to riding, I possess a plateful of confidence and a dollop of fear.  There’s lots of reasons to fear riding a motorcycle (speed, invisibility, and traffic, for example), and I face most of them with caution and logic.  But the one fear that holds me back from riding alone is the fear of dropping my bike.

Dropping a bike—having it fall on its side—happens to every rider.  (Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.)  I dropped my bike several times during my motorcycle course, and earned a “Moto-Acrobatics” award because of it (not an award I’d hoped to achieve, but one I earned rightly)!…

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Riding motorcycles and bad weather

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Since purchasing my bike about a month ago, there’s been rain, fog, or ominous clouds on 20 out of 31 of those days.  Many of those have been on weekends and evenings, the only time I can ride.  As a new rider eager to get out on the road, practice, and get miles under my belt, it’s been frustrating.  What’s a girl to do?

This girl’s been reading about riding.  Although it hasn’t helped me build competency, it has led me to uncover some wonderful resources in my home state of Maine:

  • Ride Maine is an annual print publication for motorcycle enthusiasts living or visiting Maine.  
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Fairy Bikers come to U.S. to ride Harley-Davidson bikes and raise money for breast cancer research

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Meet Liz (age 54) and Tina (age 48), the Fairy Bikers,  two women from North Yorkshire, UK who self-identify with having a mid-life crisis.  They are flying to the United States on Saturday to embark on a Harley biking adventure that will address their crises while serving the greater good.

The Fairy Bikers have two goals: 1) to promote riding for women (“It’s never too late to go on adventures”), and 2) to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer (“We thought it would be a good opportunity to raise some funds for this charity.”).

Although they don’t ride Harleys at home, when it came to planning their trip in the U.S., “we just couldn’t ride in USA on anything other than Harleys so we just didn’t consider any other type of bike.”  Liz will be riding a Harley-Davidson Fatboy, and Tina will be riding a Harley-Davidson SuperLow.  

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