So, today I borrowed E's bike to ride to work and back-- i just wanted a ride when it wasn't scorching hot. The radar said it wasn't going to rain.
THE RADAR LIED.
Before I got on the bike, I looked at the sky and thought "you know, maybe I'll put on my rain gear just in case." I'm so glad I did, because I got caught in a rainstorm and spent my entire commute in the rain.
Despite that, it was a great ride on Red and I'm glad I rode today!
Some things are best viewed in a rear view mirror.
I'm really kind of sad to share this, but as of this morning, I am no longer a time-share holder of Baby Bike. That means I no longer have a bike to ride regularly. I have a few reactions to this, and not all of them are what you are thinking.
- Sad: Yes, I'm sad that I won't get to ride BB anymore. She's a great little bike and I will miss her. To be honest, that is the only thing I'm sad about in this whole situation.
- Relieved: I am SO relieved that I no longer have to worry about sharing with 2 other people and being concerned about their schedules and/or expectations. I'm also relieved that I don't have to deal with everything surrounding the bike. I LOVED getting to ride, but everything else was just too much. In the end, a few miles and a few hours with my knees in the breeze is just not worth the hassle.
- Thankful: Mostly I am grateful that I had a bike to learn on and the benefit of a mentor who would nurture me through learning to ride. I am so thankful for MJ, Nora and the Furies for all they did for me in my learning stages and the support they have offered me.
This is not the end of my riding. For now, I'm sure I can tool around on "Big Red" a bit if I want, and the money I'm saving on "buying in" (licensing, repairs, insurance) can go into savings for a bike of my very own. In the meantime, I'll just live vicariously through the lives of others and wait patiently for the day when I have a bike of my own.
I am so very lucky to have wonderful people mentoring me in my riding. Although I am not the world's best rider by far, I do feel comfortable helping a newer rider get comfortable in her seat. I think, because I remember exactly how frustrating and scary learning to ride can be, that I am actually being helpful. I spent the morning down on the lake with Elana practicing a bit. For the most part, I was able to control my urge to just tell her everything I learned last season. It's important that most lessons are learned her way at her pace. I do know how nervous I get watching my mirror to make sure she is there or how worried I was on the "real road" with her for the first time. She did great! I was so proud of her! It was such a great morning to ride!
Miles ridden: 10
Total miles this season: 234
Lifetime miles: 2298
So, my girlfriend Elana wanted a beginner bike to practice on and develop confidence. After scouring the internet, we found this one "Big Red"- a 2007 Honda Rebel 250 that included the windshield and saddle bags and a host of other things. We drove up to Kenosha, Wisconsin to check it out. She decided she wanted the bike, so I had the FUN FUN FUN task of riding "Big Red" all the way home! It was a beautiful afternoon for a ride-- a little cool, but the sun was out and the roads were great. I had so much fun maneuvering the bike through the curves of the back roads we took back to the city! And now the bike has a new home!
Miles ridden: 52
Total miles this season: 224
Lifetime miles: 2288
I yet again had the privilege of providing the blessing at the Furies Women's bike blessing. There were so many women there! I counted over 30 bikes and had the chance to individually bless so many of them.
The day started out with me getting to the garage early to take an hour or so by myself and ride a bit. I rode up and down Lake Shore Drive...it felt great to be out on a sunny morning alone with the bike.
Then I met up with MJ and she rode her italian princess (the Ducati 695 Monster) out to McHenry with me. We had initially planned to "take it easy" and "ease into" me being on the interstate for the first time. Once I got on 94 however, i was completely comfortable getting over to the left lane and keeping the bike above the speed limit. I just felt like I was at home on the bike. It felt so wonderful.
We took 94 to 120 and 120 all the way to McHenry and met up with the Furies for the blessing.
Here are the words I spoke:
May the road rise to meet you and may the wind be ever at your back
May there be many sunny days for riding
And if it must rain, may it be while you are working or sleeping so that the flowers and trees will still be beautiful for when you ride.
May summer temperatures be just right, fall leaves more beautiful and winter as late and as mild as it can be.
May you and your path be safe from danger.
May the critters and creepy crawlies stay off of the road, and may the bugs slide easily from your windshield.
May the drivers in four wheeled and 18 wheeled vehicles be ever aware of your presence and may their blind spots be few and their tailgating be minimal.
May you be alert, courteous, patient, and considerate of the rights of others on the road, even when they are not considerate of you.
May your equipment run well and May you perform maintenance when needed and replace tires when worn.
May your gear hug and protect all your curves, keep you dry when the rains fall and keep you warm when the temperatures dip.
May your favorite sun glasses be ever free of scratches and may you switch to your clears at the right moment so as witness the sunset.
May you ride with courage and confidence and may you have restraint on the throttle when tempted to ride unsafely.
May your nerves disappear and your confidence increase as you lean into tight corners or face long stretches of gravel.
May your hairdo by helmet be embraced as new fashion and may your vest, chaps, and boots be acceptable attire at all of your favorite restaurants.
May your U-turns be limited and your ice cream stops plentiful
May your twisties be many and may your stoplights be few
May your passengers lean with you and not against you,
May those who ride with you lead the way, clear the lane and forever have your back.
May your maps be ever accurate and your GPS be always updated.
May every drop of gas you pour make it inside your tank and may the gas prices drop and your miles ridden increase
May you find new friends to ride with and old friends available at a moment’s notice.
May you be thankful before every ride for the blessing of being able to ride, but may you ever be mindful of the tremendous responsibility of controlling your machine.
May the Creator of you and me and the world in which we are privileged to ride shelter you every moment and shield you from every harm.
And may God’s face shine upon you and grant you peace for all of your journeys. Amen.
After the blessing and lunch, the Furies and myself and one other guest headed out on a brief ride. The wind was so intense! There was a time where I was quite sure I was sideways on the bike. I initially freaked out when we hit a construction area where the road had been taken down to the grating, but I kept on the throttle and sang hymns in my head and it was all ok!
Throughout the day I just kept thinking about how far I had come since last years ride-- so many firsts, so many miles. And now I just can't even imagine my life without a motorcycle or time with my riding buddies.
After a field trip to Kelly's leather (ohhhh the smell is heavenly) and a pit stop for a snack. Nora and I headed back to the garage. We rode 12 to 120 back to 60 and 94 and sat in traffic before we finally made our way home.
All in all it was a GREAT day on the bike.
Miles ridden 172
Miles this season: 184
So, it's been almost six months since I was last out on the bike, and I was both excited and nervous to get back on! Would I remember everything? Would I even remember how to start the bike? What about shifting? Braking? What about turning? Oh no-- do i remember hand signals? And then... I started her up and she started to do her baby rumble and I geared up, swung my leg over and sat there...
It felt like home.
I carefully backed her out of the garage and put her in gear and was fine! Things started slowly coming back to me and I hopped right on Foster ave and headed down to the lake to do some laps around Montrose Harbor and then a couple of short jaunts on Lake Shore Drive-- all in all rode about 12 miles, but they were quality-get the cobwebs out-regain some confidence miles that meant everything.
Heading out again Thursday morning to shake out the cobwebs a bit more!
Miles ridden: 12
Total miles this season: 12
Gotta start somewhere!
I GRADUATED!!! (this website helped me get there!)
Sue and I went on the annual Toys 4 Tots ride. It was a long, but wonderful ride and I'm so glad I did it! I can't believe I got to ride in December!
Miles ridden: 52
Total for the season: 2052!
At the beginning of the season, I quietly set a goal for myself to ride 2000 miles my first season riding. As of my last ride, I had ridden 1960 miles and was terribly frustrated that I hadn't met my goal. As the leaves started to fall and the weather turned more crisp, I grew resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to get to my goal.
"It's just a number," I told myself.
"You did great!" I tried to convince myself.
"It's only 40 miles, you got close enough," I repeated to myself.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely goal oriented and will stop at nothing to achieve a goal once I've set it for myself. I just needed one more warm-enough-to-ride-without-frostbite day.
And then, like a chorus of angels singing from the heavens, my weather woman said "It's going to be almost 70 this weekend." There was MUCH rejoicing. I requested my time on babybike, made a few last minute changes to my schedule, and it was time to ride!
This morning, at 5:45 AM, I set off on babybike and headed to the ice rink for skating practice. It was a gorgeous morning. I saw the sunrise as I headed off towards Bensenville. It was a simple route- 90 to 190 to Mannheim to Irving Park Road to York to the rink. Nothing exciting, no crazy twisties or traffic- just me and the bike and a goal in sight.
After practice, I zipped back towards the garage. I pulled into the garage with 40.6 miles for my ride and celebrated with breakfast with my mentor MJ and my timeshare buddy Nora.
It was a perfect morning.
Miles ridden: 40
Miles for the season: 2000!!!!!!
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 201Miles for the Season: 1960