In 2005, Kenny and I set off for Yellowstone National Park on our motorcycles. Neither one of us really had any idea what we were doing. We just threw our stuff on the bikes and set off with little more than blind optimism guiding the way. Everyone starts somewhere.
At that time, I had 2 bikes – a Ducati 996 and a ’98 ZX-6R. The latter won in the comfort department so that was my steed for the trip.
The little red Ninja in Minnesota. Hiiiiii-Yah!
It is amazing how your approach to traveling changes in a relatively short amount of time. In retrospect, I didn’t really know how to savor what I was doing. Everything was so exciting and so new that I didn’t take the time appreciate things in the same way that I do now. I just wanted more, more, more! One day I will probably look back at this time and say the same thing.
Every trip is a learning experience. Gotta keep at it, keep exploring, keeping expanding that horizon.
Do you remember that feeling of your first “big” road trip?
There’s nothing groundbreaking here in this “women in motorcycling” post. Sometimes I just have to bleed a little steam so that I don’t explode.
Each day I read all sorts of blogs, mailing lists, Twitter feeds, magazines about motorcycling and the life that surrounds it. Sometimes I feel bummed out that the most popular women-centric motorcycle media has a central theme of women being hot first and loving motorcycle life second.
I’m not naïve, I get it. That’s how you make the eyeballs come. But I’m over it. I’m not 25 and I can’t take in this type of information with a pinup-vibe anymore and do anything constructive with it. These brands, these personalities, these photographs – they aren’t talking to me. I’m not their audience and the truth is… I know that doesn’t matter to them. Simmer down, old lady! I’m so hungry for something with more depth and feeling, a connection to people and the world.
Are women our own worst enemies? Are we just blindly getting on board and perpetuating this?
There is better inspiration to be found out there. Girls, please show us who you are beyond the fact that you’ve won the genetic lottery. Be something, do something, inspire the gravity-ravaged middle aged broads like me. Yes, I’m going gray but damn it to hell, I will never be too old to say I want to see that, try that, DO THAT! Beauty is fleeting. Curiosity, adventure, daring, reverence and deep appreciation aren’t. BE amazing.
Don’t get me wrong – there are women riders that I follow who are doing wonderful things. They’re exploring the world, writing books and being fierce lionesses leading by example. While they may in fact be physically beautiful, that isn’t the most important part of their message. I admire and appreciate them deeply. Now, I don’t know if it is their own choosing, the fact that they’re too busy being magnificent to build an online “brand” or just that the marketplace isn’t looking for a lady encased in textiles to champion – but by and large these inspiring women aren’t being showcased like chicks in hot pants are.
I’m hoping that more women out there want something more and would be willing to give something more. Maybe more of these amazing and adventurous women will start to squeeze out some of the cheesecake.
Things are changing. But the wheels of time move slowly.
Just as in years past, Kenny and I went in to NYC to check out the International Motorcycle Show last week. I don’t know if it is a symptom of being bombarded by media at every turn (my own doing) or the general ease of getting information about, well, anything – but each year the bike show becomes less and less appealing. The number of vendors dwindles a little more, manufacturers don’t show up and the same old-same old stunt show gets dusted off and trotted out.
By the time the show rolls in to New York City, I’ve already seen a million photos of the highlights from previous media days on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as they rolled through other cities. This year’s darlings were the Kawasaki H2, the “GromWing” and the Ducati Scrambler – photos and blog posts galore on the internet. When I finally saw them all in person? It was with little more than a passing glance. ::yawn::
Maybe it’s just me, I dunno.
The venue here in NYC must be some money bleeding racket where the little guy can barely afford to set up shop for the weekend. There were comparatively few vendors selling a variety of gear, aftermarket parts or tour information. My thoughts are just anecdotal but I bet these days there is a lot of trying on and then buying on the internet for the best price. If someone “can order it for you,” well then you can order it yourself. It probably doesn’t pay to show up.
Sadly, if you asked me what I would LIKE to see at the event? I don’t really even have a constructive answer. Maybe next year I’ll just need to go on an internet diet for a few weeks leading up to the show.
Did you go the the IMS this year? What are your thoughts?
On Sunday we set off on our annual Santa Ride and it was glorious.
Once again my daughter Chloe reprised her role as my sidecar elf. It always amazes me when she chooses to hang out (dressed as an elf) with her goofy mother (who dresses like Santa) when she could be doing teenager stuff like navel gazing and texting friends who are in the same room.
Chloe gave her waving arm a real work out. She seemed far more into it and excited about taking the ride than in years past. I don’t know the reason but I’m glad about it.
I hope that one day these memories are happy ones for her and that they aren’t the stuff that trips to the psychiatrists couch are made of. “Do you KNOW what my mother used to do each year around Christmas?”