Tag Archives: riding

Skully Helmets

If I’m allowed back on a motorcycle – with the approval of my neurologist of course – this helmet looks awesome. I want one! Have you heard about it?

Skully Helmets

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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.

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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.

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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.

Profile of a Female Motorcylist: Meet Laurie (LB) a.k.a. @LaurieOnTheBike

I’m so excited to be able to introduce y’all to my new cyber friend Laurie (LB) from southwest Virginia! Laurie says she’s a novice on Twitter a.k.a. @LaurieOnTheBike so let’s welcome her with a follow. And she is a blogger!! Check it out, Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things.

Meet my new cyber friend Laurie!

Meet my new cyber friend Laurie!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 4 ½ years

How did you learn to ride? Officially, I took at MSF Class at a local community college, but I have also been mentored by a couple close friends. Meet “My Guys” over on her blog.

What was your first motorcycle? A 1983 Honda Rebel which I bought immediately after taking the MSF class. I rode my “baby bike” for 3 months / 1500 miles before moving on up to my next bike, a 2008 Sportster, 883 L;  I rode my “middle bike” for 3 ½ years / 13,000 before moving on up to my first new bike, built just for me.  My 2013 Softail Slim was such an amazing ride!  6500 miles of pure pleasure … until 4 weeks ago, when I was hit in an intersection.  I always thought that would be my final bike.  I’ll have a new one by spring.

How many have you owned? See above.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I rode behind a boyfriend for a year and when that relationship ended, I knew that I had to continue riding. It is the wind in the face, the adventure, the adrenaline rush, the joy and the sigh.  

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ?  I primarily ride for pleasure and travel.  I ride with friends and I ride solo.  In fact, each year I take a week long solo trip.  I explore new roads, towns, and states, and I take photos along the way.  My blog is a space for my riding and my photography.  I do commute to work, but not frequently (computer, coffee, lunch bag, purse).  I’m working on it though!

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What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a class and then start with a bike that you feel comfortable with and that will allow you to learn. Buy a used bike, learn to ride, and then ride the heck out of it.  Get comfortable and move on up as you gain experience.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? 1300 miles in this year’s solo ride to Southern Maryland, Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Delaware.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups?  I’m a member of HOG, and am a regular rider with a large group of friends.

What do you do when you’re not riding?  I’m a Women’s Health and Family Nurse Practitioner, as well as a Certified Menopause Practitioner; I’m an amateur photographer, have served on my City Council and am very active in civic and volunteer groups.

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Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Michelle a.k.a. @SturgisChick

I have a new friend on Twitter! Her name is Michelle, her family calls her Shelly, and goes by @SturgisChick on Twitter. She was born, raised, and lives in Sturgis, South Dakota. How cool is that?! Well, it gets even cooler … Michelle has a blog too, StrugisChick where she tells stories of her travels, adventures, and experiences. Another must follow.

Michelle near Sturgis, South Dakota on her Harley Fat Boy

Michelle near Sturgis, South Dakota on her Harley Fat Boy

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was 15 technically but I didn’t get my license until I was 30 and didn’t ride for about 10 years during that gap.

How did you learn to ride? My boyfriend had a Honda XR500 dirt bike that he used on his family’s ranch. He taught me to ride but had to ride on the back with me because I couldn’t touch the ground when we stopped. After about 10 years without riding, I decided to sign up for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and start from scratch.

What was your first motorcycle?  The first one I rode regularly was a Kawasaki Sherpa 125,  which I borrowed from a friend. I later borrowed a Sportster from the same friend for a couple of years (I know! How generous is that!). The first bike I owned was a Harley-Davdison Fat Boy with a 1550 which I bought for my 40th birthday.

How many have you owned?  2 – the Fat Boy and my Kawasaki KLR650 which is a dual sport bike.

Bike trip, July 2013

Bike trip, July 2013

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was born and raised in Sturgis, South Dakota, home of the world-famous motorcycle rally.  How I could I not get bit by the bug? Although I was a ranch kid I always loved riding 4-wheelers and snowmobiles and eventually learned to ride a motorcycle.

Tell us about your riding. Having the Black Hills to ride just outside your door provides the best curvy roads and beautiful scenery. I love to ride for pleasure after work or on weekends and took my first motorcycle vacation in 2011.

On her way up Independence Pass near Aspen, Colorado last summer

On her way up Independence Pass near Aspen, Colorado last summer

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? ATGATT – All The Gear All The Time.  No exceptions. South Dakota doesn’t have a helmet law which means many of my friends ride with t-shirts and no helmet.  But I’m willing to be a little warm on hot days to be safe and NEVER ride without my gear. [Amen, sister!]

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  I’m on it now. 8000 miles and counting so far. Left South Dakota to go up through Canada and do the Trans Labrador Highway and then down the east coast of the US.  Planning to head to Mexico and Central America and on to South America.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Several online – ADVRider.comHorizons Unlimited and Two Wheel Females and I’m a member of H.O.G. I plan to be active with local clubs (a dual sport riding club and my local H.O.G. chapter) and national groups when I get back home.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Strange as it may sound, it was when I had a wreck on my bike this summer. While riding the Trans Labrador Highway in early July in a remote part of eastern Canada, I came off my bike. It was an awkward fall and I broke my leg and had to be flown several hundred miles from there to have surgery. My boyfriend posted a message on a local forum and received several offers for help including places to stay.  People helped with all sorts of things – storing my bike, hauling my bike, taking me sightseeing while I was on crutches, and providing us with incredible support.  I met some of the most generous people who will be lifelong friends because of that event.  It forced me to let go of my schedule and be open to the entire experience (good and bad), which was one of my goals for this extended trip.  My accident was a life changing experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Taken in New Mexico, 2012

Taken in New Mexico, 2012

What do you do when you’re not riding? I was a hotel manager for 21 years and it was a full-time-and-then-some job.  In my spare time I went riding, hiking, gardening, camping and have always loved to travel.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Krista

1009854_10151846110861273_1587886099_nI’m so pleased to be able to introduce another lady motorcyclist, Krista a.k.a. Bikermissus from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada! Krista is also blogs over here, RideNewFoundland. And here’s Krista …

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since 2009

How did you learn to ride? When I was probably 23 or so my then-boyfriend had a CBR600. I bugged him to teach me to ride, and I did really well…until I popped the clutch and the front wheel came off the ground. I almost dropped the bike, and gave myself a bit of a fright. The next time I rode a motorcycle was five years later when I did the beginner course. It was a much better experience!

What was your first motorcycle? 2009 Yamaha V-Star 250

How many have you owned? I traded the V-Star on a 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Low, which I still own. I’ve since added a 1997 Yamaha YZF600R and a 2009 Suzuki Vstrom 650 to the garage. The Harley is going up for sale in the spring though. It’s a tough decision but I really don’t need three bikes.

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Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve loved motorcycles for as long as I can remember, I don’t know why really. Maybe it was an image thing, or it seemed like the epitome of freedom. I always knew that one day I would have a bike. When I went house-hunting in 2008 I would only consider houses that had garages, and I didn’t even know HOW to ride at the time! It was always in the back of my mind.

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Tell us about your riding. As long as the weather is co-operative, I use my bike the way other people use their cars. Commuting, running errands, going to appointments, picking up groceries. On the weekends I like to get out of the city for a day-trip or an overnight visit with family. Since meeting my boyfriend four years ago, we’ve been using our vacation time to tour Newfoundland on our motorcycles, which is absolutely amazing. He’s a bike fanatic too, which is necessary I think.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? If you have the interest, definitely go do the course. Don’t coerce your boyfriend into teaching you how to ride on his 100 –horsepower sportbike. Don’t let anyone discourage you by saying that you’re too small to handle a bike, don’t have the co-ordination, don’t have the nerve, etc. I’m a small woman, and I can’t even drive a standard car but I’ve ridden big, heavy Harleys and very powerful sportbikes. Once you learn the basics and gain experience, you can ride anything.

When you’re deciding what to get for your first bike, go with your gut. Only YOU know what you’re comfortable on, and if that’s a 250, get a 250. Get a bigger bike when you’re ready, beginner bikes are always an easy sell. Better to start off small and build your confidence than to start off on a bike that’s too big and scare yourself out of riding altogether.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last summer for our vacation we spent 11 days going from St. John’s to St. Anthony (and many side-roads in between!) and back, a distance of about 3000km (1875 miles). It was a truly epic experience, and we’re planning a similar trip for next summer, with some off-pavement thrown in as well since we both own adventure-touring bikes now

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Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I used to belong to a riding association, but it got political and dramatic so I left. Right now I ride mainly with my boyfriend and our small group of friends. Riding in big groups makesme a little anxious actually.

I’m active in several forums online and in the motorcycle blog community. I love seeing pictures and reading about the rides that people have done all over the world. There are so many people doing amazing things to/with/on motorcycles, I spend my winters reading about them. It’s very inspiring.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Almost every time I head out on the bike for more than an hour I’m left with a story…which is a big part of why I started a blog. Right now my favourite story is our ride to Cape Pine, and the strange coincidences we encountered. Cape Pine is one of the most haunted places I know of, and I’m convinced that  someone or something did not want us to leave. 

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What do you do when you’re not riding? I like to keep fit, and usually run about 50km (30 miles) a week. I’m not really competitive; I usually do only two races each summer. If I wasn’t so into riding I’d probably do more races…they cut into precious weekend riding time! I also love to read non-fiction, and usually have at least two books and two magazines on the go at any given time. To relax on the weekend you can’t beat good beer and good conversation!

Checking In

Thought I’d check-in since I’ve checked out of social media for a while. A couple of weeks ago hubby went down on his motorcycle trying to avoid an accident with a vehicle that pulled out in front of him. I was at work and hubby called me on a borrowed cell phone. He left a voice mail telling me he went down. WHAT! Then I get a call from the local police telling me that he is being transported by ambulance to the hospital, but he was talking. WHAT! The officer said they rolled his bike into a parking lot, but didn’t know if it was drive-able. I left work immediately.

Made it to the Emergency Room, but hubby wasn’t registered yet so I had to wait until a nurse officially checked him in. Finally, I was let in to see him. Sat with hubby while the doctor and nursed checked him out, gave him pain meds, and sent him off for an x-ray. Turns out hubs suffered a broken collar bone on the right side, as well as some scrapes, and they expect bruising with soreness. Not much can be done for a broken collar bone so ER put him in a sling and sent us home. Hubby will be following up in a couple of weeks with an orthopedic surgeon to see how he is healing.

Our son and daughter-in-law drove out to see what they could do to help. I drove him over to the motorcycle to see if he could ride it home. Looking over the bike it is missing a turn signal and scratched up on that same side. Fork looked okay. He was able to get it home and parked it in the garage. So grateful for his help!

Today I took my motorcycle out for the first time in a while. Just doing errands. I’ve missed riding, but miss my riding partner even more.

Wishing y’all safe riding. God Speed.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Paige aka @Filosoficalfish

Delighted, that is how I felt when my next guest Paige a.k.a. @Filosoficalfish said yes to adding her story here on my blog! She lives in North Vancouver, BC and has a blog, The Philosophical FishOh my it is a must see and follow! Paige has quite a good eye behind the camera. Seriously.

Paige hanging out at the Cheakamus River

Paige hanging out at the Cheakamus River

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I was on my brother’s dirt bike decades ago, and often rode on the back of his street bike. I had a couple of boyfriends with motorcycles, so I spent a lot of time riding two up. So although I’ve always been around motorcycles, I’ve only been riding my own for about four years now.

How did you learn to ride? I played in the gravel pits out at our cabin on my brother’s dirt bike many years ago, and when we travel abroad we often rent scooters to explore. But my husband encouraged me to get formal training and get my full license, so I took a week long course with the Pacific Riding School in Surrey, BC. Spending so much time on a scooter made learning a bigger bike a cake walk.

Paige on her SV650S

Paige on her SV650S

What was your first motorcycle? Well, if we are splitting hairs, my first motorized two-wheeler was actually an Aprilia SR50 sport scooter, and I still have it. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it because it’s just so much fun and so perfect for around the city streets. It’s so easy to maneuver in heavy traffic and drivers don’t have the hate-on for scooters that they do for motorcycles. Win-win! Plus it keeps me on two wheels all year round.

How many have you owned? If you include the Aprilia scooter in the count, I’m on number three now. After a year on the Aprilia I bought a Suzuki SV 650S and rode that for three seasons and put about 25,000 km on it. It was a great bike to learn on, even though I’d really wanted to start on a Ninja 250. The SV taught me a ton and it was such a wonderful torquey ride in the twisties. Nimble and fabulous and we grew together since it had so much to offer.

I traded the SV in for a Ninja Z1000 just a few months ago and already have 8500 km on the new ride. It is a major jump in power and it’s been interesting; a lot more twitchy but we’ve become good friends.

Two of my favourite toys

Two of my favourite toys.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I didn’t. It honestly never entered my mind. Scooters were for vacation fun, and I was happy on the back of a motorcycle because we could have conversations while on the road. But getting a motorcycle of my own was a bit of a chain reaction event. I ended up with the scooter because I was trying to buy a new truck and had become frustrated with dishonest dealers. I killed two truck deals and went and bought the fastest and sportiest little 50cc scooter I could find instead. I had it derestricted and put a Leo Vince pipe on it. I can wind that little bike up to over 95 k/hr! My husband started getting misty eyed about missing riding, so I encouraged him to get a new bike. I’d been telling him to get one again, for years. But when he did, the one he chose (a Triumph ST) wasn’t terribly comfortable two-up.

He wanted me to get my Class 6 license “just in case”, so I did, with no intention of ever owning my own, and I’d clearly made that statement when I took my course in a room full of testosterone. Day one on the lot in the course and my instructor, a former supersport champ, just started laughing and pointing at me and said “YOU are sooooo getting a motorcycle!” He’d thrown pylons at my head, buckets of water in my face, and jumped on the back and pulled my helmet around and covered my eyes said he’d never seen anyone keep smiling and laughing the way I did while maintaining focus and total control.

I bought the SV two weeks later. The rest, as they say, is history, and Kirk says his plan worked magnificently.

Ninja at the top of Mt. Baker

Ninja at the top of Mt. Baker

Tell us about your riding. I commute on the scooter, it’s perfect for it. The Ninja is for pleasure and vacation riding. It’s great for a rip up the Sea to Sky or down Chuckanut Drive for fun, and with the luggage kit I now have, it’s perfect for long trips. And sometimes I get to combine the two and use it for work travel too. Can’t beat that!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a course, have fun, stay calm. Don’t get pressured into anything. You don’t have to feel that you have to keep up to more aggressive riders, or have a bigger bike. Don’t play the numbers game, it doesn’t matter. Riding is an individual thing, even if you are in a group.  Leave the ego behind, you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. And stop over-thinking and planning, just do it. The more you think about doing it, and the more time you spend planning, the more time you waste! Maybe it will be for you, maybe it won’t be, but there is no time like the present to try.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? We just returned from a nine day trip down the Washington and Oregon coastlines, and then back up through the volcano region. It was a fabulous trip full of challenging roads and incredible scenery. And just four hours after we passed through the North Cascades highway there were eight mudslides closing the road until further notice! We logged 3,456 km by the time the bikes were put to bed.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Not really. I’ve never really enjoyed group riding – sometimes the dynamics become too much about egos and that tends to irritate me. So offline, no. Online, I have been active in a group that has been advocating for better motorcycle parking in Vancouver (www.mcarking.ca), but that’s about the extent of things. Mostly I ride solo or with my husband, and occasionally end up with unplanned small groups when I accidentally come across friends on the way.

Do you have a favourite riding story? So many to choose from! But I think my fave was actually on the scoot. I was waiting a a light when a guy on a big cruiser rode up next to me and looked at my scooter and puffed up and said  “Maybe you’ll graduate to one of these one day.” I smiled and said, “Why would I, my scooter gets up to 95km/hr” and costs 4 cents per km to operate. His jaw dropped and he said “That goes THAT fast?!?” I nodded, beat him off the line and left him far behind in the causeway. 🙂

Never dis my little scoot!

Don't dis my scooter!

Never dis my little scoot!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am so happy to do what I love. I work for the Federal Salmon Enhancement Program in British Columbia as a biologist. I work with the major salmon hatcheries to support rebuilding, conservation, and harvest opportunities for Pacific salmon. I am also involved in fish health education within the SEP program, and teach a few courses in the subject area at the University of British Columbia. Outside of work we are boaters and are switching from power to sail soon. I also love kayaking and downhill skiing, and am a hobby photographer.