Ride On

Miller Motorsports Park…  Heaven on earth for me.  The one place that I can go to have all of my worries washed away.  Back to the track we went this past Friday, and it was so needed.  It’s been an interesting last couple of months.  I’m not sure how else to describe it besides that.  I’ve been in quite the funk.

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As June ended and July began I slowly began to lose myself.  The first couple days of July I got really sick.  I couldn’t go very long sitting up and was in too much pain to ride.  If I did ride, it was pretty miserable and never very long.  I slowly started to feel better just in time for a big group ride through Wolf Creek.  The anticipation of getting out on the bike again and feeling better had put me in high spirits.

The ride was going along great, then the worst possible thing happened.  A rider went down.  I was a first responder.  There was no cell reception in the canyon we were in and it took nearly an hour to get EMS to the rider.  The rider lost his life.  It is still too hard to put into words.  It brings back awful visions that I have placed in the back of my mind to hopefully never be brought back to the surface.

This rocked my world.  I’m no stranger to critical situations as I spent the better part of 3 years in a very busy ER.  But to have it be this personal, this up close and in my face, was a very different experience.  I had nightmares for several weeks, waking up and seeing the riders face.  It was awful.  I cried all the time and was emotionally unstable.  To begin with, I didn’t believe that this would affect my want to ride.  I thought it was just an emotional time that would pass.  But two months passed with barely any riding.  I would try to go out for a ride, but caught myself in tunnel vision and target fixation over and over again.  I was emotionally wrecked.

I began to think what my future of riding would look like.  I thought quite seriously about never owning a street legal bike again and dedicating my riding to the track.  I didn’t know what to do, what to think, or who I was.  I was once so passionate about riding and then after the accident, the fire burned out.  I felt confused and angry.  How could anything make me be feeling the way that I was, when I once felt so strongly about it.  Between July and August, I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I got out and went for a ride.

We planned for a track day the first weekend in September even though I had some hesitancy.  I hadn’t been on the track since June, and even though I hadn’t felt connected with my bike for a while, I was eager to get out and ride and apply all that I had learned with the ART class in June and track day from April.  We packed up, prepped and were ready to get out to Miller Thursday night.

Friday morning came quickly and as we drove out to Miller, I wasn’t sure how I was feeling.  A little bit of anxiety, little bit of nervousness, a lot of excitement.  By the end of the riders meeting and into getting suited up and ready, I had already forgotten all that had happened in the months before.  I was ready to shred some tires, get my lean on and open the throttle.

As we lined up for the first session, I cleared my mind and only allowed positive thoughts between my ears.  I pulled out the mantra from the ART class, “Nothing I do today is worth falling down for.”  Moving from the hot pit to the track, visor down, gopro running, I was ready.  As I lapped around the track easing into the turns, all of my worries, fears and negative feelings seemed to disappear.  As the first twenty minute session ended and I headed back to our little area, all I could think about was pushing it a little bit harder next time.  Bringing up my speed, working on my trail braking, getting my body positioning just right…

Every session I pushed it a little more, and every bit harder then my two previous track experiences.  I’d never felt so one with my bike.  This track day was so different then my very first track day back in April.  The anxiety was nonexistent.  The worry of not being fast enough didn’t matter.  The application of trail braking as opposed to coasting through the turns like last time made a 1000% difference.  I didn’t even feel like the same person.  I felt stronger, more confident and happier in every way.

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The last session of the day is always bitter sweet.  You’re completely exhausted, all energy sources depleted, but you know that this is it until the next time.  As we packed up and got ready to leave, I knew that I was leaving with a feeling of peace.  The fire was burning brighter than ever and I knew at that time that no matter what experiences life hands us, whether through riding or just life in general, we can look past it and carry on.  Every experience is a lesson, not a draw back.  But life is precious and we can’t ever forget it.

I’m eager to get out to the track again.  Hoping for October if the crazy Utah weather holds out, and if not many track days to come in 2016.  Sometimes it feels silly to me to say that the track has changed my life, but it really has.  I am so thankful for it and look forward to a long future of track riding :).

“Figure out what lights your fire, then chase the match.”

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Ride On

girlonthez

p.s. Here’s a video from the track day on Friday!

Not your typical ART Class. The Addiction Continues….

We were sitting at the top of Big Mountain Pass the other evening staring off into the distance and I just had to get something off of my chest.  I looked at my husband and told him how I had been feeling the past few weeks..  The canyons just didn’t feel the same anymore.  He looked at me and I could see in his eyes that he agreed….

OK.  Enough with the soap box.  But really…  What is happening?  They said this would happen.  They told me that the canyons would never feel the same again.  I didn’t want to believe them.  I never thought I would be the person that would be all about the track.  I mean, I’ve only been out there twice!?  But something happens to you after you go to the track.

We had the oportunity to take an ART Class, or Advanced Rider Training class put on by the Utah Sportbike Association out at Miller Motorsports Track a few weeks ago.  This was hands down, one of the best decisions I have done for myself.  Pulled from the UtahSBA website – “ARTs are non-competitive, track-based classes that teach motorcycle control, proficiency and smoothness by providing lots of hands-on track time and high-quality, individual instruction.” Couldn’t have stated it better myself.  

We started off the day with the mantra “Nothing I’m going to do today is worth falling down for.” How true.  I now say this to myself quite often.  I loved a lot of things about this course, but if I had to pick my top three items they’d be:

1. Learning motorcycle control – Control!!!!  It is key to riding a motorcycle.  If you don’t have control, you are just an accident waiting to happen.  I don’t feel like the practice of control is ever stressed enough.  If you don’t have control over yourself or you motorcycle, you’re going to have a bad time.  Something that I majorly lacked during my most of my first track day was control.  I was literally coasting through turns.  I knew what trail breaking was, but I had never really applied it prior to the track and didn’t quite get to the point of applying it on my first track day.  Which was a mistake.  I was slowing down so far out from a turn that before I even hit the apex, I was having to twist the throttle just to carry me through.  During the ART, they went over trail breaking so much that I was getting sick of it.  But it was one of the best practices that I will take away from that day.  At the end of the day, we had an hour on the track to ourselves to go at our own pace and practice what we had learned.  I really tried hard to work on trail breaking.  It is a simple concept, really.  But I’ve got some mental blocks that I had to work past in order to get myself up to speed to apply trail breaking.  But once I got there, it was beautiful.  I’ve never felt so controlled going through a turn instead of just “free-falling”.

2.  Individual instruction – If you didn’t understand something or you wanted a little extra, they had time and were willing to give it to you.  One of the racers from the UtahSBA, Chris followed me for several laps around the track and was really able to focus on me and tell me what I can improve on.  I’ve never had anything like that before.  It was awesome!!  He helped me point out somethings that I didn’t even know I was doing, or in my case not doing which was looking all the way through my turn.  And while this sounds simple and I felt like I was doing it, I was not looking through enough.  It’s crazy to me that after using more speed, applying trail breaking and looking ALL THE WAY through my turn I was already feeling so much more confident.

3.  Track time – I mean, who doesn’t love that!  Being on the track has brought on a whole new obsession.  Every minute spent on the track gives me more time to practice, in a controlled environment, to become a better rider as a whole.

If you can, take an advanced rider course.  A lot of tracks offer these types of classes.  It will teach you how to be a more prepared, alert and controlled rider.  As far as the UtahSBA course goes, which is a non-profit organization, it is all taught by their members and others who volunteer.  I commend them for all their efforts and making this one of the best rider courses offered.

I absolutely love riding through the canyons and the track will never be able to replace being in nature.  But the days of “ripping it” through the canyons are over.  The things that I learn on the track aren’t always easily applied to the canyons.  The human body is programmed to function going at about 5 miles an hour.  Now multiply that by AT LEAST 10 on the track.  It gets a bit trickier to keep up.  But on the track, I can anticipate what will be next.  I can look all the way through my turn (usually) and be able to prepare for what is next.  Forget that in the canyons!!  You’ve got to deal with oncoming traffic that might be in your lane, blind corners, people who don’t know how to drive, squirrels and all sorts of other garbage.

The take away from this, is not that I don’t enjoy riding in the canyons anymore, or not that I don’t think it’s “good enough”.  It’s that the canyons are not and will not ever be a secondary “track” and shouldn’t be treated as such.  The canyons are meant to be enjoyed, not to get through it as quickly as possible.  Ride safe and ride within your limits, always.  It will save you from accidents, injuries, wrecking, and of course tickets ;).  You will always find me in the canyons, the track is a treat.  But you will always find me riding responsibly.

Again, many thanks to the UtahSBA for putting on an amazing class.  Can’t wait to get my next “hit” again on the track :).
http://utahsba.com/schools/
http://www.apextrackdays.com/shop/

 

ART post

“Nothing I’m going to do today is worth falling down for.” 

Ride Safe!

girlonthez


Women’s Sportbike Rally West 2015!

I don’t think that there’s any better way this summer could have been kicked off other than being able to attend the inaugural Women’s Sportbike Rally West!!!!!!  I can’t believe that it’s already been almost a month since this amazing event has passed…  Good thing the memories will last a lifetime!

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In the wee hours of the morning on May 29, me and Jessica (Dlinquencious) took off for a 750 mile drive to make it to Big Bear, California before the festivities started.  Bikes on the trailer, our luggage packed inside and lots of caffeine, we were ready to roll!  11 hours later we made it to our destination.  We were greeted by none other, than the amazing Unicorn herself, Brittany Morrow.  Shortly after we met another bunch of incredible lady riders!  It was quite an experience to be able to meet ladies that I have been following on Instagram and Facebook for most of the last three years.  It’s so cool to see the person behind the social media account and hear their voice and know that they’re a real person haha!  I think a lot of us introduced ourselves with our first name, and then if you didn’t catch on it was more like, I’m so and so from Instagram!  And then it all clicked!  Lots of giggles and hugs and new ladies to meet!

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The day of the ride was incredible.  The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny.  I’m not sure it could have gotten any better.  The roads in Big Bear…….  Just wow.  I though Utah had some awesome roads (and they do, don’t get me wrong), but being able to head out in any direction and have twisties waiting for you after just a few miles was incredible.  To some, this might be silly to say, but the roads throughout Big Bear were so clean!  Free of gravel, debris, pot holes and many of the other ailments Northern Utah roads have because of cold winters.  The road banked with every single turn!  It was beautiful and some of the smoothest pavement I’ve ever been on.  It was like it was made for motorcycles :).

Brittany led some of us on an incredible ride through the mountains with crazy elevation changes and views.  It was amazing.  I’ve never had the opportunity to ride outside of Utah.  I absolutely love the mountains and canyons here, but it is an awesome experience to be able to be out of your element, led by a fellow lady rider through beautiful new places.

I’d have to say that hands down, my favorite ride of the day was up to “Rim of the World”.

wsbr20152Just wow.  It was breath taking.  I don’t remember the exact elevation, and can’t seem to find it anywhere on the inter webs… but you could see for days up here (if it weren’t for the California smog).

We ended our last night with a nice dinner and got to hear all about Erin Hunter Sill’s MULTIPLE land speed record experiences that happened right in my own backyard, the Bonneville salt flats.  Not only is she a multiple land speed record holder, she is also one of the 2014 AMA Female Rider of the Year.  If you don’t know her, find out more about her.  She has most definitely become one of the many women that I admire.

I met ladies there that will now always have a special place in my heart.  It’s so awesome to be able to meet other motorcycle ladies that I might not have been able to without the rally.  I loved the feeling of camaraderie and mutual respect.  We are all brought together by the love of things on two wheels!  The long journey to Big Bear was well worth it, and I’m looking forward to it again next year!  Me and my husband have already begun planning a trip out to the original Women’s Sportbike Rally at Deal’s Gap for 2016.  I would love to make it happen this year, but it’s just not realistic.

I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to Stephanie and Brittany, and ALL of the awesome sponsors for making it happen on the West side this year :).  I’m looking forward to many years to come!

http://womenssportbikerally.com

A special thank you to Christina Shook, our amazing photographer and roommate while in Big Bear!

You can check out her captures of the weekend here –

http://christinashook.pixieset.com/womensportbikerally2015/

AND THEN!!!!!………  I got to hang out with Brittany Morrow some more when she came through Utah.  I feel so blessed to know this awesome lady!  She’s a hard working badass.  I got to take her through my frequent canyon 🙂



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Ride safe everyone!

girlontheZ

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girlonthe600 turns 1!

“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something.  It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it.”




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I got a notification the other day that it was my one year anniversary of my “girlonthe600” blog. When I started this blog, I had no idea what the outcome would be. I figured it would be small. I didn’t think very many people would care about what I had to say, and I was ok with that.  It is crazy to me to look at the stats of my blog. Over the last year, my blog has been read in nearly 50 different countries and I’ve had close to 4,000 views. That might not seem like a lot to some, but to me, that is mind blowing. I never thought that people would care to read what I said. It’s a humbling experience to be able to see those numbers.

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girlonthe600 aka girlontheZ has taught me so much about myself that I would have never found out without it.  To some riding is a hobby, to others riding is a lifestyle.  Riding to me is my way of life.  I love that I can share my thoughts, experiences, ideas, and interests about riding with anyone who cares to read it.  It’s awesome to be able to connect to people I’ve never met through experiences we have both shared.  It’s heartwarming to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with some of things that I go through.  It’s comforting to know that there are so many other people that share the same passion that I do.  Whether it’s street, track, dirt, or whatever else you can possibly do on two wheels, we all connect on some sort of level.

The love I have for riding, makes me feel like I’m going to explode into a million tiny motorcycles sometimes…  And I get the feeling that I’m not the only one.

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Sometimes (not very often, usually like a split second), I think about what my life would be like without riding.  Maybe I would have finished my degree, maybe I’d have two kids already, maybe I would have a different career, BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Nu no.  Who cares what it would be like without riding!!!!!  Because the only thing that matters to me besides my family and friends and fur children is RIDING.  Whether it be canyons, down the street, in a different state, at the track, WHATEVER!  It still beats any life without it.  And it wasn’t until girlonthe600 that I found that passion and love in myself.

I’m so thankful for the experiences that I’ve had so far, the experiences I know are to come and the warm fuzzy feelings I get every time I think about the next time I get to braap.  Thank you for reading this, for reading my other posts, for sharing my blog and for the comments of encouragement (or lack there of sometimes, haha).  Here’s to riding and many more braaps!! 🙂

girlontheZ

got600yr3

And that’s why they call it “Track Crack”.

Track Crack
1. A highly addictive drug containing a race track, motorcycle and speed.
-An addiction one develops once one has ridden or driven on a race track.
-The resulting feeling after taking your motorcycle to the track and you just want more.

What an experience. I can’t quite sum it up into a one word description. All I know is that riding on the track has changed me as a rider forever.


Photo Credit to Stephen W. Clark

Every year at Miller Motorsport’s park, this amazing organization runs a little thing called Apex Track Days. And every year, the first and last track days are 99$ for first time riders. For the last year and a half now those sessions have come and gone leaving semi more expensive track days in the middle that we found excuses for. This year, me and my hooligan decided that we weren’t going to let another opportunity go by. Although it had been a thought for a while, the day was getting closer and we didn’t have much time left to prepare.

Most of this last minute decision is thanks to Kelly at Trackstar, one of the awesome local shops here in northern Utah. He and a few other amazing riders hosted a “How to get started doing Track Days” seminar the Sunday before the track day. When me and my husband left we sat in silence for most of the car ride home. I think we were both thinking, “How the hell are we going to pull this off?” Although prepping for track days isn’t much, when it’s your first time it can be quite stressful. But somehow, we managed :).

Saturday morning at the crack of dawn, leaving for Miller, I had the biggest butterflies flying around in my gut. I’ve been riding for a while now, but I don’t think anything could prepare me for being on the wide open track. When we got to Miller, we checked in, got tech inspection done and ate a quick breakfast. We went to the rider’s meeting/ first time rider briefing. At the end of the first time rider briefing, they told us we would all do a parade lap together to find the entrance and exit of the track and take our first lap around. After the briefing, we set off to gear up.

Before I even had time to think, I had my gear on and was on my bike heading to the entrance of the track. Somehow we missed the parade lap… I thought I was going to puke. I rode my way down the hot pit to the entrance of the track. Riders were already out hauling themselves around the track. I slowly made my approach to the entrance and the moment I passed through, it was like everything I knew about motorcycles, including how to ride one, went out the window.

I went into panic mode. Bikes all around me were flying by and I just couldn’t get myself oriented. I started to make my way around the track and finally remembered how to shift. I was stiff, uncomfortable, scared and miserable. But before I knew it the 20 minute session was over and we had a 40 minute break for the other two groups to go out. I got back to our spot, hopped off the bike, threw my helmet off and all I could think to myself was “Why do people like this???” I was mad and frustrated that I had performed so terribly. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about.

Just like that, it was time to go out again. I was more prepared this time and tried to stay open minded. As we rode down the pit onto the track I had a much better understanding of what was going on. I got onto the track and got in the grove and cruised around, still taking it nice and easy. And just as soon as it started, 20 minutes came and went and the second session was over. I started to loosen up, but was already exhausted and sore just from 40 minutes of being on the track. Then it was time for the third session.

I went out there and just gave it all that I had in that moment. 15 minutes into the third session, I was so incredibly tired and cramped that I literally started to cry. I felt like I had just finished running a half marathon. My thighs were on fire, my arms were like limp noodles, my mind was all over the place. I felt like the biggest basket case. I never thought about how exhausting riding on the track would be. I’ve had plenty of days of riding in the canyons from sun up to sun down. But nothing could have prepared me for the exhaustion of the track, when it’s turn after turn, going as fast as you are comfortable.

With an almost two hour break, I ate, collected my thoughts, and decided that I needed to buck up and enjoy the day. Heading out to the track after lunch, the nervousness had left, I felt replenished and I was ready. I got my grove after the first lap. Heading into the second lap, hitting turn one, it was like the gates of Heaven opened and the angels were singing. I finally felt in the zone and cruised through the corners remembering everything that I had learned up until this point. After heading off the track after the fourth session, I knew exactly why people absolutely love this. I was hooked. I’m still not sure what was going on with me the first half of the day, but by the second half, I was as happy as a kid at Disneyland.

The rest of the day went pretty much the same as the fourth session. I was in Heaven. I may have been one of the slowest riders on the track, but at that point it didn’t matter. All I could think about was going faster, getting lower, and then doing it all over again. And that my friends, is why they call it “track crack”.

I am so excited to get out there again. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s like a runners high. We are planning on doing at least one more track day this year. We will also be taking an advance rider training course soon which will help us with so many aspects of riding, from street to track.

If you can, within your means, get yourself out to the track. You will thank yourself over and over again. It is expensive, and I wish I could go to every track day of the year, but I simply can’t afford it. Maybe that is what makes it even that much more special :). I’m definitely addicted and can’t wait to get my next “hit” or so to speak, haha!!

I want to say thank you so much to the awesome guys at Apex Track Days for making this such an awesome experience. If you’re in Utah, you have to check them out. There is no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. Just do it.
http://www.apextrackdays.com

And many thanks to the local shops Trackstar and AdrenalineMoto for helping us get all the things we needed for the track. I will always shop local first :).
http://www.trackstar1.com
http://adrenalinemoto.com

Ride Safe 🙂

girlontheZ

Welcome back, warmer weather!

I’m beginning to feel complete again as the warmer weather approaches.  It’s felt amazing to be back in the canyons, even though it’s cold and parts of it are still wet.  My heart feels whole again :).  It’s been even more exciting with the Z!!  I love it so much it’s unreal.  Although it’s been a dream..  I’ve lost my comfort zone.  I can no longer glide easily through canyon turns like I did on the CBR.  I am unsure of how to placed my body and distribute my weight.  It’s going to be a whole new learning process.  But that’s fine.  If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing!!

I will never be the best rider out there.  I may never even be what some people would consider a good rider.  But dammit, I love to ride.  And that’s all that matters to me.  Riding is so precious to me.  It is my get away, my freedom.  honestly, I’d rather go riding over the weekend then go on a nice vacation.  I think for so many of us riders, it is a way to fill up the spaces that nothing else ever could.

Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but I feel like motorcycles bring together people who may feel like misfits elsewhere.  I’ve never quite fit in to one particular area of “life” in general.  Riding makes that irrelevant.  My motorcycle doesn’t care what I look like, what I do for a living, who my friends are, what’s in my past…  All she cares about is that I fill her up with gas and go.  I love that, and I need that.  We all do, from time to time.

Riders all have the same common denominator…  A passion for brap and a love of two wheels.  It doesn’t matter what you ride, how many CC’s it has, how much horsepower it has, or where you like to ride street, track or dirt, we are all riders.  We should salute each other, help each other and encourage each other.  If you ride (and you’re nice to me, haha) I support you and hope the best for you in your two-wheeled journey.

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Ride safe everyone 🙂

– GirlontheZ

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Yes…  I’m confused.  And that can only mean one thing…  I’m closing a chapter in my book.  I’m moving on.  No, no…  I’m not done riding!!  But it’s time to say goodbye to the CBR.

Before I say goodbye, I want to say thank you.  Thank you (bike) for proving to me that I am stronger than I’ve ever been, braver than I ever knew I could be, and happier than I ever thought possible.  You were the one who started it all.  Because of you I will have a life long passion that will never burn out.  Thank you for showing me that I can do anything that I put my mind to.  Because of you, I will never be the same…  In only the very best of ways.

 

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I’m not moving on because I feel like I’ve exceeded the power the CBR can provide me, or because I think I need a bigger, badder, beasty-er bike.  My goals and hopes for riding have just changed.  I’m no longer track driven (not that I have ever even been on a track, yet).  I want to travel, and with comfort.  But still having something unbelievably fun to ride.  Although I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it happen this year, I would love to travel across country and explore different roads.  I’m not sure I’d make it too far riding on a race ready sportbike.  So here’s to something that will better accommodate my wants and desires………  drum roll please…………….

 

 

Remember last fall when I took out the Kawasaki Z1000 and fell madly in love, head over heels?  Well apparently she did too.  Because she was still there, sitting at AdrenalineMoto, waiting for me.  All. Winter. Long.  I wanted to buy this bike so badly back in October.  But with the riding season coming quickly to a close, I decided against it as it would just sit in the house/garage all winter long and collect dust.  I also was uncomfortable getting a 1000cc bike.  It’s more power than I will ever need, and most likely ever be able to use.  But that’s ok.  I didn’t buy it for it’s power…  Although it’s a huge bonus!  I bought it for it’s versatility, comfort, affordability and of course it’s charming good looks.

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So here she is.  In all of her Orange glory.  I’m not sure what to call myself anymore, but I think I’ll call her Octavia.  I couldn’t be happier.  It goes to show, that patience pays off.  And if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.  I’m looking forward to the many adventures, miles and happiness that this bike will bring.

 

Ride safe 🙂

 

girlonthe600

So long, 2014.

It was like I blinked and the year was over. Before the year ended, the season ended (for us anyway). 2014 went by so incredibly fast. I guess the saying is true that times flies when you’re having fun. And have fun I did. From riding almost daily in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, my weekly trips to Emigration and East Canyon, and then the longer trips like Wolf Creek and Bear Lake trips… I had a blast. I actually cried when we took the bikes inside for the winter! But fear not… Warmer weather is on the way again.

2014 took me to a place that no other year ever had. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again; I really found myself this year. I found that there were more important things than worrying about the future.. I decided for myself that for the first time in my OCD, type A personality life that I was just going to go with the flow, riding from one canyon to the next and enjoy the fresh mountain air. I learned to let go of what was bothering me and move on. I stopped caring about what others thought about me and how others thought I rode. I didn’t care to be the slowest rider in a group, I just enjoyed the moment and let it be.

I’d like to say that we spent a ton of time tearing up the track and taking courses… But we didn’t. We planned on it, but it didn’t work out that way. I would also like to say that I’m getting ready to start racing (since I talked about it so much last year), but I’m not. I had a reality check and unfortunately realized that our finances weren’t in the right place at the time. And that reality sucked…  But I wasn’t going to spend money I didn’t have on something that wasn’t going anywhere.  Track riding and racing will always be there and it’ll be right there waiting when I’m ready for it.

I’ve decided to list my top 5 favs of riding in 2014 so here ya go!!

5.  2014 Hallowheelie Ride – I mean it says it in the name!!  HALLOWHEELIE!!  My two favorite things combined into one:  Halloween and riding.  This was our second time attending the annual ride through the streets of SLC.  It’s always a blast.  The looks we get from people on the street is priceless.  It’s always a great time to hang out and see the riders we haven’t seen for a while.  I’m always thankful to be apart of it.

4.  I was thankful to have a job that I only worked three days a week.  That meant riding wherever I wanted to the other four days a week… And I took full advantage of it.  I rode just about everyday that I had off.  It didn’t even matter where I rode to, I just rode.  I had never felt so free and invigorated.  I wish that I could look forward to that again this year.  But now I have a big girl job that I am required to work M-F.  But you better believe everyday after work that I can and every single weekend I’ll be out there hitting those beautiful canyons.

3.  VLOGGING!  I decided to try my hand at vlogging this summer.  It definitely was not smooth sailing at first haha!!!  Talking to myself was so weird and even with a helmet on I felt like a weirdo.  It was not something that I took on easily.  But I finally got the hang of it.  I would not say I’m good at it by any means!!  But it’s fun and adds a different twist to riding.  I’m glad someone enjoys them.  I usually just shake my head when I’m done editing and post them…  But I am my own worst critic.  I’m looking forward to doing more with spring on the way and already have some ideas.  And I’m always open to feedback!!  If you think I suck, just tell me.  If there’s something you are interested in hearing about I’m happy to hear it.

2.  My hubby and I rode out to Bear Lake which is a huge beautiful lake in between Utah and Idaho.  We took all mostly backroads and only used freeways in the very beginning and to connect us to the next canyon if there wasn’t a clear route to the next connection.  We both had a blast and plan on doing it again at least once this next year, if not more.  It’s awesome to experience the mountain roads instead of the freeways and always a great time to take the road less traveled.

1.  My favorite riding moment in 2014 was going out to the Salt Flats.  It was something else.  I’ve driven past them before but I had never been out there until I rode my bike straight onto the salt.  It was like nothing else I have ever ridden on.  Like glass..  It was strange and amazing and I could’ve stayed out there all day if time permitted.  Yes the salt rusted parts of my bike that I didn’t manage to clean off.  No I wasn’t prepared for that.  HAHA!!  But there are no regrets!!  I think it would be amazing to race a Bonneville….  Maybe one day ;).  Special thanks to Jessica aka Dlinquencious for enjoying it with me.

So here’s to 2015!!!!  I’m itching to ride and anxiously awaiting warm weather.  If 2015 is anything like 2014, I will be over the moon.  If you’re somewhere nice and warm, ride safe!  If you’re not and you feel like I do, just hold on!!  It’s coming 🙂

 

got600 inside

 

girlonthe600

 

p.s. here’s my end of the year youtube video:

Interview with RedSpade

I’m always curious about other rider’s stories, where they came from, why they ride, why they love to ride, how they got started, etc…  So I decided to reach out to one of the ladies who influence me, RedSpade.  Following her and others like Mary (Mary1krr) really kept me going when I had doubts if riding was for me.  I’m very thankful for all of the ladies (and gentlemen) who inspire me on a daily basis.

To start things out, I asked the ever so humble RedSpade if she would be open to a little interview and she agreed!  So here are my questions and her answers 🙂

Why do you ride?

“Such a complex question! I have so many reasons but the most important one is that it makes me feel alive. It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and changed my life. It’s literally a craving for more when I’m not riding. I’ve had so many rewarding experiences thanks to riding and I’ve come encountered so many new people that have enriched my life.”

How does your mom feel about you riding?

“Naturally she is scared for my safety. But she’s never once said anything about it to me…until i asked her that is. She feels I know what I’m doing and if it brings me such happiness than who is she to say anything. Every time I go ride and she’s around she always tell me to have fun, never be careful. I love her for that, because she truly gets it. Instead of openly worrying about me she wishes me a good time, and that’s just positive vibes :).”

What’s your dream bike?

“That’s a tough one because I feel I haven’t experienced enough bikes to make that decision. But just on research and visual appeal alone I would have to say the HP4. It’s a beast and is chock full of splendid german engineering. I do have a weakness for the RC8 tho, it’s just such a sharp and aggressive looking machine—love it!”

What’s your favorite track to ride at?

“Barber Motorsports park”

What are your riding goals?

“I constantly want to get better, there’s always something to learn and work on, that’s why I’m so drawn to this sport. At the moment I want to get as many track days and schools under my belt that I can afford. I’m a slow learner and riding doesn’t come naturally or easily to me so i need a lot of work. But ideally I just want to ride for a lifetime. Out on the open road with friends, and go on adventures. From track days to cross-country travel, there’s just so much to do on a bike.”

If you could go to any Motogp in the world which would it be?

“Philip Island.”

What words of advice do you have for new riders or prospective riders?

“Ride for no one else but yourself. It’s a dangerous sport as it is so make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. If you ride long enough you will get hurt, make sure you are ok with that. I know the younger you are, the less your sense of self-preservation kicks in and you never think about the end result. Sure riding is meant to be fun, but it can also come at a great cost.”

What advice do you have for riders in general?

“Be smart about how you ride and respect everyone on the road. I’m really tired of hearing bikers complain about car drivers. Yes we all know they are distracted by cell phones and aren’t paying attention. So it’s our duty to stay vigilant and in their sights. If you’re going to speed or pull tricks then likely a car driver will not notice you until it’s too late. So I say please take responsibility for your own actions.”

What do you love about riding most?

“The feeling of total freedom and independence. I’ve never been one to go do stuff on my own. This two-wheeled machine has changed that. It’s given me inner strength to conquer my fears and make bold decisions. It’s made me believe in myself.”

You’ve ridden anything from a 250 to a liter bike. What bike has been your favorite so far?

“Oh man, every bike is so different that it’s hard to decide. I would say the cbr600rr has the best balance of power and maneuverability. It’s plenty fast but light enough I can control it well. The 250r is just full-out fun, you don’t even have to lift when shifting haha! But of course the raw power and aggression of the zx10r is just mind-boggling. It’s extremely comfortable for me, almost like it was designed to fit my body. But I get into way too much trouble when I ride it….a beast best left for the track. However because of it’s size and power it’s extremely easy to ride around the street as well. The 848 was fun to ride, but I found it unrefined and clunky, which is ok, it’s meant to be tracked really. And then of course there are the dirt bikes…totally new to me but oh my, what an unparalleled amount of fun those are!”

How do you feel about being such a positive influence for female riders?

“Honestly I didn’t even realize I had an influence until a few months ago. I’m very honored and shocked at the same time. I mean, I’m no one special and I’m certainly no track star. I’m still learning and struggling, so I was surprised to find out so many women and men alike reached out to me. It honestly fills me with joy though. I feel less alone in my moto journey and I’m so happy to hear that I can inspire others. And if I can help just one person or perhaps influence their life in a positive direction then it’s all worth it. I’m just here living my life and sharing my story. I had no idea so many people would connect with it.”

I get asked quite a bit, so I’ll ask you too: how tall are you?

“5’8” and most of my height is in my legs. This is very fortunate as I can flat foot just about any motorcycle :D.”

What’s your first memory or fondest memory of a motorcycle?

“My dad had motorcycles so I’ve always been around them. But oddly enough I never took an interest in riding. I was always too scared. It wasn’t until I met my husband years ago that I started to take an interest in them. He rode dirt bikes and that was something totally new to me and captured my interest. I remember our first date we were riding around in an undeveloped subdivision with his buddies and I was on the back. While coming back to his house his buddy got too close and bumped bar end. We went up the curb and slid through the neighbor’s front yard, tore the grass up and all. I ended up with nasty massive cuts on my right shin (had scars for years) and tore my pants to shreds. My husband said he was mortified but as he turned around to look at me I was laughing. I have absolutely no idea to this day why I would laugh but I guess it’s just how I cope with shitty situations, no sense in crying over spilled milk ;).”

Which do you prefer to listen to when you ride? Music or brapps? Of music what do you listen to?

“I generally just listen to the braps 🙂 Although when I’m feeling it i’ll pop on some fast paced music, usually electronica. Problem with that is it makes me go faster than I should be going so I don’t do it often.”

Have you ever ridden dirt?

” I finally for the first time I got to ride dirt with Shelina Moreda at her camp a few weeks ago. So much fun it should be illegal!”

Although I know how you feel about this… Tell me how you feel about the importance of gear?

“Haha! Gear seems to be such a controversial thing these days. I look at it simply, I respect my body and my friends and family, therefore I wear gear. I know that I will go down eventually (hell already have) so I want to minimize the damage. I’m very well aware that gear doesn’t guarantee anything, but if I have a choice to make my chances of survival better, then why on earth would I not do that? People are very fast to say, my body my problem. But no one ever thinks how the end result affects their friends, family and job.”

Where do you see yourself and RedSpade racing in 10 years?

“Good question! I honestly had no idea RSR would even come this far. So far it’s happened very organically and I haven’t forced anything. Opportunities come up and I either turn them away or step up to the challenge as see fit. Considering I have a full-time day job and family to take care of I can’t devote 100% to RSR, and I’m ok with that. It’s my husband’s and my passion, pet project, so I will continue with it for as long as it brings me joy. Of course financially it’s all very draining. We do this because we love it and people ask for it, not to make money. We have several friends involved on our team and some have racing licenses. But the goal is to just spread awareness about riding safety, riding etiquette and educate people on riding and it’s lifestyle.

I personally would like to get my racing license eventually, but it’s not something that is hot. I still have a lot to learn and don’t feel confident enough to compete, perhaps after a racing school. I’m no every competitive by nature but I do notice I get wrapped up in a very competitive spirit when an opportunity arises. So who knows, maybe we’ll all be racing in a couple of years ;).”

 

Thank you so much, RedSpade, for answering all of my silly questions!  I really appreciate it.

I hope you guys have as much fun reading the answers to these questions as I did :).

 

girlonthe600

 

(All photos and answers are property of RedSpade and RedSpade Racing)

 

2014 the year that defined me.

“Life is not a journey with the soul purpose of arriving quietly and safely in one pristine piece, but a chance to twist the throttle, leap over, slide under or hammer thru obstacles.  To look fear in the eye and backhand it in the head.  To skid, slip or stumble across the finish line, out of gas, leaking oil and blood, covered in dirt and free of regrets.”

got6002

2014 will be defined as the year that I found myself.  I rode harder, faster, stronger and more confident than the year before.  I learned how much riding meant to me and how big of a role it has and will continue to play in my life.  I learned to go outside of my comfort zone, but not pushing my limits too far.  I learned that it’s ok to ride alone and that sometimes riding alone would be some of my best adventures.  I learned more about bikes than I ever have and continue to grow that knowledge.  I learned how important it is to share a passion with the one you love.  I learned how rewarding taking certain risks can be.  I could go on and on forever about all of the things I have learned this year…  But I don’t think I will ever be able to complete that list because it is endless.

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Riding has allowed me to be a more well rounded person.  It has brought me out of my shell and into the world.  I have always been more of a shy introverted person, but when riding I can’t be.  I am always meeting new people, people who I am not sure if I will mesh with or find a friendship with, but the door is always open.  I have become much more of an outgoing person because of this.  It is easier for me to hold a conversation with a stranger or make friends with someone I don’t even know because of this.

got6003

I have learned that fear is more of a burden than a safety net.  There is nothing wrong with being cautious and careful, but when fear gets in the way it is inhibiting.  It takes all of your courage and strength and leaves you there believing you’ve back tracked and lost hard earned skill and paralyzes you.  I think we’ve all been there.  We’ve been too close to the edge and it scares us so we back off for a while.  But then it sticks with us, and making hard carving turns are mind games and we don’t trust ourselves.  Although it is hard and is a skill all on it’s own, we must learn that fear is a figment of our imagination and the only thing it does for us is hold us back.  Just don’t get caution and fear mixed up :).

got6006

I’ve made some really great friends through riding whether it be here in my hometown or friendships through social media.  Although I’ve only met a few of my social media friends, they are great comrades who are always cheering for others and myself and I am very thankful for them.  I’m hoping that 2015 will bring some of us together!  I’ve met more people than I ever would have if I had just stayed introverted or didn’t branch out.  And I thank riding for that.

I’ve never really had a hobby that I enjoyed with my husband until riding and now that riding is such a huge part in our lives, I don’t know why we didn’t find a hobby together sooner.  I know I mention a lot that I enjoy riding alone, but I enjoy riding alongside my husband even more.  He understands my skill better than anyone else so I never feel like I have to ride like a lunatic to either keep up or show off.  He gently pushes me while I stay within my limits so that I can become a stronger rider.  He encourages me on the days that I feel lousy and cheers me up when I feel like I suck.  If we weren’t in this together, I know I wouldn’t love it as much.  Probably wouldn’t have found it in the first place…

got6005

Thinking back to my very first blog entry, when I had my “quarter life crisis”, I think it’s easy to say that riding has fixed the crisis.  I still may not know where I want to be in 5-10 years, but as long as I know that riding is in the picture that’s all that really matters.  A career and kids will come, but for now I just want to enjoy what I have.  I just want to be young while I’m young and I’m working on doing just that.

“I fall in love with people’s passion.  The way their eyes light up when they talk about the thing they love and the way they fill with light.”  I love this quote.  I feel that it is so true.  I feel like I’ve become a happier, more wholesome person with riding and I am making it a point to keep it that way.

got600

 

girlonthe600