Today was my first ever charity ride. I went on the Big Cat Ride with Woodstock Harley Davidson to Valley of the Kings Sanctuary.  The Furies were out of town, so this was a hangers-on adventure and we had a blast.

We met up at the Mobil across from HD... I had at that point already ridden TO skating practice via 90 and 190 and out by O'hare all by myself and then skated and ran and all that jazz and then hopped back on the bike to take 290 and 90 ALONE to Woodstock. GO ME!!!

The rest of the gang had just pulled in to the Mobil, so it worked out perfectly. We headed over to HD got all registered and had lunch and then shopped. I might have fallen in love with a bike that I can't afford-- a 99 Soft Tail that is so pretty i could cry. Seriously..

At this point we had Monique, Jean, Kitty, Suze,Joanna, and Me, but Jean left us as the ride started and headed to prepare for her canadian adventure.

Then there were door prizes-- Joanna won a t-shirt and then our safety briefing from our road-captain-- a gentleman named Wayne from TopCats. He was awesome. And then omg...we were off. There were 100-ish bikes (probably more) and it was AWESOME to be riding with that many bikes-- hand signals getting passed back, watching the rows of bikes go up and down and around the curvy hilly roads. It was fantastic. We encountered dead things, gravel, crazy stops, and hills and curves and roads with no lines.

Finally we made it to VOTK-- and then there was more gravel-- the parking lot. But we managed to get the bikes parked, at which point Kitty had to leave us to deal with a family situation so we were down to 4.

Then we saw the kitties! They really do roar for's amazing. Some of their stories are so sad-- Charlie especially. The cruelty of people just amazes me. Some people brought raw chicken legs and fed the tigers. It was pretty awesome to watch and to hear the crunch of the bones.

After some quality big cat time, the 4 of us headed down 14 to make our way home. Monique led, Suze and Joanna were in the middle and I swept. We stopped for a cold-water and non-stinky-portapot (clearly not a purple potty) restroom stop before heading back out and making our way home.

It could not have been a more beautiful day. The temperatures were perfect, the breezes not to breezy and the roads were awesome.

On a personal note, I had a lot of firsts today-- first time really riding any distance alone, first time on 90, 190, or 290. First big charity ride. First state other than IL. And today was my Longest ride ever clocking in at about 180 total miles once you add in getting to practice. I even got a patch to commemorate my big day. It was truly fantastic!

We had a great day together and an awesome ride. Thanks to each of the ladies who came out and celebrated firsts along with me!

Oh and total miles is now up to 423 with 2 states colored in!

Here are my pictures from the day.

12/31/2015 12:56:37 am

BIKES always fascinated me. this is integral part of my life. this is amazing.


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