Posts Tagged ‘solo female rider’

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


Elspeth Beard–RTW Adventurer, Architect and WOMAN!

Photo Credit Peter Orme

Every now and again, I find something on the web that completely fascinates me and that’s what I found in this post from facebook! Among all the amazing photographs was this shot of Elspeth and it spoke volumes. Here is a woman who is studying to become an architect who drops everything to travel solo around the globe! 1980’s were certainly a time rife with change for women, but a woman traveling solo on a motorcycle was still quite the unusual occurrence. Elspeth still a student, became the first Englishwoman to succeed circumnavigation.

Her journey began by buying a second-hand 1974 BMW R60/6 flat twin, bought for £900. Her desire was to stag the start in NYC, which meant she needed to spend an additional $340 to ship the bike and another $197 for her own airfare. She rode up through Canada then traveled south through Mexico looping back to Los Angeles. From LA she shipped her bike to Sydney and herself to New Zealand. After the bike arrived, she found herself out of money and needing a way to replenish the coffers. She spend the next seven months apprenticing in an architectural practice and living in a garage. Her time off was spend touring the entire continent of Australia.

In Australia she suffered an bad spill, which put her in hospital for a couple of weeks. Recovered and ready she shipped the BMW by boat to Singapore and again while awaiting arrival she explored Indonesia. Her next setback was in Singapore when she was robbed of all her valuables and paperwork, including her passport and motorcycle registration. It was another six weeks of waiting to replace all the missing documents. She made it through several mishaps as she traversed the globe, but finally arrived safely back in London after being away for 3 years and covering 43,000 miles. She tore apart her beemer and rebuilt the engine, and once that was complete, she finished her studies and purchased a derelict Victorian water tower then transformed it into a unique and gorgeous home, while working full time in London and bringing up a son on her own.

Munstead Water Tower, an old Victorian tower

After Elspeth worked her magic!

Elspeth is still a BMW enthusiast and rider. Initially working from her water tower, she gradually established her own architectural practice and now has many awards to her credit. Her work has been featured on British television and in several magazines.

Elspeth…you are a force and one amazing woman!

Read about her entire journey on Motorcyclist Online dot com.

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!


The Big Money Rally continues…

I’ve been visiting friends. The first was a moto-pal in Edgewood 30 miles east of Albuquerque, and now I’m in Truth or Consequences with some wonderful pals from my days of living in Alaska. I am fortunate to have some great places to stay along my journey. I didn’t get many BMR shots in Albuquerque due to the extreme winds, but got a few points. I also had to spend a few hours at Moto-Authority getting a new rear tire and rear brakes. Apparently they were totally glazed and down to nothing, so I had to assume the previous owner used them frequently. The tire, well, it was getting squared off even though I tried to keep enough inflation to deem that impossible. I guess it just happens! Well, I’m skipping ahead so I’ll get back to where I left off.

I was “leaving Las Vegas” without a bit of remorse and wanted to get to Kingman, AZ and get on Route 66 to make a few scenic stops. I thought I’d encounter some travelers along Route 66, but found myself to be the lone motorcyclist. I reached Seligman and grabbed a couple of bonus points but didn’t daudle as I had been there twice before. Instead I aimed for Williams, a place I had heard was cute and a piece of historic Route 66 kitsch. It was both.
Great road name!!

Imagine my surprise finding that Elvis was not dead but living in Williams.

Classic Neon Kitsch!

Williams was really pretty darned cute.

Renaissance Faire in Grand Canyon??

All along I40 are roadside attractions of bygone times. Here is Twin Arrows.

Made it to Winslow and got this awesome bonus point shot!

Standing on the corner…I decided Winslow is pretty sad. They spend a small fortune of city money to commemorate a song by the Eagles, but forgot that there was more than just a corner. It’s relatively run down, looks like a pair of sadly worn gloves and the people seem very much affected by the economic downturn. I met a Native American man who was rolling in a wheelchair with only one leg. He stopped to talk about my bike and told me he was a Paiute from NV had gotten run over by a pickup truck and had never left. Though both he and the driver were inebriated, it stuck me as a sad turn of events and a hell of way to pick a place to live.

I thought what an awesome place this must have been in its hayday!

More Winslow.

In Holbrook, AZ I found the Dino Walking Dead.

Yep, another roadside attraction!

From Holbrook I wandered to Springerville into what looked like the eye of a big storm. I was hoping to bag my first big 3 point bonus with the help of the Madonna of the Trail.­

It was a quick stop in Springerville and I carried on while gaining some education regarding cloud cover and what is called Virga, which is wisps of precipitation evaporating before reaching the ground.

I rode through Virga for a good portion of the day and never saw a drop of rain!!

However I did see some seriously BEAUTIFUL country!

An interesting mistake…

It was between Quemado, NM and Gallup over an truly lovely road, Hwy 180 that I did encounter a bit of rainfall, but really very little compared to how the skies appeared.

The most noted annoyance was not the rain but that of the cold! The elevation here is nearly 8K feet and I ended up having to don my heated gear in temps of the low 40s. I arrived in Gallup early enough to shoot the courthouse gaining another 3 point bonus. I also met another Native American who tried dearly to convince me to give him a ride to a bus station across town. I declined as honorably as I could. 😉

I rode on to Grants and found a place to stay.

Albuquerque next…

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.