Archive for February, 2014

What a long strange trip it’s been…

This morning out of nowhere, the Grateful Dead appeared in my head’s musical archive and I began humming “Truckin” for no good reason. It seems my psyche is torn, between heading for the open road or hanging in the safety of my home studio thinking about all the art I haven’t been doing. “Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me, other times I can barely see, lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it’s been”. Well ya, it has and as I approach having less time ahead than behind it’s easy to get introspective, and more or less complacent.

Complacency is the nibble of death. In the garage sit two amazing motorcycles, one, my old bike a 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S and the other a 2007 BMW R1200R. Both are ready and roadworthy and in need of a good workout, but then I look into the mirror and realize that they are not the only ones. So, does one need to ride to workout or workout to ride. Nibble nibble. I have many a rider pal who wouldn’t even consider riding her motorcycle without having some sort of physical mastery over the machine. Hmmmm….well, it seems a bit far fetched at this point to think that I have physical mastery over much more than say the gauge that checks my tire air pressure. You know, it gauges how much air is in the tires of the big and powerful moto while it can do nothing more about it. I believe I need to kick complacency’s arse.

Knowing this, I signed up for Liz Janson’s webinar, “Updating your motorcycle skills” and joined other riders from all over the country and Canada. The webinar was fun, stimulating and full of information, but what I took from it was one illuminating fact; skills need MUSCLE memory that is instinctive not impulsive. Yep…how freakin’ true is that?

As the weather gets warmer and dryer, it’s time to consider taking a class to polish up my skills after several months off the bike. Yes, I’ve ridden locally, and done a few hundred miles here and there, but I know that my muscle memory is also a bit complacent if not a bit impulsive. I need to tighten up and fine tune everything. I need paddock practice, turning and braking, U-turns from a stop and getting back to that tight relationship one feels with their machine.

So, what course where? There are plenty of refresher courses out there, but my favorite has always been Streetmasters for their instructors, their course and the care and nurturing we receive as a student. I always leave feeling more confident and more masterful, which is the what I hope for! The majority of my riding is done touring, dusted with a bit of local riding, so for me this is the perfect class. For dirt riders there are others and the same goes for track riders, but for good overall riding skill practice, you can’t beat Streetmasters.

Looks like I just need to find the right date, sign up for a class and get that light shining back on me. And maybe, just maybe with it, I’ll find the inspiration to start making art once again. 😉

Meerkat rides!!

My friend Lois Pryce posted this adorable photo of FB this morning and I just couldn’t believe how cute it was and had to share. I believe it needs a caption.

Got any ideas??

BMW Motorrad motorcycle assembly 2014 Berlin plant: one 1200GS coming right up!

They make it look so easy…but then look at the place, the tools and the manpower. I don’t believe I saw one women in the entire 9 minute video, not working nor draped 1/2 naked over the bike. Oh ya, that comes later. 😉

Big Money Rally Winter Ride…continues

The sunset in Monterey was truly gorgeous and I shot a 1/2 million shots from the bike as I headed for my motel to get one that was actually in focus! 😀 It was odd, as I got to the beachfront Best Western, I was certain Gary and his family would be ahead of me, but they had gone to see some of California’s Missions and I seemed to be there solo. The lobby had a HUGE window overlooking the bay and the view was exquisite. They had me park my bike in secure parking that was underground, so I knew that I didn’t have to worry about “mist” on my saddle in the morning. The place was older, but the rates excellent for a beachfront motel and I was quite comfortable. Just as I was getting stuff off the bike, Gary arrived! What perfect timing for sherpa assistance. :whistle

We decided a seafood dinner on the wharf would be nice and chose an older established place called the Sand Bar and Grill, which I do NOT recommend. The service was outstanding but the food average with the price tag of a high end restaurant. No food porn here!

I love seeing the ships at night.

As we headed to our room, I loved seeing the flag in the fog. Uhhh, isn’t the flag supposed to be taken down at night?

We awoke to another gorgeous California morning and I quickly got out to get a few shots before the sun changed.

Over coffee it was decided that Gary would take our family to the Monterey Aquarium and over the 17 mile coastline drive. I would be bonus point hunting and we’d meet at home later that evening. I did have Gary share a couple of his more outstanding shots with me.

The Jellies…

Gary mentioned that it was difficult to get a bad photos of the Jellyfish. If those are any indication, I’d have to agree, but I’m certain my phone camera could have goofed them up.

Back at it, for me. I routed about 6 libraries, but ended up cutting it to four after I discovered how long each one took. But again I rode several roads I had not before ridden. Thank you BMR.

First stop in Pacific Grove.

Next Carmel Valley

Here I ended up spending at least 30 minutes gabbing with some locals who were highly entertained that I was doing a motorcycle scavenger hunt. I find it refreshing when I meet women my age who delight in the fact I ride a motorcycle, instead of condemning my “lack of sense”. :harhar

Flowers blooming, in January?

The best part of the day was spent riding Laureles Grade. Now that was fun, so much so, there are no photos to share. It’s roads like this that my R12R really performs like a champ. Now, if only I were a better pilot. but hey, it was still fun.

Soledad Library gave me some problems. I couldn’t get near enough to the sign. I’ve see others simply ride their bikes onto the grass for a photo opportunity, but I’m way to chicken for that. So I had to get creative. This was my offering and they judges did accept it.

Coalinga was next so I caught Hwy 198 which is always a fun jaunt only to discover I was already skirting dusk. I knew I’d have to leave Avenal and Kerman for another day. I jumped on the 5 and had close to 2 hours of riding in the dark, my least favorite.

My gerbing was still at Gerbing being rewired so I had only lots of layers and my heated grips to take off the chill. I arrived home tired and cold, a bad combination. I immediately stripped and jumped in a hot shower and with wine in hand toasted another good day of riding. Gary too, was off schedule and by the time they left Monterey it was after 5. I knew it would be a quiet evening all to myself. 😉

Now, where to next? I could head to Canada :cold and do border towns, or to Tucson where it was warmer but I’d have to do 4 times the amount of libraries to border towns. My gerbing arrived at the end of last week. I’m thinking at over 4 points each, Canada will win out, but then there’s the hot springs of the SW. HMMMMM