Blog Archives - Women in Motorcycling
Sunday was an EXCEPTIONAL day out on the bike with Furies and Friends. The best part was that I got to ride with both MJ and Nora-- something I don't  usually get to do because Nora and I are part of the timeshare for babybike. MJ decided to ride the Ducati which meant Nora could kidnap the blue bike and we all got to ride together.

We zipped merrily on down I-90 towards Woodstock and due to a poor estimation of time, we were very very late to the meet up spot and expected that the group would be leaving us behind. They didn't! They waited for us and we gathered, got the ride instructions from Shannon and headed off down the road. We ended up taking some beautiful roads with gentle curves and fall colors on our ride towards Roscoe.

Lunch was at the Backyard Bar and Grill. It was a great spot and "Mr Happy" came out to play on the tire swing and in the dog house at the restaurant. My favorite part of the meal though was looking at all 12 bikes lined up out front. It was a fantastic view!

Several folks had to leave for various reasons before the next part of the adventure, but those who stayed went to the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe. It was a really neat museum with lots of artifacts from the Kennedys in particular, but also cars that had belonged to Hitler, Stalin, Eva Peron, Mussolini and Batman. It's definitely worth the trip to Roscoe to see all of the attractions.

Then it was time to head home and we hopped right back on 90 and I ended up leading for most of the ride back-- apparently just a tad too zippy. Keeping up with the flow of traffic is tricky!

It was an awesome day out on the bike. I loved getting to spend time with the Furies and my fellow hangers on. I did however fall just 40 miles short of my goal for the day and season, so a quick 40 mile trip is in my future soon! No matter how cold it is!

Miles for the day 201
Miles for the Season: 1960

For my birthday on 10/10, all I wanted to do was to get a chance to ride the motorcycle. I had spent the majority of the season riding here in Illinois and venturing into Wisconsin, so I wanted to add a couple more states to my tally. So, I decided to ride to Michigan for crepes. So, I set out from the garage and hopped on Lake Shore Drive. I have pretty much reached peace with riding on the Drive and did not freak out too much when I entered the curve where I had my incident earlier in the season.

I got on 1-55 and then 94 without any major issues and headed to meet up with Carol at the Torrence Road exit. I'm really surprised at how at-ease I've become on the bike-- especially on the interstates. And now I have ridden on all of the major interstates in Chicago-- kind of cool really.

Carol and I stayed on 94 to get past Gary and then hopped off to take 12 through the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It was a BEAUTIFUL ride. The trees were ablaze with changing leaves and the curves were gentle and plentiful. It was a bit chilly, but MJ had loaned me her heated gear in honor of my birthday so I was toasty warm.

We crossed over into Michigan, and in New Buffalo we had lunch at Pierre Anne Creperie. Lunch was delicious-- I had a ham and gruyere crepe and then shared a nutella crepe with Carol for desert. Both were fantastic.

Then we hopped back on the bikes and headed back into the city and split up where we had met. I headed back towards the garage, making a pit stop at my house and then taking Lake Shore Drive all the way back to the garage. Buckingham Fountain was still on and the lake was simply shimmering in the sunlight.

I had 2 major realizations on the road today.  The first is that this is the first "Birthday Ride" I've taken where I was not the passenger. I've had many people over the years take me out on the back of a bike for my birthday, but this is the first time I've been the one driving. It was awesome.

The second realization was a bit more profound. I had a moment on the road where I was completely content. I have a very busy life and every moment is filled with things I'd rather be doing, things I should be doing, or things I'm worried about getting done. But today was different. There was no where else I would have rather been than on the back of babybike. All other cares and worries were locked tightly away and left in the garage. In that moment, I found joy.

I get it now. I understand why people talk about riding as therapy. I understand why the first thought on a warm day is, "Can i ride?" and why the first thought on a cold day is, "Can i make myself warm enough to ride?" I understand the "freedom" that so many speak of and the peace others have found.

After pulling into the garage and having a deliciously hot shower and finally feeling my toes again, I got to have dinner out with my chosen family here in Chicago. There was much laughter, blue cupcakes (don't ask), and wonderful fellowship.

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect birthday.

Miles ridden today: 167
Total: 1759

Hoping to hit 2000 before REALLY gets too cold to ride!

Another Sunday—another ride. The calendar goddesses have been very good to me the month of September, as I have gotten to ride four Sunday s in a row. That is coming to an end, but it’s been a fantastic month of putting miles on the bike. This just makes me more sure that I want to own my own bike so that I can ride whenever I wish!!

This Sunday, I set out with my mentor MJ—she decided to ride her Ducati 650 Monster instead of her Road King and she made me lead on our way out to the meet up spot. This is definitely an area for growth, as when I’m in front I have trouble maintaining a consistent speed and going fast enough. But we did make it to the meet up spot. 

We met up with the other riders for the day—4 Furies- Kathie (the leader for the day), Lisa, MJ and Caryl and then 3 guests- myself, Kitty and Staci. It was a good group for riding and I was BY FAR the least experienced rider in the group but for the most part I didn’t have trouble keeping up.  We headed off towards Wisconsin—twisting and turning our way through back roads and beautiful fall colors. The trees were gorgeous—so many of them turning goldens and reds and oranges and the sun was just warm enough to keep the day from being too crisp.

Kathie led us through Wisconsin to the town of Delavan to Spring Grove cemetery. Apparently Delavan used to be a circus town and many of the circus folk who made it their home are buried in this cemetery.  Each circus performer buried there is denoted by a little grave marker bearing an elephant and a number. I assume there is a registry somewhere of who these various performers are, but we did not have access to one.  It was completely fascinating.

The cemetery was also home to some other really cool grave markers—metal markers for WWI, WWII, Korea, and the Mexican War. Additionally there were GAR and DAR makers as well as some that I was not able to identify. 

But what was really sad (besides all the dead people) was that some vandals had been into the cemetery and damaged the graves—they had pushed them over and cracked some of the headstones and monuments. Some of them cannot be up righted or repaired. I don’t understand why defacing the graves of people who have been gone over 100 years is considered fun or entertaining.

After our graveyard adventure we were starving—I swear some of the stomachs were rumbling louder than the pipes on a Harley. We found our way to a restaurant, and Captain Kitty nearly ate the manager alive when he wasn’t concerned about my onion allergy, but despite that it was nice to hang out and enjoy a leisurely lunch.

After lunch we all rode together for a little while. My biggest scare of the day was when we were taking some wonderful sweeping curves and the seat of the bike shifted way off kilter. I freaked out. The seat has been giving us issues, but I hadn’t had trouble while riding. The shift of the seat and the speed of the curves caused me to panic in my head and it was not god—not good at all.  Then we unfortunately ended up in a traffic nightmare where 4 lanes suddenly became 1 and there was a 4 way stop…for about 30 minutes we were in first gear or stopped and barely went more than 1-2 mph. My clutch hand cramped painfully!

Finally we headed home—a jaunty ride down 176 to I-94 with MJ in the lead- on the Ducati. She goes really fast on the Duc. We were chasing daylight but still managed to make it home before dark.

Miles for the day: 220

Total: 1592