Tag Archives: mom

To Courageous Mothers

To the courageous mothers the world over. Happy Mother’s Day!

What gift did your mom give you? Here’s an old post I wrote as a tribute to my mom.

An Afternoon at the Pool

Chunky Monkey and I spent some time at the pool in the backyard today. Hope your summer is going as well as mine!

Chunky Monkey and grandma enjoying the warm afternoon at the pool!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Elizabeth (Liz)

We have been around the world with the profiles of female motorcyclists. Today, we have another first – both mother and daughter motorcyclists have been profiled! Sarah (daughter) was profiled on May 16, 2012 and today we have Elizabeth (Liz, mom) also from Sacramento, CA sharing her story.

Liz and Sarah

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?  Since I was 17. At first it was a practical solution to transportation … just kinda taught myself on a Honda 90, rode it for about 2 years. Didn’t actually ride a “real street bike” until I turned 50 … been enjoying the unique freedom of riding my own bike for about 4 years now.

How did you learn to ride?  I was a pillion for years, enjoying “my knees in the air”, then I watched my daughter Sarah ride her own bike, first on the dirt, then she took the MSF class, so I pretty much followed her steps. My husband coached both us via our radio communication.

What was your first motorcycle?  Honda 90

How many have you owned?  Honda 90, various dirt bikes … then GS500, then V-Strom 650 and now the Ninja 650 (three street bikes).

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  To have a much fun as my daughter Sarah was having!

Tell us about your riding. I mostly ride for pleasure and several vacations have been based on riding. The annual ride with all girls has been some of the most fun!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  You aren’t too old to have fun!  If you love being outside, traveling, but don’t want to ride in a car … start riding! It is the perfect way to get from one beautiful location to another!  Our friend Donna (@Demenshea) has been an inspiration to me. She is able to go on adventures, take beautiful pictures and share it all with us. I would also encourage other women to pick out their own bike!  Sit on different ones, pick one that you can comfortably put your feet on the ground and it doesn’t feel “top-heavy”. That was my frustration with the V-Strom. I didn’t feel comfortable.  Now with the Ninja, I am having so much fun!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  No sure, might have been the trip north to Washington and home through eastern Oregon, or the trip with the girls, south to Cambria and home.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? My family is kinda my “group”…  nothing online

Do you have a favorite riding story?  Not really an exciting story, but for me a real confidence builder, was when we had spent the day riding with a large group. While taking a break along I-5, one of our party called home and said it was raining there (about 50 miles north). Wow! It really was pouring … I just kept calm and remembered all I had been taught.

What do you do when you’re not riding? Reading, origami, knitting, gardening … adoring my daughters and granddaughters!

Liz riding!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Susan

My next guest stopped by the blog and left a comment so I asked her to join us. Ladies, please let me know if you are interested in joining in with your story! I try to reach out, but I feel I’ve missed a few of you. Don’t think you have nothing to add, you have a unique story to tell from your point of view. Do share.

Here with another story filled with wisdom and her experience is Susan!

Susan the road warrior!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I started a little late, I was 51 when I got my first bike and it’s been seven great years. My how time flies when you’re having fun! Funny, today I can’t remember a time when I didn’t ride a motorcycle.

How did you learn to ride? Well it’s a pretty long story. My husband took on the job of teaching me to ride. However, it was my daughter Rebecca that got the fire burning in me. She decided that she didn’t want to take the MSF course alone, so she begged, pleaded with me to take the course with her. After sleeping on it for quite a few days and everyday her begging me, I decided that I would take the course with her. Reasoning that, we’d be using their bikes (important because I was sure I’d wrecked the bike) and surely nobody over 25 or so would be taking the course,  so if I made a complete fool of myself nobody would remember me anyway. And besides I owed her one for taking the boring Notary class with me a few months before. First day on the course, once I got the hang of riding, I was hooked.

What was your first motorcycle? My first motorcycle was a 2006 Yamaha FZ6, a cute little naked sports bike.  Good thing that it was naked (no fairings) because I must have tipped that thing over at a standstill at least 10 times.

Susan on her FZ6

How many have you owned? I’ve owned four bikes in those short seven years. First was an FZ6, next I moved on to the FZ1. Then I bought a Yamaha Road Star Warrior for touring. I loved that bike it was so beautiful and had a great sounding engine, but unfortunately it wasn’t comfortable for touring so I sold it. Later I bought a 2004 Suzuki GSXR 750 for the track and had some great times with it. I’ve settled on just the FZ1, it’s a great all around bike with enough power and great distance comfort.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Before I took the MSF course I’d been having some health issues and was beginning to feel like things were coming to an end and that I was going to be stuck on my couch without ever trying some things that may be out there.  Riding took my mind of my problems, it became my passion. I wanted to ride as well as possible. Learn the ins and outs of proficient motorcycling. I bought the book Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough and decided that I wanted to be that kind of rider. So every day when I go out for  a ride, at the end of the ride I assess my riding, what did I do well, what mistakes I made, how can I keep from making them again and what do I need to work on next time. Every ride is a learning experience. It’s a never ending riding lesson.

Tell us about your riding. It’s always a pleasure to ride, no matter whether I’m commuting, vacations or racing. So I ride for all those things. Anytime I throw my leg over the bike it’s a great feeling and I know I’m in for an adventure. The smells, sights, the people you meet, it’s all part of riding. There’s a connection to things around me that I don’t experience at any other time. Riding never fails to puts a smile on my face.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? To women who ride I would say never let down you guard. Riding a motorcycle takes all your attention all the time. Relax, enjoy, but never take anything for granted. You never know when a cager may decide to turn into your path, or a deer decides to commit suicide, or a truck gets a flat tire around the next bend.  Always ride defensively.

To anyone thinking of riding DON’T start, unless you’re willing to let it draw you in and become an obsession, take all your time, your money and provide you with a lifetime of memories burned into the back of your brain and stories to take you through your rocking chair years.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I’ve done quite a few long trips. My favorite was San Jose to Las Vegas to Zion National Park to Page, AZ to Monument Valley to Grand Canyon, to through Mojave National Preserve and back to San Jose. We rode about 1,900 miles 10 days in all sorts of weather, hot, cold, windy, rainy, foggy, hail and snow all in that one trip. It was a great adventure.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I belong to a local online riding group.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I work at a Commercial Real Estate office as an office manager.  I’m a wife, mother and grandmother.  I help care for my aging mother too. Thanks to a motorcycle riding friendly work and home family I can always squeeze in a ride. My kids are never surprised when I show up to a family function on a motorcycle. In fact sometimes they’re surprised when I show up in a car.

The many rides of Susan!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Rachael

I’m going to start this post with a true confession: I have blog envy. My green eyes look at Rachael’s Girlie Motorcycle Blog and dream of the day I’ll have something so delightful! Not to mention she had a brush with greatness! You’ll have to check out that story here. Rachael or as she’s called on Twitter @FuzzyGalore hails from Long Island, NY. She did mention that she’s often referred to as Fuzz or Fuzzy. Sounds like there’s a story behind that nickname! Without further ado, here’s Rachael’s story!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? This is my 17th year on the bike. Not a whole lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like I’ve been at it my whole life. It’s such an all-encompassing lifestyle that I don’t remember what life was like without it.

How did you learn to ride? I learned to ride through an MSF course. The first moment that I threw my leg over the bike, I knew it was for me. Taking the MSF class was probably the biggest favor I did myself.

Then in my mid 30’s when I wanted to learn to dirt ride, I took another “dirt basics” class to get a very basic understanding of the body mechanics involved in that type of riding.

What was your first motorcycle? The first motorcycle that I bought myself was a firecracker red Kawasaki ZX6R. I can still hear my dad’s voice as he and I stood in the driveway looking at its sleek lines and shiny go-fast red paint, “Well? You gonna look at it or are you gonna ride it?”

Those first few miles were the most exciting and frightening miles ever. It was probably a good thing that most of my first year of riding was spent alone. I took it easy getting to know what it meant to ride a motorcycle without being pressured by anyone else. That bike was probably too much, too soon.

How many have you owned? I’ve personally owned 9 motorcycles. But, being one half of a motorcycle riding couple has put many more at my disposal. I’m pretty lucky that way.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I don’t know, really. Riding a motorcycle seemed like the most natural thing in the world to want to do. I come from a family with many motorcycle riders in it. You could probably say it was in the blood. I really can’t imagine NOT riding a motorcycle.

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ? Yes, Yes, Yes, No. 🙂

Over the years my riding style and what I want from riding has gone through many changes.

In the beginning it seemed like there was a constant desire to go fast, to challenge myself to be a better rider. I did some track days and stuck to riding sportbikes and hung out with folks who did the same.

As things in my life changed, so did what I wanted from riding. I started to have more of a hunger for traveling, for seeing more of the world. The desire to go fast became a desire to explore and so I began to slow down and wander more. These days I’m usually just poking along looking at the scenery and that’s just fine with me.

My travels haven’t been especially far flung but ::knocks wood:: I’m not done yet. Thinking about the “somedays” and the possibilities is always very exciting to me. My daydreams of riding through far off places keep me striving to make those “somedays” a reality.

On an everyday level, I often find that there aren’t enough daylight hours to be able to sneak out for a pleasure ride. Commuting to work on my motorcycle gives me that little kick of fun that I need. It falls into the better than no riding at all category.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Gah! I am terrible at giving advice. I see myself as more of a pep talk type, really. So, with that ~You, yes you – are capable of more than you will ever know.

Whether you are just thinking about maybe riding a motorcycle, already riding and thinking about your first big road trip, learning to wrench your own bike or maybe thinking about trying a different type of riding like say – dirt: Whatever it is – You. Can. Do. It. The only real obstacle in front of your progress is you. You just have to be brave enough to take that first step of trying.

Above all else – your gender is not a handicap unless you make it one.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest single trip I’ve done so far was riding from Long Island toYellowstone National Park with my soon-to-be hubby, Kenny. The trip was a little over 5,000 miles in 10 days. In hindsight I wish we could have squeezed in more time but that is the ultimate commodity.

The trip came about because I wanted to see Mount Rushmore. Since we were in the neighborhood, we thought we’d work Yellowstone in as well. I had no guarantee that I’d ever be in that area again so it seemed like we should go for it.

It was wonderful and exciting and though taken at a faster pace than I wanted it to be, I wouldn’t change it. Those types of experiences teach you things about how you really want to do the next trip. Every journey is valuable.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? No, not really. I mean, I am an AMA member but that’s the extent of my “membership” in anything.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Not so much a story per se, but I do have some favorite motorcycle-related moments. The top of my list would have to be watching my daughter Chloe who was 10 at the time, go from some tentative wobbling on her dirt bike to riding with a confidence and effortless grace that I greatly admire.

There is an absolutely joy that overwhelms your heart when you watch your children triumph. It is so full, so all encompassing it’s like your body can barely contain it. Watching the person I love most enjoying and progressing at something I love deeply – it just doesn’t get any better than that.

What do you do when you’re not riding? My biggest and most important job is being mom. As every parent knows there are a million things that go into that so it takes up the majority of my free time. But, since I have the most awesome kid ever, we’re always having fun doing whatever those million things are.

On a personal level, I love to ride bicycles, explore the world around us with my family and am working on learning to appreciate the small pleasures in life.

Rachael a.k.a. Fuzzy

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Liz

I think I met our next lady rider on her Lilred’ Riding Blog and then on Twitter @lilredridingliz or was it Twitter first and then her blog. Either way, I want y’all to meet Liz! She is from the Northern California coast.

Lilred Riding Liz

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Continuously since 2006, but I got my motorcycle endorsement in 1983.

How did you learn to ride? I initially learned to ride on a dirt bike, in the rural area outside my hometown of Portland, OR. The man I was dating then taught me to ride the dirt bike, and then let me borrow his early 1980’s model Yamaha RD250 for my street test. I passed with flying colors. I went back to college at age 24 and forgot about riding. After 23 years and many life experiences, I met my motorcycle soul mate and life partner, Tony Reed. In order to really refresh my skills, I took the MSF Basic Rider Course, which was an invaluable experience. Following that, I practiced for several weeks in an empty parking lot, until I was confident enough to hit the road on my own. I’ve never looked back.

What was your first motorcycle? Kawasaki EX500

How many have you owned? Three. My current motorcycle is a Kawasaki ZX600E, and I’m keeping my eyes open for an early- to mid-1990s BMW touring bike.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I started riding on the back of high school boyfriends’ bikes in my teens. In my early 20’s, I had a boyfriend who was seriously into desert motocross, and it was exciting to watch. I loved the thrill of being on back and thought it would be even more fun to ride my own.

Tell us about your riding. When I had an office in town, I commuted when I could (the responsibilities of parenthood sometimes put a damper on this). Now that I have a home office, I ride when I can, into town on errands, but my real excitement is having a few hours or a few days to just be on the road. I’d have to say my passion is touring, even though I have a sportbike. My goal, when my daughter starts driving in a few years, is to become an every day rider.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Be sure and take a motorcycle safety course, whether the MSF course or the one that HD offers. When you buy your first bike, buy a good used bike in a low cc range. You don’t want too much power right off the bat, and you also don’t want something that you will be afraid to drop.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? A couple years ago we did a 1,700-mile round trip to Montana and back. Yearly, we take at least one trip between 1,000–1,200 miles.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Let’s see, I used to participate heavily in the Beartooth Kawasaki forum online. I met two of my best friends on that forum, people that I ride with. I belong to a couple of Meet-up groups, one in Portland and one in the Bay Area (though I haven’t ridden with the latter). I’d love to belong to a women’s motorcycle group; I live in such a rural area that it’s not so easy for me to participate in group rides, but I could make it happen. Heck, I may have to start a chapter of some organization, as I now have a couple women friends in my town that ride!

Do you have a favorite riding story? Gosh, a favorite? I think our trip to the Eastern Sierra a couple of years ago. I had never been to the ghost town of Bodie so we made the trip out there on our fully loaded sportbikes (gear). The adventure of it is that there is three miles of washboarded dirt road to get to the town, after the pavement ends. I wasn’t sure I would make it, but I did and that felt like a big accomplishment to me. And Bodie was so worth visiting.

Each of the trips my partner and I have taken have been occasionally difficult, sometimes adventurous (mechanically), and always spectacular. I can’t say enough about the joy of traveling by motorcycle, breathing in the pine or sagebrush, the ocean salt air or the mountain’s crispness. Stopping for a hot cup of coffee when you’re cold; cooling off in a rest stop’s fountain when the air is so hot it feels like you’re riding with a hair dryer pointed straight at you. Seeing sights that most people who never leave the Interstate get to see. Then having your photo of that desolate and lovely spot published in the AMA Magazine. I feel so much gratitude for having the opportunity to ride.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m a veteran graphics and web designer, and I manage social media marketing campaigns for several clients. I’m the mother of a lovely and bright 14-year-old daughter. I garden, do yoga, read, and occasionally surf. I enjoy creating art when I have some free time, usually book arts and sewing, and I do love to cook! 🙂

What does a Woman Rider Look like? Like this …

She is beautiful!! Check out all the pictures that were submitted by some awesome woman motorcyclists. 54 ladies submitted 85 pictures.

And folks, don’t try to define her she is too fabulous for words … see for yourself!

I am woman hear me roar!

I will be posting all the Twitter, blogs or web sites that were submitted soon!! Not everyone wanted to be identified so I thought it best to do a separate post.

Update 6/2: Who are these Lady Riders?