First Adventure

September 2018

About a month after I got my license I cajoled my then brand-new-boyfriend to take a ride into the Adirondacks to hike a mountain. He wasn’t a climber but he acquiesced, as brand-new-boyfriends tend to do. The day was supposed to be quite hot for September, better to get an early start. As we rode into the mountains, the temps were high 40’s at best. By the time we reached Saranac Lake (an hour’s ride) my hands were about frozen to my handlebars. During a stop at the Blue Moon Cafe for coffee and bagels, I talked with a fully outfitted Canadian who was touring for the weekend on her blown out sport bike. She laughed jauntily when I mentioned the temperature and made reference to her heated jacket and handlebars. And there I was in a old winter coat because I didn’t yet have a leather jacket. Feeling like an absolute novice, we headed to the mountain and had a glorious hike. Although I doubt my boyfriend would describe it in those terms. The temperature rose quickly, and he said, months later, that he was “dying” on the way up. I never see many bikes parked at trailheads in the Adirondacks. Perhaps changing out of filthy hiking clothes into riding gear on the side of the road isn’t that appealing. But that day, on the ride home, I needed nothing more than my tank top and jeans. And those in-between moments when I wasn’t worried about shifting were all about the cooling wind on my face and a triumphant feeling. I was barely competent, but I was getting there.

The daily grind

September 2018

So I’m reading about this amazing guy who is prepping for the 2020 Elefant rally. He plans to ride 800 miles through Germany on his Honda (with no fairing or windshield) in January to then camp outside in a tent. I’m not sure I’m up for that level of excitement, but I would like to spend more time riding to places other than work this summer. Last year I logged most of my 2,000 or so miles driving the 25 mile stretch back and forth to work in upstate NY. This forced me to expand my summer pant collection and purchase some heavy gloves. Summers in upstate NY are typically quite cool in the morning, so a ride in to work could be 50 degrees versus an 80 degree ride home. I also got a nifty pack for the tiny luggage rack on the back of my bike, which allows me, between my saddlebags and pack, to load up several bags of groceries. Sometimes, if I’m not in a hurry to get home, I take the back roads. Not as glamorous as an Arctic European trek, but you have to start somewhere.

Starting somewhere

August 2018

I finished a weekend new rider course and got licensed after my 2nd attempt (in my defense, I’m a nervous test taker and the guy in front of me flew off his bike during the quick stop, shredding his jeans and breaking my concentration). But I definitely wasn’t ready to ride my Harley. Much heavier than the tiny Honda from class, getting it out of my driveway and onto the road felt like an accomplishment. For a couple weeks in September, I took early morning rides down my windy rural road, hoping for no witnesses to my tentative progress. After a quick stop for a deer on a steep hill (helpful that I drove a standard in high school), it was evident that I could not, in fact, learn to ride a motorcycle in one weekend despite the license in my wallet. This photo marks my first successful mid-day ride to an actual destination❤️

Protective impedimenta

It’s December. My bike is sitting in the shed. Last summer I dropped it in my boyfriend’s driveway and broke one of the windshield clips (or is it a clamp?) It’s filthy, and I’m sure my saddlebags are filled with random hair ties, socks, and chapstick.

In the last two summers since I learned to ride I’ve accumulated a lot of gear, mostly in an effort to protect myself from juvenile errors that I assume I’ll make, like when I ran into the mailbox in high school. And the street sign.

A full face and half helmet, leather jacket, boots, light and heavy gloves, day and night sunglasses. My full face helmet fogs up and feels constricting. I can’t find sunglasses that stay in place without leaving ridiculous marks on my face when I wear my half helmet. And my ears get cold. My leather jacket with multiple vents is amazing.When I remember to open and close them. And occasionally I take off without glasses on at all. I’m a rider in progress.

But my bike is perfect. Dirt and all.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

So I rode on the back of a motorcycle once in high school

with shorts on and burned my calf on the tailpipe. Second time on a bike I had just turned 40. It was a loud Harley with a suction cup seat on the back. I’ve experienced a few suction cup fails; I could be like the shower caddy slowly sliding down the wall. But no matter. In the summer of 2018, I was just a girl falling for the feeling of being on a bike.

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