How did you spend Christmas?

Me? In critical care. Yes. I waited how long to spend time with my daughter and grandkids and I end up in the hospital.

Crazy. I had a migraine that started last Wednesday and by Sunday had me in urgent care. They sent me home after a shot in the butt and some pain meds. That night was horrible so went to the doctor on Monday.

Well he didn’t think it was normal that I would have my first migraine ever at my age. The doctor sent me straight over to the ER for a MRI.

At first I thought the ER doctor was joking when he said I tore the artery that runs up through my neck. And I would be staying here for a few days.

That was Monday. Still trying to figure out how I did this. It is usually the result of an accident. Not me. I just happened to tear my artery.

Things I’ve learned while here. Critical care patients get lots of attention. It is more serious than I ever thought. Don’t let a migraine go five days without medical attention. My grandson isn’t afraid of hospitals.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful! Miss y’all!

Lift a glass for me and let’s get 2014 off to a better start!

Move over Clark Griswold!

Never thought I’d see flame shooters as part of a Christmas light display! It starts about three minutes in.

Any one out there decorate the exterior of their home? Depending on how fast winter hits we’ll string a few lights outside. Not this year! We’ve been in the deep freeze for the last couple of weeks.

P.S. Thank you for all the generous gifts to help my sister! http://www.gofundme.com/5dum0o

Counting Down to Friday!

Counting down to Friday night when my daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and granddaughter arrive! I’m so excited. There are so many things to prepare and do before they arrive. Today I put up the tree while hubby was at work. He will hang the lights later this week and we’ll decorate after the kids are here.

I bought this artificial tree 12 or so years ago for $79. Still in great shape!

I bought this artificial tree 15 years ago for $79. Still in great shape!

When the kids were young we’d go to the tree farm and cut our own. One year about 15 years ago we were unable to get out to the farm  and I found this impressive bad boy for $79. Let’s just say we’ve got our monies worth!

Do you put up a Christmas tree? Real or artificial?

P.S. Can help my sister? Any little gift will help! http://www.gofundme.com/5dum0o

P.P.S. Ladies, I’m still taking names for my Profile of  a Female Motorcyclist series. Let me know if you are interested!

P.P.P.S. Here it is with lights!

Lights!!!

Lights!!!

Totally Adorbable!

P.S. If you can help my sister … http://www.gofundme.com/5dum0o

 

Can you help my sister out?

Back in October I shared that my older sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She has since had surgery and so far two hellish chemo treatments. I’m learning all sorts of things I never knew about going through cancer treatment.

After surgery it was a very short time before she started chemo. Chemo is five to six hour appointment every three weeks. I believe she will have a total of six before it is all over. The days that follow treatment are days of pure pain and vomiting all in the guise of healing.

About a week after the first chemo treatment she lost enough hair to decide to shave her head. Stop and think about that. You are in the midst of some heavy duty trauma and then we’ll throw in a little bit more to really nail your emotional state. I could sense her depression from 400 miles away.

Did you know there is a web site that caters to women undergoing cancer treatment? It is TLCdirect.org. They carry padded cap liners to help hats, caps, and turbans look more real. Who knew?

My sister has lost a lot of weight since this has begun so she is in need of some new clothes. Another expense for a family already facing this horrendous health issue without insurance.

On another note I also found out my younger sister’s doctor discovered a growth on her ovary the size of a cantaloupe.  This sister is about 1500 miles away. Thankfully, she had surgery (and has insurance) removing this and all her female organs but is cancer free. Yes. All of this has happened since the end of October.

Back to my older sister. I set-up a GoFundMe.com site to raise money to help off-set her living expenses. Would you consider helping a little? I figured if I could get a lot of people to do a little it would add up to a bunch! Join with me and let’s kick this cancer in the a$$!

Make it so … I mean snow!

We’ve had some snow and bitter cold here in Minnesota, but this cheered me up!

Enjoy!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet She’z a.k.a. @Shelina93

I’ve got another great gal for y’all to meet! She goes by She’z, is from the small town of Petaluma, CA, a friend of Jen’s (we met her back in July), and another motorcycle racer! You can catch She’z on twitter @Shelina93 and check out her web site She’z Racing!

@Shelina93 Photo courtesy of Seppes.com

Catch her on Twitter: @Shelina93
Photo courtesy of Seppes.com

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I’ve been riding motorcycles my whole life. My dad put me on bikes before I could walk. I have a photo of me on his old flat track bike when I was a chubby toddler.

How did you learn to ride?  My dad (and mom) taught me to ride the ranch quads as soon as I could walk so that I could learn how to bring in the cows from the fields (dairy kid). Growing up on a ranch meant we had chores to do, and so we learned to ride more as a responsibility than for fun… though dad probably saw us out there spinning donuts and popping wheelies on his 4-wheelers in between working  😉

What was your first motorcycle? My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki 80 that my brother and I saved our “wages” for. Dad matched what we had saved so that we could buy it together. It’s quite the memory actually. I still remember us going to pick up that bike and getting used to the snappy throttle! And the love for Two Wheels Began!!

My first streetbike was an old Kawasaki Ninja 600 that I snuck home with… Mom and Dad wanted to KILL me!!

How many motorcycles have you owned? Well… I still have that 80, though it doesn’t run anymore. I had upgraded to a KDX 200, then a 125. Now I have a Honda CRF 450 and a little 100 that I ride flat track on. I also have two Streetbikes, a Kawasaki zx636 and a Brammo Enertia (electric motorcycle). Plus my racebikes… a Harley XR1200 and a Yamaha R6. Jeez, you make me feel like I need to clear some bikes out of here…. [Pam says, No way!! Keep the bikes!]

She'z sitting with her Kawi Photo courtesy of $theRiders.com

She’z sitting with her Kawi
Photo courtesy of 4theRiders.com

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Because my dad rode a motorcycle, and raced a motorcycle (and still does). Because I saw two guys pop a wheelie through an intersection when I was a kid and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Because even at 4 years old on a ranch quad, I felt like the world was at my fingertips when I was on a motorcycle. And at 12 years old I felt like I was unstoppable when I was on that dirtbike. And because for us, it was a family thing, something we got to do with my parents, and it has had a major impact on how close we are as a family.

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ? All of the above. The reason I started racing was because I had “too much fun” on the street, and I wanted to see what I could do with my skills that was productive. I still ride on the street, for fun or to get to a meeting with the Parker Hannifin guys. I love to race, I love to train to race, I enjoy instructing at the She’z Racing and FIM girls camps now, and I consider the trails with my dad and our friends one of my favorite vacation destinations.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Go for it. Don’t do it because you think you’ll look cool, or for any other reason, ride if you want to ride. Learn How. Wear proper gear. Listen to the motorcycle, it will teach you a lot. Don’t get discouraged when you are working on improving, we all do, just keep learning. And come to one of my Girls-Only camps! I’ll teach you, and you Will have fun learning! You can actually find out info on our schools at www.ShezRacing.com and Check out our Video

What is the longest trip that you have taken on your cycle? I don’t do a lot of adventure riding, so not terribly long distance, usually 100 miles in a day is a good ride for me. However… At Indy this year I think I rode quite a lot of “Distance”… I raced the Harley and the Brammo, back to back all weekend. Literally hopping off of one and onto another. That was a ton of riding.

Shelina Moreda with the Brammo / ICON Spec 32 - Eboz Edition Photo courtesy of Brammo

Shelina Moreda with the Brammo / ICON Spec 32 – Eboz Edition
Photo courtesy of Brammo

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I actually just joined forces with the newly formed Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists. It’s the strongest and largest organization of women riders in North America and they are working hard to promote motorcycling and grow the number of riders. I’m stoked to be a part of a group with the potential to help grow the sport of motorcycling so much. Getting more people involved in motorcycling (girls and guys) is something that is very important to me.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Seems like every time I go riding I have a new favorite riding story. A more recent favorite for me was when I was at an electric bike race earlier this year. I won my class and was standing on the podium with Eric Bostrom (my Brammo teammate, who I’ve looked up to for a long time) who had also won his class, we were 1st and 2nd overall! That was one heck of a day for me.

What do you do when you’re not riding? Think about riding… 🙂  When I’m not riding I’m planning and working on chasing my next goal (mostly riding related). Working on sponsorship a lot of the time. It’s hard work to find sponsorship and grow a racing career.

When we are talking about non-motorcycle related activities, I have a lot of other hobbies too. I love the outdoors, I like going to the lake, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, I love to travel, try new foods, I enjoy time with my dog (Rampage), and I like hanging out with my friends. I also like remodeling old houses, my granddad is a contractor and has taught me a lot about fixing up houses. And one of my favorite things is making Halloween costumes.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Wendy

Don’t you love a good referral? Whether it is for a service provider, restaurant, or product I always appreciate hearing what a friend has to say on the topic. Well, that’s how I met my next guest. Back in June of this year I profiled Sofia a.k.a. @CandyStripes327 (who was recommended by Krystyna a.k.a. @KK352) sent me an email introducing me to Wendy! I reached out and she agreed to add her story too! Wendy is from Manhattan Beach, CA and was given the nickname “Diablita” by her fellow Crest Riders when she use to ride the canyons in SoCal. You can find her on Facebook at Helmets n’ Heels! Without further delay, here’s Wendy’s story in her own words!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since 1994

How did you learn to ride? Tried to teach myself on a boyfriends Vespa, wheelied it across the street and up the curb into the wall, I never told him. I was 18. Scared myself and thought I wasn’t coordinated enough and should stay away from bikes.

Then tried again at 27 on a Heritage Softail with a boyfriend’s instruction, got it that time. Was hooked 🙂

What was your first motorcycle? Bought my own ’93 HD Fatboy, as the boyfriend’s bike had too many rules.

How many have you owned? 23

Too Many Kids - T. Schmieder, Germany

Too Many Kids -photo by T. Schmieder, Germany

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Love the feeling of freedom also the challenges of two-wheels. The ability to get thru traffic, living in LA  has its practical advantages.

Catalina GP 2010 -photo by Joe Bonello, California

Catalina GP 2010 -photo by Joe Bonello, California

Tell us about your riding. I love meeting people and new challenges.  I have found motorcycle people are usually really interesting characters, and I feel very at home especially when racing motorcycles. I like to compete, have since I was a kid. Like to push myself, even if I am a little scared.  Street riding, touring, collecting and racing have introduced me to very cool experiences and people from all walks of life in many countries, in ways I would have never experienced otherwise.

Just recently for example I was very frustrated after breaking my wrist in February this year while practicing at the track. In addition I had only managed one race in April due to mechanical problems and a not so good mechanic and then work conflicts.  So I decided to go to race at the Barber Vintage Festival in Alabama and then race Daytona the weekend afterwards. I bought a used motorcycle trailer and fixed it up so I could camp from it and haul it cross country by myself. Normally I have the bikes transported and fly out.

Daytona

Daytona

This was my first time and chance to see the country driving, mix in some work and go racing.  I got to Barber and the bike broke in practice, I holed the piston, not sure what was exactly wrong with it, I was reluctant to put in a new one and do it again and have worse consequences.

I was set to go home and one of my fellow racers Craig Breckon offered up his Honda Ascot 500cc and said I could race his bike in Middleweight Superbike (Vintage). He said “We don’t come here to watch we come to race!” I couldn’t believe he was offering and was a bit nervous I had never raced anyone else’s bike and I had no practice on it. I slept on the idea and the next morning I did a couple of scrub laps on it and said okay. I got 8th out of 13, even though I was out horse powered as some of the bikes had 860cc!  I had so much fun I raced it again the next day.

Barber 2013-Borrowed Ascot TT -photo by T. Schmieder, Germany

Barber 2013-Borrowed Ascot TT -photo by T. Schmieder, Germany

Then I was approached by another fellow racer Jack Parker a very fast two stroke racer who asked if I wanted to race his very fast Yamaha CT-1 two stroke at Daytona. I told him I have a two stroke race bike but haven’t raced it, and didn’t feel competent yet.  He said “My bike is “unseizeable”.  So I said okay why not a little practice on a two stroke.  Well I went to Daytona got one practice session in, he made a gearing change so it would go faster and I seized it two laps in the race just as I came off the banks after passing a couple of packs of bikes. I felt really bad about that, he offered up his other bike, but I was not wanting a reputation of breaking bikes so I passed.  But that is the spirit of the vintage racing scene, people helping each other.  This weekend taught me many things not only about the bikes but the people who own them. I also got approached by several expert tuners offering assistance on fixing my bike who live all over the country. And I met many more racers who also live in other countries, as we have a World Challenge.  You don’t get these opportunities sitting at home. So traveling either on a bike or with a bike is to me the most fun.

Hat Trick - WSMC

Hat Trick – WSMC

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Practice, practice, practice for those who already ride, as well as try taking a couple schools and don’t be afraid to learn. Same with those beginners, and if you can, learn on a dirt bike first.  If riding street, when you put on your helmet have the attitude that someone is going to try and kill you today so think about what you want protected, wear the best gear, always be scanning traffic, anticipate and keep your guard up.  Unfortunately people in cars and trucks don’t see motorcycles especially with all the new distractions.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Not sure. I have gone on many trips that typically are over a week touring Utah, Arizona, California, Europe and off the coast of Africa, so I would say those trips averaged over 1K miles each.  I have about 20 bikes, of which several are modern-street bikes that I have put over 60K miles pleasure in the last 10 years, I don’t commute.

Motorrad MidTest 2013-Marseilles - Motorrad Magazine

Motorrad MidTest 2013-Marseilles – Motorrad Magazine

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I join the forums to learn about a bike I have an interest in or own. Before I “adopt” a bike I try to learn about it and who are the “go to” people if you need help with it. We never really “own” anything but simply the guardian. So I try to be a responsible owner and take care of the bikes. If you show the bike some love it will give it back tenfold.  So I belong to several forums for example several different Ducati owners forums, R6 owners, most recently Vintage BMW owners club, I have a new interest in those now.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Many. One that the ladies will appreciate happened years ago and does not belong to me but happened to a woman vintage racer I met in England at the Goodwood Revival, Sophie Melcion Smith. She is a very elegant, stylish and beautiful French woman who used to ride her Triumph everywhere in Paris, and did not own a car.

She was a flight attendant and then became a pretty renowned journalist in Europe. She also races vintage bikes in Europe on her Seely Manx G50 and is very fast. It was during one of her races that is every girl’s worst fear happened. She had just found these amazing vintage leathers that fit her like a glove, and she said she felt wonderful in them, like they were custom made, tight in all the right places and very flattering. Which of course makes you go faster 🙂

Anyway it is during her first race with them on that she experiences this sudden gush of cool air in a place there shouldn’t be mid-race. And she realizes that the bottoms had split open exposing her almost completely bare behind, and she was wearing a thong! Now she quickly looks to see who is behind her “behind” and sees a fellow racer approaching as she had let off the gas. So she gasses it full throttle motivated to make sure he didn’t get too close. She podiumed that race. She raced again in them the next day borrowing her boyfriends boxers and some duct tape.

So now when I race I imagine that my suit is split and don’t let the guy behind get too close, quite a motivator 🙂

What do you do when you’re not riding?  I work in the IT industry for income, as well as a part-time commercial rider/model. But I like collecting and learning how to work on my bikes so right now I am building out my “she cave” with some lifts and tools so I don’t have to bug the guys so much.

Bultaco Metralla

Bultaco Metralla

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Lynnea

I have a new cyber friend for y’all to meet! Her name is Lynnea and she is from upstate South Carolina (I’m already jealous of her because I’m guessing she can ride most of the year). She found my blog and answered my call for lady motorcyclists! Yay!!

Lynnea and her Morini

Lynnea and her Morini

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 35 years

How did you learn to ride? By the seat of my pants! Just bought a Honda C250T and taught myself–in Boston, no less.

What was your first motorcycle? See above

How many have you owned? At least 11. I currently ride a 1975 Moto Morini which we had restored–I had it repainted to look like a cafe racer from TRON.

photo

1975 Moto Morini

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I tried driving my high school boyfriend’s Honda 350 and instantly loved it. I already loved horses and riding, but this was even better!

Tell us about your riding. Pleasure, although racing is still on my bucket list.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a MSF course first to see how you like it and to get real training.  Then buy a smaller bike to learn on.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Indiana to Massachusetts and back.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Italian Motorcycle Owners Club of North America, Inc. (IMOC), a club I founded in 1982 in MA. The annual rally draws over 600 bikes and is now the largest all-Italian motorcycle rally of its kind in the country. Yes, I am proud of my baby, and extremely grateful that the current officers have kept it alive and thriving over the years. Also belong to Old Crap Riders! group in Greenville, SC.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Not specifically, but my husband of 28 years, Roland, and I met through mutual motorcycling friends. We have a 25-year old son who is a CPA, and our 19-year old daughter had taken the MSF course. We have met wonderful people over the years and made some great friends.

Photograph (40)

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a corn snake breeder; belong to a Star Trek Club; travel every year overseas (Roland is Swiss); former belly dancer and hand-weaver; love to be with my family and friends.

Best Use of a Cage a.k.a. Car

Enjoy!