One day, I would LOVE to have the chance to be a part of the awesome group of ladies that are known as the Furies. In the meantime, I'm very lucky they have open meetings. I love getting to go and hang with them and learn from them.
This month I got to ride to the meeting, so I met up with Furies Sue and we went from the city out to where the meetings take place. It was great to spend another Wednesday evening out on the road on babybike.
The meeting itself was good-- it was general tips and such and I got to ask a question I hadn't understood prior to actually spending some time on the bike, so that was good. I hadn't understood the concept of the "sweep" bike closing a lane and Caryl explained it very clearly.
Then there was the ride home-- in the dark--on the interstate. And then the last part alone.
Firsts? This was my first ride without any firsts! WOW!
Total miles: 756
So, not sure what possessed me to ride on a Wednesday but Furies Friend Shannon offered an adventure and I was ready to go. I headed out from the city and fought my way through traffic-- it took 45 minutes to go the first 6 miles, but then I finally made it to the meet up spot.
Shannon and a new friend Carol and i left from there and headed out on our little ride. I have no idea where we were. I know we started in Villa Park and then there were roads. Curvy, fun, long stretches without stopping, roads.
And then we were at sonic. Which was really funny because I had taken the day off of work and somehow ended up about 3 miles from work. But it was all good because it was SONIC.
Then it started getting dark and Me, being the new brave less scared of the dark and real roads me, was all bout getting home all by myself on 88 but Shannon decided to escort me part of the way, which was really nice of her.
First interstate in the dark.
First "ice cream" trip
First time riding alone in the dark (after Shannon let me go)
Rode 100 miles!
Mile total: 702
After getting clearance to ride, I was totally ready to go! The Furies were heading to the 3rd Annual A.B.A.T.E. Women’s Ride out of Fox Valley Harley Davidson in St. Charles IL. So, I tagged along! My riding mentor, MJ and I started out in the city and rode out to the meet-up spot in Elgin and we totally took the interstate the whole way. I did pretty well on the ride out, but had a few learning moments. The first was: remember to keep on the throttle when changing lanes. I kept falling off of my speed when changing lanes and it finally dawned on me that I was rolling off the throttle every time. Once I realized it, I was able to fix it and lane changes were easier. Well, except for the other lesson: when you are the back bike and the front bike signals they want to change lanes, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER TO CLEAR THE LANE! Poor MJ sat there with her left arm out waiting for me to get a clue and switch lanes so she could change lanes too. I finally clued in and remembered I had to do the lane change first. Oops!
Despite those little issues, we made good time to Elgin and were able to meet up with Sue, Shannon, Caryl, and Kathie. We headed off to HD and I was in the middle of a Furies sandwich—surrounded by excellent riders who were keeping me safer than safe. It was great to FINALLY ride with the club. We pulled in to the HD with plenty of time to hang out and line up and meet folks before the ride.
Let me pause here and state this: If you are “helping” with a charity ride FOR WOMEN it is generally considered rude to have a “NO FAT CHICKS” sticker on your bike in multiple places. I realize that if you are short, balding and have a beer gut it might be tempting to think that women will be falling at your feet, but putting “no fat chicks” on your bike makes that scenario even less likely. How would you feel if we all had “no small dicks” all over our bikes? Yes, some of us aren’t supermodel thin. SO WHAT? We ride, we have fun, and most of us aren’t looking for a disgusting pre-evolution primate like yourself anyway. Yes it’s your bike and you can decorate it as you see fit, but next time? Don’t pretend to care about women and show up to help protect us on our ride. Ok?
Ok, rant over…sorry.
The ride itself was fantastically organized. Women riders were in front, followed by men with women passengers, and then by men riding alone. There were “Rescue Riders” interspersed among the riders and blockers at every intersection. The blockers were AMAZING. We were able to go through stop signs and red lights as an organized group and weren’t in danger of cars not stopping thanks to the blockers stopping cars and in one case even running them down. I LOVED the route. Sweeping curves and gentle hills led us through cornfields and farms and to our lunch stop. The bar where we were supposed to all eat was way too crowded, so we found our way to a diner where there it was a fried food fiesta! I had fried baloney, tatertots AND fried oreos. Diet be dammed—it was delicious! AND, Lisa was able to find us and join us as well, so that was even better.
Then it was back to the HD—more curves and hills leading us all back. And then the city girls broke off and headed back on the interstate. And this time I remembered the throttle AND to get over!
The highlight of the day for me was having 2 different people compliment my riding skills. I know I’ve still got a lot to learn and a lot of areas for growth, but to have my skills thusfar acknowledged was pretty special to me. I’m learning a lot and growing with each ride and now I’m up to 602 miles!
It has been a while since my last ride, due to some surgery on my bottom half.
Once upon a time I was 14 years old and had a scary birthmark. The birthmark got scarier, grew red and angry, and then started getting painful. My parents thought perhaps this was a bad thing, so they took me to a dermatologist who said something to the effect of oh my god we have to take that thing off! So, a few weeks later and about 180 stitches later, it was gone. They had to cut all the way down through all my skin and fat until they hit muscle to be sure they got the whole thing, so there were 180 total stitches to sew me back up. A few weeks later the pathology on it came back as Melanoma- somewhere around stage 1A, so not a big deal but still freaking cancer for a 14 year old. Because they had removed the mole and a significant hunk of surrounding tissue, no further treatment was required.
Fast forward 20 something years and we have a magical mole on my left butt cheek. Not red, not growing, but painful to the touch. If i bumped it on a table or fell on my ass skating, i swear to you it hurt all the way to my toes. So, being me, i let it sit there. History of melanoma? So what? Let's just leave this painful ugly thing on my bottom rather than having it cut out. Yeah--enter some very persistent people-- my mother, my partner, my friends. So, anyway, I went to the dermatologist.
The dermatologist, a woman in her 50's ish, with a bit of a Russian or Polish accent, YELLED at me. She poked the mole, it hurt, she yelled again. So she decided that because of my history it had to go- RIGHT NOW-- which actually meant about a month from the appointment but considering the above, 1 month kinda = right now. So back i went and because of the history, they had to do the same kind of cut as before-- and because my bottom is significantly LARGER than it was when i was 14, going through all the layers of skin and fat was even more fun than the first time. I didn’t have nearly as many total stitches this time-- just about 8 on the top layer but they are weird looking. I did have a 4 inch incision on my left butt cheek. The incision did heal nicely i suppose—the doctor said “You heal very well” which I suppose is a compliment of some kind.
The great news is that the results came back benign and I can finally ride again! Yay!