Riding Tips June 2017

Well, the riding season is finally here and because of a medical problem I may not be able to ride much. I’m sad about that, but glad that I have no regrets. Last July, I was a ride leader for the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride from NYC to San Francisco, commemorating the trip the Van Buren sisters took in 1916. The many stops at motorcycle museums, National Parks, including the top of Pikes Peak (14,115-ft) in Colorado, riding the track for the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days and meeting hundreds of awesome women, and men, motorcyclists from around the country made it one of those events that one remembers forever. I’ve also had a chance to ride up the coast of Brazil with my husband George and across much of the West coast. The memories of these and many other trips abroad and in the United States are almost as good as riding them.

Each trip involved some sort of accommodation or sacrifice from either myself or my family. Not many folks can just up and leave on a whim for a week or more on a bike trip. There are bills to be paid and other obligations, regardless of whether you are a millennial, baby boomer or a retiree. There is often no optimal time as there is typically an event, work or family event, financial concern or other obstacle to overcome. Maybe you feel your bike is too small, too old or uncomfortable or it’s too expensive to fly someplace and rent a motorcycle. There’s always an excuse not to go.

So ladies and gentlemen, life and good health are gifts that are not always present. So when the opportunity arises for a trip, long or short, large or small, just go for it!  Opportunities to ride anywhere and see anything are often fleeting – especially the great ones. Do you want to be the person who wishes they had said yes to the adventure, or the one who has a bucket list a mile long, with no hope of ever getting to the last item on the list?

For those who don’t have the “adventure” gene, I advise starting small. Make that Sunday morning trip more than 100 miles. Join a local club or group. Try something new. Take a course on off-road riding, try a track day or an experienced rider course. Do a Demo Day and experience a different type of motorcycle than what you usually ride (like at Americade in Lake George, NY in June!).

We have plans to ride in Eastern Europe in the fall and I hope I’ll be well enough to ride my own bike, but I’ll settle for riding pillion. Either way, I’ll be happy to be there as we’ll be meeting up with some friends from previous rides and it’ll be our first time in Greece.

The rewards for stepping out of your comfort zone are many – including that rush of adrenaline when you realize you have to work hard to learn or practice a new skill. Make 2017 the year you’ll always remember!

 

Ride Safe!