Solo Biker Chick

Starting Over

I started this blog a couple or so years ago intending to help and entertain fellow riders. Then life intervened. The blog was last on a long list of priorities.

So I’m starting over.

 

I have a lot more stories to tell now than I did then.

Figured I’d better write them down in this blog before I forget the details…

 

– S.B.C.

 

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Is it Cool to Drag Your Pegs?

It seems dragging a peg is considered a badge of honor for some bikers. There’s an underlying message that if you don’t drag your pegs hard and often, you’re not a “real” rider (whatever that means).

Yesterday at the local Harley dealership I mentioned to a fellow lady rider how I was taking off my peg extenstions as I was dragging my pegs – and bootheels – too much for comfort.  She immediately seized the opportunity to brag about wearing out the heels of her boots by dragging them.

Really? Dragging a peg does happen. It’s important to be familiar with the sound and feel of it.  The instinctive response to jerk upright in the middle of a turn could be disastrous.

But if it’s happening all the time, I think you’re doing something wrong. There’s a fine line between dragging the pegs and having hard parts of the bike bite into the pavement.  When that happens, it levers the tires off the pavement.  You lose control.  My brother can tell you what the outcome of that is, since it’s how he dang near killed himself last year.

Dragging a bootheel is even worse.  I’ve had my foot yanked off the peg a few times.  All it takes is one time to snap your ankle or leg. I’ll pass, thankyouverymuch.

So I guess unless you’re on like, a Ducati, screaming around a racetrack, you shouldn’t push the line on how far you can lean your bike.

Keep the shiny side up,

– S.B.C.

A Full Throttle Life

“I cannot live my life afraid of how people will respond to me.
I cannot live my life without taking chances.
I will not live my life regretting something I didn’t do.”

These words are from Lisa Brouwer’s blog A View From The Road.

In 3 short lines she summed up the mentality I need to turn my life around.

My entire life has been the opposite of these statements. Instead my life has been:
* Afraid of how people will respond to me (fearing rejection).
* Living my life without taking chances (so as not to make mistakes).
* Living my life regretting things I didn’t do.

This explains the dissatisfaction I feel with my life.

The reason I am in a low-paying, dead-end job that I hate.

The reason I am hesitant to reach out to others.

The reason I’m filled with regrets of things I haven’t done.

It’s no longer enough for me to survive my life, I want to really live my life. To use Lisa’s words, I want to live at Full Throttle. And not just when I’m riding.

It’s easy to say “conquer your fears,” but much harder to actually do it.

How do you battle your inner demons so they stop holding you back?

– S.B.C.

Wintertime (Not) Riding

Some bikers ride through the winter, hitting the roads anytime things aren’t iced up. They’re out there in all temperatures, riding a few miles on New Years Day just to say they did.

I rode all winter my first year. I busted out a narrow ice-free path at the end of my driveway to get out. I bundled up like the Michelin Man and, yes, I rode on New Years Day.

These days you don’t typically find me out in the winter. There are too many hazards present in the winter to make riding much fun.

Not that I enjoy NOT riding in the winter. I start to get a serious case of cabin fever right about, well, right about now. But the weeks of waiting make that first ride of the season really special.

Plus winter is a great time to work on the bike. You can get a little motorcycle fix and not lose any riding time while the bike is on the lift. My gear always needs its time for repair too.

Winter is also my time for reflecting on the previous year and anticipating the next year. It’s a time of relaxation and dreaming, a time to reassess my whole life.

Not riding in the winter is my form of hibernation. Each spring with my first ride, I am reborn.

– S.B.C.

The Biker Image

You can’t be around the motorcycling world too long without running into The Biker Image. It’s the idea that some people are “real bikers” based on how they dress.
Or what they ride.
Or how they ride.
Or how much they ride.

Of course the folks who are into this are always part of the “in” group. You’ll never find someone who doesn’t think they’re the real biker and everyone else is a poser.

We’re All Guilty

C’mon on – you’ve thought about it. I have. We all have. We all want others – biker or not – to look at us in awe. To see what badasses we are.

As a newbie biker I wanted to live up to that “biker image.” I rode in any weather. I wore the bug guts on my leather motorcycle jacket and chaps with pride. I wanted everyone to see me as a tough biker. I cared too much what I thought other people thought of me.

But nobody noticed.Nobody cared. Eventually I learned that I’m nothing special. Nobody but me was impressed.

And that’s an important lesson: Your riding should be only for you.

The “biker image” is a bunch of bull.

FORGET ABOUT IMAGE, FOCUS ON THE RIDE.

– S.B.C.