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Shadowriding with My Favorite Girl

Before she was more than a fully realized thought in my belly, my daughter has been riding along with me.

It has been some time since she’s been perched on the pillion seat of my Tiger, usually opting instead to take the Queen’s seat in the sidecar of the Ural. As we prepped ourselves to head out for an evening en plein air I asked her if she wanted to take the Tiger or the Ural. To my surprise she opted for the Triumph.

There are moments in parenthood where you recognize the growth of your child seemingly all at once. My now teenage daughter has grown up overnight. We stand eye to eye, her long curly hair, dyed blue, flags in the wind. I have come to realize that she is just like me. The me that I was as a teenage girl, only better.

While we cut down the road, I caught glimpses of our shadow riding along side of us. Her pony tail waving in the wind behind her is burned into my mind. Deep imaginings of us touring together have started to take root. It’s just about that time…

when she was little…

Finally Ordered Myself a Spot Tracker

Well, I finally broke down and ordered a Spot Gen 3 Tracker. I hope that I never, ever need it and it becomes a $150 insurance policy.

I’d been waffling on the whole topic - feeling like I never go anywhere remote enough to warrant having one. But as history shows, I could fling myself down in to a ravine or get into trouble a few hundred miles from home just as easily as some highfalutin globe trotter.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that just in the last 6 months I have been quite a few places that had no cell service. So,… what the hell? At the very least my mom can watch my progress on a road trip. (No matter how old you are you’re always Mama’s baby.)

They are offering a $50 rebate on the Spot Gen 3 right now if you’re on the fence. Perhaps that will sway you a bit.

Have you or anyone you know benefitted directly from using a Spot?


Throwback Thursday: Ride the Lightning

This morning I was thinking about all of the wonderful people and unexpected friendships that I’ve made because of the internet. My upcoming trip overseas will be with Ed and Pimmie, people that I met on the internet. Hell, I met my husband Kenny on a group ride with people from a forum.

For kids who have been exposed to it for their whole lives, this may seem “normal,” but at 40 years old, I have been able to witness the progression of not having any internet, to some static-laden whirs and buzzes and you’ve got mail, to having the world at your fingertips in your pocket at all times.

What does this have to do with anything? Well,…

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ve got a GoPro snapshot taken in California when Kenny and I were riding to meet up with Ed at the big shoe in Bakersfield. Out there in the dry hills there was nowhere to hide from the lightning. I remember feeling scared, not knowing if we should keep moving forward or turn around.

Opening up to meet people who you get to know online has been positive overall for me. I’ve gone to places and had experiences I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance and ride the lightning.

Skinnying Down My Motorcycle Clothing Packing for Fly-and-Ride

When push comes to shove I can be a fairly light packer when it comes to traveling on the motorcycle. Even so, I *still* take more stuff than I need. By stuff, I usually mean clothes. Invariably I shove a few “I might need an extra…” items in my bag.

With an upcoming trip to the Alps, I’ve been trying to consider ways to skinny down my packing a little more. Doing the fly-and-ride presents its own challenges in terms of making sure whatever you have with you will fit into a space that you can’t lay your eyes on.

I’ll be renting the same type of bike I did when I was last in Italy, a BMW F650GS again with a Givi box on it.

My Trusty Rental GS Taking in the Alpine View

My mode of thinking is that if I can fit everything in need in a single tote bag that fits in my own Givi box, I’ll be golden. The GS does have small side cases but for the life of me I just cannot remember just how petite they were. My planning so far is just to pretend they don’t exist so whatever space they provide me with is a jackpot.

This is usually the extent of the stuff I carry in my topbox. Koolwink mug optional.

The wash and wear routine will be in effect again. That’s bringing whatever shirt/shorts/underwear I wore to ride in all day into the shower when we stop for the night. When I get out of the shower I wring them in a towel, hang them up and they’re dry by morning.  That helps to conserve a quite a bit of space as I only need to bring 2-3 changes. I usually wear Under Armour which ends up being very compact.

Socks generally seem to take up more space than I want them to. Especially nice comfy long ones like my favorite REV’IT socks or the Smart Wool pairs I have. I was thinking about bringing a package of ankle socks and using my running compression calf sleeves to make up the height difference. My sleeves are fast wash/dry and wouldn’t be subject to the same natural perspiration issues that the footbed of a sock would so I wouldn’t have to wash them everyday.

One package of 10 pairs ankle socks on the right are about the same size as 1 pair of my REV’IT tour socks when folded up. Granted, they aren’t nearly as plush or lovely. But I can live with that. I’ll be using my sittin’ muscle most of the days, not on my feet for long stretches.

This time I won’t need to bring my rain gear, thanks to my spiffy new Klim jacket & pants.

I’ll need a light fleece or zip-up jacket, a pair of jeans or pants with zip-off legs, maybe a travel dress, some type of apres-ride shoe and a couple t-shirts and that should basically cover me on the clothing. I think.

This is where I am for now:

  • Light fleece/Jacket – to wear on and off the bike
  • Undergarments (3)
  • Socks (10 pack, ankle)
  • Calf Sleeves – 1 pair
  • Under Armour Shorts or Leggings (2) – on bike
  • Under Armour Shirts (2) – on bike
  • T-shirts  (3-4?) – off bike
  • Jeans or convertible pants (1) – off bike
  • Travel dress (maybe) (1) – off bike
  • Off bike shoes – (1 pair)

Plus I’ll have whatever clothes I wear on to the plane. I’ve got to try to keep whatever that is easily packable once we land. I’ll also have to pick something I can easily slip my riding gear over as I’ll be going to pick up my bike directly upon landing at the airport.

Have any tips or tricks that you use to skinny down the clothing aspect of your trip packing?


How timely! Just today Gizmodo featured a story titled: How Much Underwear to Pack For Your Trip, Visualized with a link to a post on Pack Like a Nerd: Optimizing Underwear. Just what we needed. A chart for packing underpants. :)


Taking a Detour on the Road to Sidecardog-hood

We’ve had a setback on the Lilo Sidecar Dog front. During her first vet visit after adopting her, we discovered that she has heartworm.

All told, the treatment for heartworm takes months. During the course, Lilo has to go through a total of 3 injections that kill off the worms which then have to dissolve in the bloodstream. (Don’t google it if you’re easily grossed out). It is important to keep her relaxed and inactive during the recovery weeks following the injections until her bloodwork is all clear.

This is the point in the conversation where I could start going bananas about how some people can be shitbags and don’t care for their animals but – I won’t. Instead I’ll just be thankful that she became a part of our family and that we have the means to care for her. All in all it’s our good fortune.

As she takes it easy and sleeps on the couch (and my maps) we’re practicing wearing the doggles that Tio Rascon (Ed) sent and looking forward to the future. More than anything I just want my sweet doggo to be well.

If you’re interested in sidecar dogs, there is of course Ara and Spirit at The Oasis of My Soul who can help you get your fix. Just last week the Instagram blog featured a post about #sidecardogs. You might wanna give that a look-see!

And don’t forget the preventative heartworm meds for your pup!