Tag Archives: Good Samaritan

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Elizabeth a.k.a. Queen

Oh my, do I need to have music playing as I announce my next guest, Elizabeth a.k.a. Queen?! We’re good. Hold the Royal Anthem because  my next guest is located a bit south of Portland, Oregon. Elizabeth named her bike Bengal and can be found on Twitter @ejjansen11! Without further ado, here’s Elizabeth’s story!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Bought my first motorcycle for myself on Mother’s day, 2005.

How did you learn to ride? I took at motorcycle safety class through HD, Riders Edge. However, I have a lot of previous experience on two wheels. Back in the mid 80’s, right out of  college, I raced bicycles for a few years. Yes, the Lance Armstrong kind of racing. This requires excellent bike handling skills, which we practiced on a regular basis. I also did some track racing which also requires quick reflexes in order to stay upright! Paying attention to the pack around you, paying attention to the road, cornering, balance and precision all translated directly to my motorcycle training. Needless to say, I passed the class with flying colors!

What was your first motorcycle? My first motorcycle was a 2003 anniversary edition HD 1200 custom Sportster named Christine.

How many have you owned? I have owned three motorcycles. My Sportster, a Dyna Lowrider, and now my 2007 HD Streetglide.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was dating a man who rode.  He asked me if I would like to go on a ride with him and I said yes. When I was on the back, all I could see was this big head in front of me, and I felt like I was going to fall off the back! So, I said, if I am going to do this, I am going to take a class first to see if I like riding. The rest is history.

Tell us about your riding. I ride for pleasure.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Lots of advice. I have mentored a friend who is now a great rider. Listen to those who have experience. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel (pun intended). Take your time and ride to the level of where you feel comfortable. If the group you are riding with leaves you behind, or rides beyond your skill level, find another group. Push yourself to learn new skills, keep taking classes. Always wear your protective gear no matter how hot it is or hot you look without it. Those of us who have experience have seen what happens when someone hits the pavement. Don’t ride with a bunch of people who you do not know their level of skill. One person who is unsafe can jeopardize the entire group. Take your riding skills seriously. Learn your craft and then go out and have a ball!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I have taken three long trips. I live in Portland, bought my bike in Phoenix, AZ and rode it home. I also have taken a 1200 mile trip up to Banff and Lake Louise with some girlfriends. My boyfriend, another friend of mine, and I went to Sturgis last year, 3200 miles round trip! I am looking forward to doing more touring this summer.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I have a lot of friends but to be honest, the longer I have been riding, the smaller groups I like to ride with. So no, I am not a member of a group at this time.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Like most of the ladies here, there are just so many! We saw some amazing sites on the way to and from Sturgis. I think one of my favorite stories I like to tell is how we got caught in a nasty hail storm somewhere in the middle of Wyoming.

We were headed west and about seven miles from the next town in the middle of NOWHERE. No trees, no houses, just lots of wheat fields. Well, I was noticing that the wind was picking up and my boyfriend was riding faster and faster. We had the weather band on our radio and were hearing about a nasty storm that was close to the town where we were headed and was coming our way. My boyfriend was trying to outrun the storm and get to shelter before it hit. The skies were turning dark and the wind was howling into our faces.

Out of nowhere, a tumbleweed came right out in front of me and at that moment, I noticed that my friends headlight was not longer in my rear mirror. We pulled over and parked our two bikes downwind, so they would not get knocked over.  Just then, my friend pulled up and the wind had actually blown her off the road! She was able to recover and made it to where we were. We huddled down next to the bikes, with our helmets on and my boyfriends arms wrapped around us like a protective blanket. The rain and hail was pelting us and the bikes.

After about 20 minutes, a car drove by us, pulled off the road and offered us shelter to ride out the storm. Boy, were we happy to get in out of the rain! The inside of that car smelled like a wet cow! Once the storm passed, I was able to snap some amazing pics. We continued on our way and will always be grateful for the young couple who came to the rescue of three bikers!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I have a wonderful child and boyfriend, that I love spending time with. I like to cook, read, wash my bike, and be a soccer mom. I am a full time working gal working for Wells Fargo as a Mortgage Banker.

Elizabeth a.k.a. Queen

It’s all about perspective

I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter! Here’s a true inspirational story for you to enjoy.

THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
By Eddie Ogan

I’ll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.

By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.

When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.

We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.

Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.

We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.

That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.

We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.

But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.

When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.

As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.

Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.

We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor.

That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed–I didn’t even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!

I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way.

Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?” We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.

Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.

When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.”

Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.”

We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!

This is a true story. Here is an update on Eddie Ogan.

Story source

Focus on the Positive

Focusing on the positive has not been easy this winter! The weather has been brutal with cold and snow. Did I mention snow? 55.4″ as of  1/22/2011.

Some times you need help remembering. That’s why I like Things We Forget blog. Check it out. This blogger leaves post-it notes with inspirational messages in public places in Singapore. How awesome is that?

Photo source

What to Wear!

The weather cooperated today so I finally got out on the motorcycle! Hubby was working so I rode by myself for about two hours. I live in an outer suburb of Minneapolis where the county roads are plenteous (or would it be plentiful). Either way I have many scenic roads to choose from so off I went. It was quite the adventure not to mention a learning experience.

One of my first affirmations, that was again confirmed later, was wear all your gear all the time. Although tempted to leave the jacket or gloves off because of the 80 plus degree heat I decided that would be a totally stupid move and wore it all! Over the ankle leather boots, jeans, heavy jean jacket with armor, full-face helmet, and leather riding gloves completed my ensemble. I did remember to open the vents on my jacket and helmet which proved helpful in the heat. I wasn’t too far down my first county road when I became really thankful for all the protection I was wearing. The amount of bugs that were hitting me was ridiculous. Many of the motorcyclists I saw today were in short sleeves, some even in shorts, no gloves, and no helmets! Ouch! The bugs had to be stinging them too!

What not to wear!

About 45 minutes into the ride I get nailed square in the middle of my visor with a bug the size of a humming bird! Okay, maybe not that big but the goo and guts spread right across my line of sight … both eyes! Yuck! I look around to find a place I could safely pull off and clean the visor. Thankfully I remembered to bring a lens cleaning packet. I cleaned up the mess and was heading back out when the confirmation to wear all my gear happened. It has been raining and/or down pouring pretty consistently for the last few weeks. One of the outcomes of all this rain on our roads is the extraordinary amount of gravel and sand that has shown up on the surface. Even my backyard patio has a fine coating of sand!

As I’m leaving to head back on the road I take a right hand turn. That’s when I notice a pile of gravel so I swing out a littler further only to have missed the fact that the road was coated in a fine sandy-like gravel. Next thing I know I’m down with the bike. I quickly looked around and thank God there was no traffic!! I crawl out from under the bike, stand up and dust myself off. Then I tried to pick that bad boy up! Oh my! I’ve never had to do that before and never thought about what it would take to pick it up. 500 pounds of mean machine on its side and I can’t even budge it. I wanted to laugh! In all my preparation I never thought about how to stand my motorcycle up if it ever fell.

It wasn’t too long before a very nice Good Samaritan turned the corner, stopped and asked if I wanted help! YES!! He uprighted the motorcycle rather quickly as I babbled on about being a new rider. He just looked at me and said, “It is okay. I ride a lot and I’ve dropped my bike too.” I thanked him profusely and he suggested I try to start the bike! Oh yeah, the bike. It took a few times, but it eventually started. The Good Samaritan asked if I was okay to ride, I said yes, and off he went it his truck. Wow. Thank God for people willing to help. Lord bless that man wherever he is!

I’m thinking that heavy duty outfit saved me a lot of bumps and bruises. I’m sure my hand would have been cut up pretty bad if I didn’t wear those riding gloves. Wait, let me also sing the praises of my boots, and jeans, and jacket!! You get point. It could have turned out quite differently for me had I not left prepared. I’d also like to thank all the motorcyclists who have encouraged me to wear the gear even in the heat! Blessings to you too!!

P.S. The picture is a good example of what not to wear riding. I must confess I did take the bike around the block dressed like that to prove to my brother-in-law I knew how to ride. No excuses that was dumb.