Posts Tagged ‘female motorcyclist’

And along came a Spyder…Tyler Risk’s Adventures!

My riding buddy Tyler Risk was a major influence on me when I first started riding 11 years ago. She had met my husband via the internet and he suggested I try to get ahold of her so I might ride with her. I did and was thrilled to meet another female rider with as much passion for the sport as I possessed as well as some more experience. She served as not only a mentor but we became fast friends. She introduced me to other riders and so began my sojourn into the sport of motorcycle riding.

Tyler has been a mentor and an inspiration to many. After several years of riding, she had a devastating accident which would have kept many from ever riding again, but she not only persevered but pushed her boundaries in new directions. This is a conversation we recently had that I thought I’d share with my readers.

Demen: How many years have you been riding and how many have been on a Spyder?

TR: I rode pillion with a gent I dated for about four years. After he moved back East to be closer to his family, it just seemed easier to get my own bike than a new boyfriend! So I took the MSF course and started out on a little Suzuki GZ250. From there it was a Honda Shadow, a Triumph Trophy (1200), an SV650, and the last one was an Yamaha FZ1 which was my favorite. I rode those bikes for about 12 years.

When I was a new rider, I wanted to find a women’s riding group but most had some sort of prejudicial aspect about it – gender-based, brand-based, sexuality-based, had to ride your own (no pillions), absolutely no men allowed, etc. So a couple of like-minded ladies and I started Dangerous Curves (you can find us on Meetup or Facebook), a women’s riding group where men are always welcome as invited guests, as long as they behave… 😉 We do several rides each year from 2- to 3-day trips, shorter local trips, newbie rides, and parking lot drill days.

In 2009, I had a life altering accident when I was run over by a semi resulting in a broken pelvis and severe degloving injuries on my legs. They didn’t think I’d make it through the night and they didn’t think I’d ever walk again but I did and I am. HA! While the accident itself and subsequent recovery was difficult and challenging, I was also the recipient of some of the most amazing energy and love and spirit and I truly believe that is a big reason that I’m still around to tell my tale.
About 9 months later, I realized that I missed riding, exploring the world, meeting new people, and spending time with friends. I had a lot of damage to my legs and my balance has been comprised so 2-wheels was no longer an option. I had seen the Spyder at motorcycle shows and at local motorcycle meet spots and was intrigued so I went to the dealer in Livermore and took one for a test ride. A few weeks later, I had my first one in the garage. It was red and when I asked my daughter if she could think of a name for it, she said right away, “Clifford!” And so it was named.
(Clifford, for those that don’t have access to kids or grandkids, is a Big Red Dog in stories)

Demen: Since you have now ridden two Spyders, what are the two models and what are their differences and what is quite nearly the same?

TR: There are currently four models:
RS – sport model

RT – big touring model

ST – sport touring model – kind of a blend of the first two retaining the sport look but adding in a lot of the touring features such as cruise control, GPS, hard cases, heated grips, and floor boards.

F3 – their newest model looks kind of like a hot rod… more of a show stopper type design.
My first was a 2009 RS which I rode for two years. In July 2013, I took the RS in for a service and while I was waiting, they offered a test ride on the 2014 ST. Big mistake… I loved it!! They reworked the chassis/frame so the handling was much better. The RS was also manual controls (like a motorcycle) where the ST had the thumb shifter which is really nice especially in rush hour traffic… and I got the limited edition which had all the farkles I’ve always wanted – cruise control, floorboards, hard bags, heated grips, and GPS. It’s a fantastic touring machine.

Demen: Do you feel you have the same amount of freedom riding three wheels as riding two?

TR: Yup. I can go anywhere that 2-wheels can go and even more places because I don’t have a stability issue in gravel or dirt. I’ve put on almost 60K miles in the past four years and have ridden to Baja, Canada, all over the US, and recently in New Zealand (renting).

Demen: What is your most favorite element of riding a Spyder?

TR: Stability… I feel completely confident when riding it and, given my balance isn’t what it used to be since the accident, I really appreciate the fact that I’m not worried about tipping over or low siding on gravel, etc. That and the “Whoa!” factor… I get stopped all the time by people who have never seen one or seen one in person… they are fascinated by it for the most part… even the most grizzled veteran riders… allows me to meet lots of people.

5. Do you feel the Spyder is a motorcycle and why or why not?

Well, in one sense, yes – throttle in my hand, wind in my face, and 1000 cc’s between my legs. Lol On the other hand, it is a completely different ride than 2-wheels… there is no counter steering involved… it handles more like a quad or a snowmobile. Two-wheels is like a waltz… the Spyder is like a polka… but I’m still dancing!!
(Gawd, I love this woman!)

Demen: What best describes a Spyder rider? 😉

TR: I don’t really think there is a difference between riders based on brands. Either you’re a rider or you’re not. I don’t ride with people because of the type of bike they ride… I ride with them because I like being around them and it makes no difference whether it’s a BMW or a Harley or Honda or whatever. Sometimes we even have friends join us on a weekend trip at the end destination via their car due to injury or recuperation from surgery, etc. I don’t care how they get there because they are the most important thing to me. They are not defined by WHAT they ride/drive!

Demen: Describe your current motivation for riding?

TR: The Spyder allows me to pursue many of my passions – traveling, photography, and spending time with beloved friends, meeting new ones, and creating new memories that always put a smile on my face.
(how one usually sees Tyler)

Demen: Can you name a single road that is your absolute favorite ride and why?

TR: One road?? Nope… can’t name just one because there are so many!! We are blessed here in California with a plethora of choices – from smooth sweeper roads like 299 to tight and twisty roads like the Pacific Coast Hwy between Carmel and Cambria with incredible ocean views and of course the Sierra passes (Ebbetts, Sonora, Monitor, Tioga)… I could go on for quite a while and I’m still finding new roads after 17 years of riding in the state not to mention exploring in nearby states like Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado. The world is just ripe for exploration and there is always something new around the next corner… go out and live life!

Well said, my friend, well said! 😉

I should have asked her where her next adventure was taking her, but that we’ll save for a follow up post! If you desire following one of Tyler and my adventures, we traveled the NW into Canada in 2012. The adventure begins here.
And man, did we have fun, fun and more fun! 😉

Lois on the Loose…IRAN VIDEO

Lois is brilliant, irreverent, hilarious and a wonderful all around talented woman. I can’t say enough good, but I’d like to share to little look at her, and you can be the judge. I’d give just about anything to be able to join her on a ride!! If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and read one of her marvelous books!!

Lois on the Loose

Red Tape and White Knuckles


Absent but alive and kicking!

I am so sorry fellow readers and riders. Regarding my absence; I have had so much family shite going on that I have had nearly zero time to ride let alone blog about it. I plan on trying to do better over the next month as I actually have some rides planned and some country to see!

My beemer was included in the recall regarding a failing fuel pump. So far, I have not noticed any of the symptoms, however I will be taking it in this week to have it checked. My friend Jim Fischer, did a bit of maintenance on it and it’s running better than ever. I still need to do a full fluids change and then it should be tip top for the next 12K miles or so. I gave it a new front shoe only weeks ago and the rear was replaced in NM. I bought the new PR4s and so far I am loving them. In fact there really isn’t much I don’t love about this bike, well, except for the damned windscreen and that’s just going to take some experimentation on my part to get it right.

Next post I’ll finish off the BMR Rally. I ended up placing in the Bronze category which isn’t too bad for a first rally. To place in bronze you had to score 216 points and I scored 248. That’s a bunch o’ one point word boni and a few 2 and 3 pointers. It was some serious fun and I will likely try it again next season.

I also took a short trip with my mother and NO, I couldn’t get her on the back of my bike. We did drive her SUV and my best pal Karetta, joined us as we traveled from Portland, OR to Coeur d’Alene ID for a family wedding. We saw some awesome country and I’ll be doing a quick post to share some of the wonderful sights we saw along the way for those of you interested in the Pacific Northwest.

Bear with me, please. I will do better. 😉

Big Money Rally continues across NM into AZ and UT

The next chapter!
I actually slept in a bit and didn’t get up until nearly 8am. The wind was already blowing, although without nearly the power that would come later in the day. I geared and packed up and headed to my friend’s home 30 miles east of Albuquerque but stopped on the way to get a BMR shot of the Madonna statue.

It was early in the day when I arrived at Colleen’s home but not without challenge. The directions she provided were impeccable and the GPS followed them perfectly, however I was not convinced they were correct and turned a dirt road early and ended up having to do a 6 point u-turn as she watched me from the correct street. We both had a good laugh when I finally arrived!

Colleen’s lovely home

The wind picked up with high warnings for the next couple of days and I found myself enjoying the hospitality of my friend and her two wonderful children. I even watched a few episodes of Kino’s Journey a great anime tale of a motorcyclist traveling in dystopian society.

Good Morning Chickens…

Fancy pants or is that stole?

The morning is truly special in the desert. Just look at that light!


Big Money Rally…CA, NV, AZ, NM, TX as weather allows!

I never thought I’d need motivation to go for a motorcycle ride, however this winter has been one where even though the weather wasn’t bad, I just wanted to hole up and vegetate. I haven’t been motivated to do art, to do much knitting or even to get into some fine cooking, so when I signed up for the Big Money Rally, I had a reason to get out and ride.

I took a short jaunt in February over to Monterey gathering my first BMR bonuses, but then parked my poor beautiful bike making him the king of the garage. After a month of reading other people’s ride reports, I told myself to shed the apathy and go for a ride!!

I planned out a week plus ride covering about 5K miles. I needed at least that to sharpen my dulling skill level. I checked the bikes and even though the Bandit had better tires, I decided I needed to spend some more time bonding with the BMW, so I got it out of the garage, polished it up, checked fluids and tire pressure and was good to go. I loaded up my stuff, which I’m proud to say that over the years has gotten smaller, though I still need my hair gel!

Shooting into the sun is sometime fortuitous.

I got out of Sacramento relatively late, considering I desired traveling to Ely in one day stopping along the way to get some BMR bonus points. Ely is nearly 500 miles which for you iron butt riders is nothing, but for my “not so iron butt” is more than enough! At least I had daylight savings time on my side, but still I didn’t roll into Ely until a good hour of riding in the dark encountering Elk and very slow speeds! American’s loneliest highway 50 is just that in March past dusk!

First stop was to see one of the old highway markers for the Lincoln Highway. This one is located right outside of Reno just off the now I80.

This shot ended up being my favorite.

One of the BMR bonus categorizes that breathed some life in my ride to Ely was that of Cathouses of NV. I have to admit never having visited one and here finally, was my chance. I knew there were two right outside of Reno. The ever-famous Mustang Ranch and the Wild Horse Saloon. This was my lucky day, as I not only got my bonus photos, but met some of the girls.