Friday, February 29, 2008

Track Day in Montreal

Last spring I participated in Women's Track Day at the NH Motor Speedway. It was a convenient location for me, and for once and all women's event appealed to me. What I learned is that the track is probably not the place for me, my bike and I are built for speed not agility.
But I am still on the Fishtail Riding School's email list and this little offer came in the mail the other day. For the track day fan, this sounds like a fun time, track time at Circuit Mont-Tremblant.

I don't have any association with either group, I just wanted get the word out to those of you with a little time on your hands and money to burn.
Here's the deal:

Hey, Fishtail is going international! We have paired up with Eurotech Moto Ducati of Canada for 2 days (Monday and Tuesday, August 18-19) at the spectacular Circuit Mont-Tremblant just north of Montreal. This is a 2.65 mile dedicated road course located just outside of the Mont-Tremblant ski resort and is one of the few permanent tracks in North America to have hosted a Formula 1 event.
So here's the deal. We have 30 slots each day at $275, or you can join us both days for $500. If you're interested in seeing what a real road course looks like, or you've been thinking it would be neat to try another track, this is about as perfect a choice as there is. It's an easy drive, the scenery is stunning, and the track is as fun as it gets. It's also an easy sell if you want your spousal unit to come along for a couple of days away from the local grind (that's what we're all planning, by the way).
This is going to be a great trip. Get your passport up to date, and start working on your excuses now so that your boss isn't quite so suspicious when you don't show up for work.
The Fishtail Gang

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Turn the Page

What's The Matter Here Natalie Merchant

[...]We live on Morgan Street
Just ten feet between
And his mother
I never see her
But her screams and cussing
I hear them every day
Threats like
"If you don't mind
I will beat on your behind"
"Slap you, slap you silly"
Made me say
"O, what's the matter here?"

I'm tired of the excuses
Everybody uses
He's your kid
Do as you see fit
But get this through
That I don't approve
Of what you did
To you own flesh and blood

"If you don't sit
In your chair straight
I'll take this belt
From around my waist
And don't you think
That I won't use it!"

Answer me and take your time
What could be the awful crime
He could do at such young an age?

If I'm the only witness
To your madness
Offer me some words to balance
Out what I see and what I hear

All these cold and rude
Things that you do
I suppose you do
Because he belongs to you

And instead of love
And the feel of warmth
You've given him these cuts
And sores won't heal
With time or age

I want to say
"What's the Matter here?"

But I don't dare say
"What's the Matter here?"

But I don't dare say

RIP, Mom, I hope you find peace in your next life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Will Ride for Content

It must be winter. Many of my favorite blogs and motorcycle forums are screaming for content. Sometimes you've just got to grab the keys yourself and go out and get some content. This is my way of saying, I got my first ride of the year in today.
The poor K75 has a dead battery, the GT started up without hesitation. I donned my layers and headed out under partly sunny skies temps approaching 40. I wasn't sure where I was going to land, but I had my camera and tripod with me, in search of content.
I headed for the highway because one of my favorite winter riding activities is hitting on & off ramps, they are a lot of fun for leaning and speeding. I set cruise control on 70 and scanned the sky. There were more clouds than sun, but it looked good enough to head to the coast. I could use some new water pictures for the photo forum. The one hour ride to the coast is one of my favorites. I got off 101 for gas and stayed on 27 East until 111 East, which will bring you all the way to Ocean Blvd. Ah the coast, the salt air, the twisty road...where the heck did all these people come from? I'm not the only one who is partial to a brisk winter day at the beach.
I parked and brought the tripod down to the beach, leaving all of my riding gear on. I resisted the urge to ask some of the other beach combers if they were cold, dressed as they where. I shot off about 150 ocean/wave/seagull/rock pictures. I've been exploring new settings on my camera and I was pleased with the results.
But alas, the real opportunity for motorcycle content came on my ride home as I encountered snow squalls just East of Manchester - of course I was not about to stop on the highway to take pictures! I need to get one of those handlebar mounts for my camera.
It was a chilly gray ride home, I'd lost all the sun. I did have a nice chat with a gentleman at the gas station. In fact the two people who did stop to chat with me today where both nice, they spared me the lame winter riding comments and just wanted to talk bikes and spring. I can get into that any time!
It was so nice to sneak in a ride today. Now I can't wait for the next! Hope you get out for a ride soon!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vote Vote Vote

I am from New Hampshire, but this is not about first in the nation primaries, it's about the Motorcycle Bloggers International 2008 Rider's Choice Awards! Slightly less mud slinging, unless you are on a dual sport!

For the past month nominations were submitted by members and readers like you. Then those nominations where narrowed down to 5 per category. Now it is time for you to make your voice heard in the Motorcycling community. Head on over to the MBI web site and get your vote in!

Oh yeah, I did make the cut and am a finalist in the "Women riders booster of the year"; your vote would be much appreciated.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Balancing Act

Last year saw significant changes when it came to finding balance in my life. Sure we read about balancing work and family all the time. But what about the under served issue of balancing your riding with your non-riding life? For a while I was so focused on all things motorcycles that everything else seemed in the way of that pursuit.

Before the riding season began Kevin and I decided to pursue more quality miles. To us, that meant we wanted to get more enjoyment out of the journey and disregard the odometer. For a couple years we’d both been in pursuit of the odometer reading; and while that made sense at the time, our values had turned a corner. We didn’t quite go cold turkey but late in the season I realized neither of us made any note of how many miles we did on a weekend away. We planned less, stressed less and smiled more.

My biggest balancing act was taking the cross country trip with Lisa. It was not my trip. It was our trip. And while I did a lot of the planning without her, while we were out there, I made sure it was never a forced march for her. It was so important to me that she never feel like she was getting dragged along for this trip. I had to shed my “my way or the highway” attitude of riding. I revel in my solo riding, but acknowledge much if it is because I am too lazy to make compromises. Riding with my daughter was a perfect learning experience. It was my best parenting experience too. I watched and listened as I really got to know my girl. I was on the road. I was with my girl. I felt balanced.

I still haven’t figured out how to find balance with work. But it’s on my to do list this year.

Hope you get a ride in, or a ski, or a good book! What ever gets you through the winter!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Riding Pillion

I’m happy to report that I got a ride in yesterday. It was a short ride, just a few miles down the street for the best Roast Beef sandwich in town. Oh yeah, I didn’t bring my bike, I rode pillion; I let Kevin do the work and get his bike dirty with road spray.
For many years after getting my license I thought it was a badge of honor not to ride pillion. After all the back seat is only for women who don’t ride, isn't it? Thankfully I’ve lightened up about that rhetoric. I have nothing to prove when it comes to being a capable woman rider. I ride pillion for practical reasons: In August of 2005 Kevin gave me a ride to Cleveland to pick up my Ebay purchased bike. That was a very long 12 hour trip, no matter where you sat in the seat.
I’ll bum a ride to pick up my bike, or if we are heading out at night, I'd rather get a ride, my eyes don't do well at night.
I like to ride pillion for non practical purposes as I have never forgotten just how nice it is to cozy up to my honey back there. No, I’m not handing over my keys anytime soon. But I am going to try and be less critical to the women who have decided, what ever reason, to sit this one out.
Hope you get out for a ride soon!