Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting Ready

A couple of years ago, out of the blue, I announced that for my 50th birthday, I wanted to ride my motorcycle across the country. It seemed like a romantic and exciting way to turn 50- go on a challenging adventure! It is amazing how fast two years can pass, because I turn 50 on May 1st, and the Birthday Tour begins on June 21, 2010, generously sponsored by Scorpion USA. I am thrilled to be a member of Team Scorpion 2010*

A bit of history first:
I grew up on the back of motorcycles, it seemed to be a natural course of events to learn to ride. But this got delayed by about 30 years after an ill-fated attempt at learning on my mom's BMW when I was 17. I stalled it, let it drop and got scolded. I refused to get back on, and told myself I could not do it. Then, when I was in my early 40s, the trend was rising with scooter sales. I own a funky little store in my hometown, and people see me as being a little quirky at times. Riding a Vespa around town fit the image and I wanted one. After a little research, my husband Mo said, "you know you need a motorcycle license for a scooter that size". "no problem, I can do that", I answered.

That night at dinner, with the whole family around the table- consisting of Mo, our daughter Annie, my mom and my stepdad, we have lived together for many years- Mo said to me, "why don't you just get a REAL bike?" "whoa....I can do that!" was my reply. Twenty minutes later, I had signed up for a motorcycle safety class. I was on my way.

My first bike was a Yamaha V-star 650, highly recommended as a beginner bike. I cannot say how much I hated that bike! It was just not the right bike for me, but as a beginner rider, a test ride is kind of out of the question and you often just have to go on good faith. I desperately wanted a different bike about a week into my license. But a wise salesman at a dealership told me, "ride that bike until you can toss it around like your first tricycle and then buy a bigger bike". It was good advice. I followed my friend and teacher, Carl around New England for the next 5 weeks. He on one of his Harleys, me on my little bike following him like a puppy. (Carl has a story worth a blog entry, that will probably come in time)

I tried on a lot of bikes, and when I sat on a Harley Softail Deluxe, it was like Goldilocks when she sat in Baby Bear's chair... it was juuust right. Five months after getting my license, I was riding my new 2006 Deluxe. I was in love! I had it custom painted my signature yellow that first winter. After that, people began calling me Bee.

So here I am now, 5 years later, getting ready to ride to the Pacific Northwest. I estimate it could be 8-9000 miles by the time I return home. At first it was going to be a solo ride, I wanted to do it all by myself to prove that I could. But now, I have released this control to the wind and the cosmos... as I pass through different sections of the country where I have biker friends, they will be joining me for a section, a day, or a meal. Meeting people has become the icing on the cake and I am very excited at the prospect of finally meeting some of the friends I have had over the years in my motorcycle forums! Michigan is loaded with people that want to join, I am calling it 'The More the Merrier State".

I will be logging in with stories and photos as I go on this journey. Thank you for reading my introduction, and please come back to follow it if you desire!


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  1. Yay! Kate! Love the blog and looking foward to following you on here as you live your dreams!


  2. I think you should make a trip down the coast to Southern California while your on the west coast! the ride down highway 1 is beautiful and then I could meet you in Los Angeles!

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  4. Can't wait to read more once you're headed west. What an adventure you will have.


  5. If you go through Kansas City, look me up. I know where they hide the beer.

  6. Bee-bop, we HAFTA get together when you are out west (don't forget, I'm just a hop, skip and a jump over the border into BC)!

    What's your timeframe for this neck of the woods?


  7. Willi, I will bee in the Puget Sound area around the 4th of July.... I know you are setting out on the Conga ride. Maybe we can meet somewhere!

  8. love your writing since I know you I know it is from the heart