Sunday, December 16, 2012

Riding home

Growing up riding dirt bikes, the desert was an open opportunity to ride what felt like everywhere. As I got a little older, big enough to ride my dad's dirt bike, I started riding on some of the back roads & a couple times to a friends house. Part of my rebelion side, against the law, against my parents rules. Then I discovered boys with legal street bikes & dated a couple before meeting hubby on his bike.

30+ years I rode on the back, all along thinking about riding my own, but always doubted I could handle the weight of a Harley or the crazy big city traffic on a bike.

Then one day was fuck it, I am doing this. I'm riding my own.

Here I am a couple years later, not as many miles as I hoped, but more miles then I had once thought I would never do.

My high school reunion was a month back, I had already made it clear I am riding home, over 300 miles each way by myself. I've riden by myself  hundreds of times, but never that distance, through mountains alone. Hubby was saying "do what you gotta' do" kids were insisting I call them the second I get there.

My parents still lived in the house they bought when I was 4, I have done the drive home countless times in a car or truck, so many times, I could do it with my eyes closed. I know I can haul ass throught the reservation, I know the curves on the road going through the mountain, the tunnel that was featured in a movie & the two bridges.

I start looking for the mountain peak that signifies home, it starts out so far away it's hazy, soon it gets clearer & the clearer it gets, the more I know I am closer. Our house is at the base of this mountain, clear view from the back porch.

Riding into my hometown, riding on Main Street to the highway up to the house, not riding up the long driveway because it is still gravel, but parking by the mail box instead. I'm home, but I'm not really. This is my growing up home, the house I own with hubby is my real home.

A couple people I went to school with was not surprised to see me pull up on my beautiful light blue Harley. Those that knew me back then, knew how I would turn out. Those that never cared to get to know me the 11 years we went to school, were shocked & some didn't recognize me. I did show up wearing my full leathers & my vest with my chapter patch.

I rode a few of those back roads from so long ago. Commenting to my dad how cool it was to finally legally ride those roads.  He asked what did I mean & I said oh, nothing.

I took the ride back a little slower, taking my time.  I didn't want to let this ride to end.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holy shit, it has been a while

A long while.

Been on so many great rides, with others and by myself.

My first long ride was to San Diego. It was for officer training for the club I belong to. Officers from chapters from all over the US, a few from Canada and one from Germany.

Met up with the other officers in my chapter and another chapter, it was pretty damn chilly that early morning, duffle bag held on with a bungie cord on the back of the bike. Me dressed head to toe in leathers. We all checked with each other to see who had the smallest tank, mapped out gas & piss stops. And we were off. Along the way, we picked up 5 more officers from three other chapters. 18 bikes, 5 chapters of the same club, rolling thunder.

Cruising on a highway with just your brothers & sisters is a very cool thing. Waving to kids looking at you from their windows, seeing them smile & wave back, hoping they will be inspired to live their dreams some day.

Every now & than, one of my brothers will pull up next to me, with a thumbs up and a nod. Nearing the mountains in California, we all pulled over & talked about the strong winds we will be facing.  They weren't kidding, the strong gusts were bad enough, but slowly being pushed to the side of a steep cliff could be a pants shitter. .

We made it into San Diego at the start of rush hour, holy shit 8 freeway lanes of cars darting every which way. One of the road captains sensed my hesitance to change lanes, pulled up next to me and mouthed "I got your back".  And he did, my brother always. He would merge just behind me, so I could get over, everytime we changed a lane.

Riding up to that hotel, seeing so many members everywhere, 700 bikers invaded that hotel for three days.

I felt the opening to the training was a little too corporate, last time I went, they were blasting God Smack & one rode the new 48 through the hotel, up onto the stage. Another guy shooting t-shirts everywhere. That set the tone for the rest of the weekend, crazy, insane & a damn good time.

This time, as I said, too corporate, too many speaches, not enough rocking and rolling. But the networking & brainstorming with other officers from different chapters was great. There wasn't as high energy this time, but I did learn a lot and picked up a bunch of great ideas.

I was more prepared on the way home, was no longer intimidated by the crazy freeway drivers & knew what to expect and what to do when we went back through the mountains.

After getting back across the AZ border, we all started splitting up to head home. Eager to see Papa Bear, tell him about everything & share my "I did it" moment with him.

Now, whenever I am faced with an unknow or somewhat scary situation on my bike, I think, if you can do that ride to San Diego, you can do this.