Monday, July 20, 2009

What's A Girl To Do?

Several days back Dave asked if he could take off with some of the guys for a few days to ride. I'm not the type of woman to tell Dave he can or cannot do something, that's what God gave us mothers for. Still I appreciate the fact that he cares enough to ask.
We all experience times in our lives where we would like to do something, but can't for one reason or another. So my philosophy is that if an opportunity comes up and you can make it work, then you should go for it. So I told my sweetie, "Have fun, be safe, and call to check in a few times a day." And then he was gone.
Then that left me with one burning question, What the hell was I going to do with myself? The kid is also gone for another week, so I would be completely on my own. I used to love solitude, but for some reason not so much any more.
Saturday came around, and I REALLY wanted to go check out the cage fighters at the Harley Dealership. It's not really my thing, but it's something you don't do every weekend so I thought it would be cool. But......I have been super neglectful in my housecleaning/laundry/yard work/shopping/errands for weeks. Since my parents are coming out next week from Tennessee I figured I better put some time in to get some stuff done.
I made a deal with myself: Saturday work, Sunday play. The first task for Saturday was errands. I decided to ride my bike to run all of my errands. I've ridden around town a bit by myself, mostly to and from work, but this would be the first time I was going to so many destinations. May not be a big deal to some, but a huge deal to me. I won't bore you with all the tedious errands I ran, but I can say that running errands has never been so much fun.
Saturday afternoon was just cleaning and laundry and yard work. Willy D. stopped by to check on me. (What a friend!) I told him that I wanted to ride on Sunday so if he and Carol were planning on going out they should call me.
I tried to go to bed around midnight, but couldn't sleep. So I got up. I found myself at two in the morning eating Ramen noodles and playing The Sims on the computer. A little bit later I remembered I had some strawberries and whip cream, yum. Next thing I knew, the sun was peeking through the front window. Crap, I need to go to sleep.
I got a few hours of really great sleep before Willy called to see if I still wanted to ride. I told him it would probably be a few and he said just to come by their house when I was ready. I called him back when I was getting ready to leave and told him that they should meet me at the coffee shop because there was no way I was going to survive the day without it.
We rode for a little while. Nowhere special, no epic ride, but it was great just to be out on the bike. And I really appreciate Willy D. and Carol for watching out for me whenever Dave is gone.
I had mentioned that on Saturday I had to wear a backpack on my errands, and Willy remembered that we had some old saddle bags in my garage from when Dave had his VTX. He said we should see if they fit my bike so we went to my house and in about two seconds I had bags! Yeah! I think they look pretty good, and they'll definitely serve their purpose. I'll put some pics up of my bike soon, there are a couple of other little changes I've made recently.
Then Willy D. and Carol went home and the rest of the day was spent doing pretty much nothing. Well, I did try to fix my broken garbage disposal but it's issues are beyond my limited skill in that area.
So, that is how I spent my weekend as a childless single gal. And Dave thinks he's having all the fun! LOL

Friday, July 17, 2009

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

We all go through situations in our life when we really need our friends. Sometimes the people we consider our closest friends are the one's who bail on us when we need them the most. It hurts, it especially hurts when these people are the one's we've stood by in their worst times. But if we stood by them for the right reasons then it wasn't because we expected something in return. I guess a positive thing we can take away from a situation like this is that it weeds out the people we don't really need in our lives and it leaves us with more time, energy, and love to share with the people who really deserve it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Amazing Arizona Adventure: All Good Things Must Come To An End

It's taken me awhile to get around to writing my last post about our Arizona trip. I guess it's because I didn't want it to end, but it did, so I guess I'll have to get over it and write about the ride home.
Ann was supposed to wake us up around 6:30. I woke up and the sun was so bright I thought for sure that she forgot, it had to be at least 10. Then I looked at the clock, it wasn't even 6 yet. Wow, it's never that bright that early in Salinas, NEVER.
There's something about the sun shining so bright in the morning that makes it easier to get out of bed. Maybe it's because you can actually see that you're 'burning daylight', or maybe it's because you can tell it's going to be a beautiful day and you need to get out there, or maybe it's just because it's too damned bright to sleep anymore.
Whatever the case, I was ready to get up. What I wasn't ready for was the fact that we had to go home. This trip was not nearly as long as it needed to be, but I guess I should just be thankful that I was able to make it at all.
We got up and visited for quite awhile before we decided we better hit the road. So we finished loading up and said our goodbyes. Kickstand was nice enough to escort us to the road we would need to take to get out of town.
The ride home was uneventful in the good way, but we did have fun at all our little stops that we made. We knew it was a long ride home, but none of us were really in any kind of hurry.
Right after we got into California I started to feel really yucky from the heat, it's probably because I had to put that helmet back on. I knew that we would be stopping before too long so I was trying to just ride it out, but I finally told Dave that we needed to pull off soon. Willy must have read my mind because he took the very next exit.
I was okay, but I knew that if I didn't take care of myself I wouldn't be. We hung out in the shade for awhile and drank about a gallon of water, and I put the water vest on. That made a huge difference. After that I was fine.
Fast forward I don't know how many hours and we were in Paso Robles at about midnight and it was freezing. We pulled into a gas station and I put on the chaps and some more layers. Dave and Willy were laughing at me because I had a beanie on and then my hood pulled up over that and then my helmet over it. I looked like a big dork....did I care? NOOOOO. I just wanted to be warm.
The last two hours of the ride were cold, freaking cold really, but it was still just awesome. The night was clear and I just stared at all the stars and thought about the really great trip we had. Every little bit Dave would give me the thumbs up to see how I was doing and I would give him my thumbs up to let him know I was still there.
It was almost 3 AM when we rolled the bike into the garage. I was really surprised at how my body held up. That was the most extreme trip I have ever taken. Somewhere around 1600 miles in 4 days, extreme heat, extreme cold, and I did it. And yes, I am patting myself on the back a little bit. I didn't complain, I didn't even feel like complaining. I loved every minute of it! And when asked if I would do it again, my replied would be, "In a heartbeat!"
I was glad for a lot of reasons that I decided not to ride my own on this trip, but next time......I think I'll be ready!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Four Missions And (almost) a Baptism

*One little note before I get started- I do still have one Arizona post left, but I guess I'm putting it off, because it's the trip home. :( I'll get around to it.

Now, on to today's story.

Several days ago, Dave told me that the "Thunder Riders" were having a Mission Run this weekend. I have gone to several of their events and have always enjoyed them so I thought that this sounded like a good way to spend a Saturday. They really do a lot for our community and I'm happy to support them.
As of yesterday I wasn't sure exactly where the run went and what missions we would be visiting so I considered just riding with Dave. I still only have my permit, and although I have ridden on the freeways I was worried that it would be too much time on the freeway and too much chance of me getting in trouble. But then Dave brought me a route map and I realized that the missions were all pretty close, hardly any freeway time, and good roads. So this morning I decided to ride my own, and I'm so glad that I did.
Dave had donated coffee for the morning sign up, so he was out of the house a little before 8 to go and take care of that. While he was gone I got ready and by the time he came back to the house I was all set to go.
After stopping for gas we headed over to Monterey County Harley for the sign up. Dave informed me that we would have to go in the front of the parking lot. Big deal you say? Well, I always go in the back way, because the front has this really messed up driveway and I have seen several riders go down either going in or out. He asked if I was okay with that, and I gave him my standard, "Do I really have a choice?"
We pulled into the parking lot, no problem, I was just glad that I had room and nobody stopped in front of me on the way in. After I got my girl parked, Tom (the one who is pretty much responsible for me buying my bike) comes over and gives me a big hug and tells me that I looked really good and really confident, that made me happy.
I was sad that Willy D. and Carol wouldn't be joining us for this ride, but apparently Willy thinks he has some kind of responsibilities or something.
They had group rides set up, but you could choose if you wanted to go in a group or on your own. We met up with a couple of guys, Paul and Jeff, who are both regulars at Dave's shop. We decided the four of us would go out on our own little group. The first few miles for me were spent just getting used to following someone besides Willy or Dave. Jeff was in the lead, then Paul, me and Dave in the rear. Jeff is a really great rider and I felt at ease with him as our leader.
I really felt like I was in the zone today. I'm sure some of you can relate that some days you just feel it more than others. There was one point where traffic suddenly came to a dead stop and the car two ahead of us locked up his brakes. I had to stop faster than I've ever stopped before. I remember thinking, I have to stop, I have to stop fast, and I need to make sure that the car behind me isn't going to slam into me. I came to a stop a lot smoother than I expected and thankfully the car behind was paying attention and stayed a safe distance back. I hear Dave next to me yelling, "GOOD JOB!" I never get tired of his encouragement while riding.
We made it to the first two missions with no problems, but then we couldn't find the third one. The route map didn't give good direction to this particular stop, but we finally managed to find it, thanks to this sweet older couple who came off their balcony when we stopped to turn around in front of their house. The lady was so sweet, she insisted that we take her map with us in case we needed it later.
Getting lost wasn't all bad. I had a lot of opportunities to practice my u-turns, which are getting pretty good by the way! Unfortunately, by the time we made it to the third stop the people with the cards had already left. Oh well, as long as I still got to eat at the last stop I would be happy.
We got a little bit of rain on the way to the last stop. Not too much, in fact I don't even know if it was enough for me to say that I've officially ridden in the rain. I thought I was going to be baptized, but it wasn't meant to be today. That's okay, I'm not too disappointed.
We got to the fourth mission and I couldn't believe how many bikes were there, it was crazy. They had the streets blocked off and several blocks of San Juan Bautista were all ours. It was very cool.
We were talking to Kyle, one of the owners of Monterey County HD and I told him that we had missed the cards at the last stop. He said just to tell them at the booth and we could get the cards for that stop as well as the last one. A lot of good it did, none of us won. They did the cards a really weird way, I can't explain it because I don't even understand it myself, I just know that I didn't win.
But I did get a fantastic meal. The food was so good, I was a happy girl.
We hung out in San Juan for awhile, ate, listened to the band, got ice cream, people watched (some people were watched more than others, by more than others of us), the usual. They announced that they had raised over $20,000.00 for youth programs. I think that's amazing!
We left San Juan and headed home, well to the coffee shop.
It was a great day, a great ride, and I'm really happy that I decided to ride my own. Today also is the most miles that I've ridden in one day on my own, 139! Whoo hoo!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Glass Houses

You stand on the steps of your glass house

you throw rocks at me as I walk by

you've never stopped me

to ask why I've done the things I have

you are too busy judging me

and finding your rocks to throw

what you don't know is that I can see inside your house

I also know the things that you have done

what you don't understand

is that I'm too busy living my life to condemn you for yours

I make mistakes, as you do as well

but while you are wasting your time finding and throwing rocks

I am trying to live my life the best I can

you can keep throwing your rocks, and I will do my best

to dodge them as I walk by, and to forgive you for your ignorance

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day. I just wanted to share a few quotes that I found that I enjoyed.

"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." ~William Faulkner

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." ~Abraham Lincoln

"And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me."
~Lee Greenwood

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." ~Thomas Paine

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." ~Elmer Davis

"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Amazing Arizona Adventure: Day Three

Okay, so I won't go into a lot of details about the third day of our trip, but I will say that the ride to Big D. and Ann's house was amazing. Big D. suggested that we ride through Sedona, it was so beautiful. I'm looking back at the pictures, and they just don't do any justice to the amazingly beautiful scenery we saw.
After getting to their house, we just hung out and visited. It was just really nice hanging out with people you have a connection with.
We also were able to meet 'Kickstand' and Mike and Sarah(from the Biker/Hillbilly wedding). They were all really cool, and I hope to be able to have more time to get to know them all next time.
Big D. was cracking us all up. I had to pee, but I didn't want to miss any of the conversation, but then I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. It got late, and even though I didn't want to, I knew I had to go to bed.
So day three was mostly riding with a little visiting at the end of the day! It was another great day in Arizona.