Tag Archives: motorcycle

Game Over

My motorcycling days are done. As I’ve been reminded several times lately, four out of four neurologist said no more riding. This week I sold my bike.

Saying goodbye to my motorcycle

Saying goodbye to my motorcycle

Not sure what is on the horizon for me or the blog. I’d love to hear your ideas. Should I still profile women motorcyclists? Y’all have been so great and I’ve connected with so many fabulous friends. Love to hear what you think.

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And the Verdict is …

I went back to the neurologist this week for another MRI and MRA. My sister came with me. She was very happy not being the patient 🙂 Well the verdict is no riding, at least for now. The left vertebral artery is healing, but still has a ways to go. The doctor doesn’t want me to risk another “event” especially since there’s no clear cause of the first dissection. I’m bummed, but when he spelled out the continued risk it was rather sobbering.

The same goes with exercising. I have to start slow and see how it goes. No crazy work outs for now. I also need to be careful turning my head or moving it up and down. Gentle movements.

The good news is I can stop taking the rat poison or as it is called by the medical community, Warfarin (Coumadin). I am thrilled to be off of that stuff so I can get back to eating green veggies!! I’ve lusted over a spinach salad more than once these past seven months. The neurologist has me taking one 325 mg tablet of aspirin every day for preventitive measures against a stroke. Stroke is still a risk, lower than before, but still a risk. I know what you’re thinking … some people have all the fun!

Put on your helmet, buckle up your boots, and zip up your jackets friends – take a nice ride for me!

P.S. I’d still like to feature female motorcyclists. Ladies? Any takers? Email me at pamela(dot)court(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll send over the questions.

 

 

Snow, Seventies, and Motorcycles

I miss riding and the season has only begun! Today was in the seventies, sunny, and the windows were open. The sound of motorcycles filled the air.

Only in Minnesota do you have snow, seventies and motorcycles!

Only in Minnesota do you have snow, seventies and motorcycles!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Cellina

Serendipity. It means a “fortuitous happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.  That is how I “met” my next guest, Cellina from  Los Angeles, CA. She also blogs at Motorcycle House.

Cellina on her ride!

Cellina on her ride!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I have been riding motorcycle since I was 14.

How did you learn to ride? From my father.

What was your first motorcycle? Harley Sportster 1200

 How many have you owned? I have owned 3 bikes.

1)      Harley Sportser 1200

2)      Honda Shadow 750 spirit.

3)      Honda Vtx 1300 C

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? At first I loved to see the roads from passenger seat but later I felt I should behind the bars.

Tell us about your riding.  I had my first trip as adventure motorcycling when I was teenager. Blue smoke and rarely made it out of third. I did not care that combination of freezing northern wind on my face, the smell of burning two-stroke and the realization that I am on my bike I could go anywhere started a love affair with motorcycles that continues to the day. That was my happiest day of my life.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Just ride slowly and carefully. You must have four eyes while riding a bike.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last year when I had gone with my mother to the hill station. That was my longest trip.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Yes

Do you have a favorite riding story? Yes. I have many travelling riding stories.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I write an article related to motorcycle ride and equipment.

Thank you Cellina for sharing! If you would like to share your story in my Profiles of a Female Motorcyclist email me at pamela(d0t)court(at)gmail(dot)com!

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.

Calling all Female Motorcyclists!

The riding season for me here in Minnesota is pretty much finished. I don’t have the gear to ride in the cold. Hubby and I were not able to do as much riding as we hoped. Looking forward to next year.

You maybe like me and winter is slowly descending upon you. You longingly gaze out at your motorcycle while bundled up in your winter woollies hoping for another sunny 50 degree day when a blast of cold air brings you back to reality. The optimist inside thinks it could happen it is only November. Sigh.

Here she is like a caged beast at the zoo, my Suzy Suzuki 650 VStrom.

Here she is like a caged beast at the zoo, my Suzuki 650 VStrom.

Focus Pam … this is where I turn outward to vicariously “ride” through all the fabulous lady riders I’ve met! And send a call out to meet more! If you are a female motorcyclist and would like to add your story to my series Profile of a Female Motorcyclist shoot me an email at pamela(dot)court(at)gmail(dot)com < trying to keep the spammers at bay!

Your story, your ride, your experience are all unique! We – your fellow female motorcyclists – need to hear your story too. xoxo