Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking in the Rear View Mirror

Looking behind us is always a lot easier that looking ahead. No one has a crystal ball to see what will happen next, but we can all see what has gone on behind us. This is what I’m doing along with a lot of other people as one year ends and another begins. I’ve had my share of ups and downs this past year just like everyone else. Yet, part of my own personal growth is how I responded to those challenges. This year I think I did better than most years and I wonder what others who know me would say about that.

The year 2013 started out with a family member in crises and the ways we were challenged in meeting the needs of this person. At times I found it hard to be patient and kind. I had to watch myself as one watches from the outside. In the levels of awareness we have of ourselves, I find that many of my habits in my reactions I see at level two; where we become aware of what we are doing/saying as we are doing or saying it. This year, I’d like to progress to level three; where I see myself about to react but choose another path instead.

At the same time we were all dealing with the challenge, I had another challenge drop into my lap; writing for While I enjoyed this challenge very much, I wished for a clearer head at the time. Yet things do not always happen at the perfect time. My life was preoccupied and I never fully leveraged this opportunity in the way that I would have liked.

As the year closes, I find that I am now unemployed after nearly thirteen years with the same company. Yet I’m not unhappy. I have changed and so has this company. We are no longer a match for each other. I’m focusing now on where I want to go and not dwelling on any of the obstacles that may be in my way. I learned this in my motorcycle training course so many long years ago. “Look where you want the motorcycle to go. Not at the obstacle you are trying to avoid." My days are filled with dreaming of new opportunities, better fits for where I am in my life now, and more time to write. And that is a good thing in my book.

In thinking about getting back to writing, I’m contemplating a new path. I’m not saying that I’m moving away from the motorcycle, but I think it could be one of the vehicles I use to peruse a new avenue of subject matter. I have met so many interesting people. In speaking with them, they often have fascinating stories to tell. These stories have nothing to do with what they do for a living, what their status in life is, but more about what their own passion is, or how they became inspiration for others. Off the top of my head is Manal al-Sharif, whom I know personally, and has become a symbol for women the world wide. She her video here on TED.

Closer to home I am watching Sue and Christine at our local gym. They are an inspiration to me in their perseverance toward physical fitness. They encourage others, and even assist freely in correct form in the performance of some strength based exercise. All these people have stories. I would love to write about each one of them; for them, for me, and for you.
Pat and Manal

Friday, November 29, 2013

BBQ Chasing

While I have been quiet lately on this blog, it doesn't mean I haven't been riding. I'm still without a PC at home on a regular basis. However, I have started taking my work laptop home, so you may see me more going forward. I did want to share some fun news with you hence my visit here today. I also haven't blogged about our great vacation escape to Nova Scotia this summer. More soon on that. In the meantime, read on about the Smoke Chasing Grand Tour I took part in this summer.

Earlier this season, I signed up with the AMA to do the Smoke Chasing Tour. The money up front that you pay to be part of the tour goes to charity so I like that. You can learn more about the AMA and this events at this link. I signed up because I wanted more excuses to ride with my pal Dave, knowing how much he loves BBQ, but alas, Dave became preoccupied and couldn't join us as I had hoped. No worries though because I love BBQ too! I also learned that not many women participate and I felt a special pride in doing the tour. Yet, as the year progressed, I realized that I would not be able to complete all 20 stops. I was a bit downhearted and felt like I was also not representing my gender well. Despite this, I decided to upload what I had as not to let the team down because each stop earns you points. I figured the points would help the team and things weren't a complete loss. To my delight I received this note from our team leader.


Four states plus the BBQ Braggadocio side dish for bragging in photos 4 & 5 is not too bad. We agree that you did not finish but we score your ride as 20 points for states, 8 points for stops, and 5 points for Braggadocio, Your final score is 33 points. That is actually more points than you would need to finish the ride, so again, not too shabby.

We love BBQ and riding so any chance to do that, and share that with others is great for us. We thank you for joining us this year.

SCGT13 Team"

So I'm feeling pretty good as you can imagine. You can view the photos at my Photobucket link to see the places I visited on the Grand Tour this year.
I'm thinking I might try again next year!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mother Nature Forced Hiatus

Due to a lightning strike my blogging has been curtailed. Lost our Internet, my computer isn't responding and my iPad keyboard went as well. I should be back up soon It's taking time. Internet is restored, friends are working on PC and a replacement keyboard is on the way for the iPad.

Leaving in a few weeks for Nova Scotia and am looking forward to sharing the trip hopefully with more than just one finger typing.

When it rains it pours.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fishkill NY and the Catskills

I had an opportunity to spend some time with the New England Riders in Dutchess Country New York, riding the Catskill Mountains. It was a fantastic weekend of camaraderie and motorcycle riding.  I came away with many fond memories of the twists and turns, the unexpected vistas, waterfalls and lots of animal sightings; both dead and alive. One of the favorite roads that the group I rode with came to loving call “the goat trail” came to feel like a dodge ball game. This typically quiet road was like grand central station. By the time we came to travel this stretch, there were a couple of races heading up the hill as we were right then traveling down.  On this very steep grade, there were bicyclists, and joggers heading up. The bicyclists trying to manage the hill were weaving from one side to the next, with the motorcycles trying to avoid them, while also avoiding the joggers on the berm. As we were finally clearing through the crowd, we witnessed an old woman standing at the end of her drive giving us all a thumbs down. It was funny and scary all at the same time. And the sad part is, I have not ONE photo to show for it. 

                Back in 2008 when we were planning our trip to Colorado, Utah and Arizona, I practiced snapping photos on the fly with my point and shoot. This involved wearing the camera around my neck on a lanyard, lifting it up with one hand, finding the on/off switch with gloved hand, snapping the photo and then turning the camera back off and letting it drop to my chest. I got quite good at it, but the camera suffered; especially from grit in the lens. I’ve had it repaired a few times and have been thinking of another camera. Yet, I didn’t want to pay big bucks just to ruin another camera lens on its first trip. Then when I missed all the action in photo and video on the goat trail, along with the scenic views I knew I needed more than a point and shoot.
                This summer, we are planning a two week adventure in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In the planning of this trip I am stumbling upon some great photos of the area. There is no way I’m going to miss anymore great photos so I’m on the hunt for a decent affordable helmet cam. While GoPro has a great reputation I’m not sure I want a box on my head. I’ve checked the others too, but the prices have me hesitant.  I think I’ve found the solution for my first adventure with helmet cams; the new Panasonic XS80. It has just enough features to make me happy, and the price is just under $200. In the meantime you’ll have to take my word for how beautiful the Catskills are, or take the trip yourself.
As an aside, I would encourage all of you to visit the New England Rider website. Use this link;; to download some of the best roads in New England and parts of New York. Much work has been done in developing and posting these routes so if you’re planning a trip to the area your work is half done for you. The New England Riders also post photos from these rides so you can see some of the great places you could be visiting for yourself. Which brings me back to my first rant of needing a new camera.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Motorcycle Touring Community

             This year I celebrate 6 years of blogging about motorcycle adventures.  It has been a journey of discovery, adventure and passion. At times it’s been my therapy, soapbox and vehicle for looking at life and understanding its mysteries.  I have had many memorable journeys I’ve posted about, from photos of breathtaking vistas, to meeting great people like Don, who shared his family’s story of 9/11 in Shanksville Pennsylvania. I’ve said goodbye to special people like Bill, who’s riding adventures were cut short by cancer. And I’ve come to know and appreciate more deeply the people I call “friend” when we have traveled together.

               Worry not, this is not goodbye. I will continue to blog about motorcycling, and the observations of life it produces. Blogging fulfills my passion for writing. Yet while I love to express myself here, it is mostly a one way conversation.  There is so much for us to share; from great places to visit, gear that works and doesn’t, mobile apps that are great for the road and helpful tips that are useful to know. When I have a new destination in mind, I want to talk with you about it. I have questions I want to ask you.
               In planning my new adventure on two wheels, I opened the search engine and started browsing. Page after page I scrolled through bits of information. As the time ticked on, and time as we know is so precious, I bemoaned the fact that the tips and tidbits were so scattered. That is when the light bulb started to flicker, and the Motorcycle Touring Community on Facebook idea was born. What’s different about this community? It is your community. A community that is not region specific, focuses on the enjoyment of long distance touring, that is interactive, and whose members can share destinations, photos, ideas, helpful tips, cautions and any tidbit that improves our next adventure.  Best of, we can ask each other questions.
               I hope you will join me in the debut of the Motorcycle Touring Community page on Facebook. Like us. Share us. Post photos of your favorite spot on the globe. Tell us what you like. Tell us what you don’t like. Most of all let’s get to know each other better and get the two way conversation started until KSU!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Twisted Throttle Open House

               With some extra cash in my pocket these days, I’m looking to upgrade my riding wardrobe and replace a few items on the motorcycle. So when I noticed Whitehorse Press and Twisted Throttle were both holding open houses, I was excited. I read more closely I noticed they were both on the same day. We had to choose; north or south? Having never visited Twisted Throttle, it seemed a no brainer. Off we headed to Rhode Island.  We arrived late morning, and already the lot was full and the place was jumping.  After checking in, getting our wrist bands and raffle tickets, we set off to see what all the commotion was about at the opposite end of the lot.

                What we found were the trials club* doing their stunts around and over the obstacles.  I get vertigo just watching them do their thing. It was amazing to watch. We got a little education too. These trials bikes cost $8000. These bikes are not street legal, so you have to be really into trials to invest eight grand. Also, the gas tank holds a grand total of one quart of gas. The bonus was when the announcer asked if anyone would like to try to balance one of these trials bikes.  I was standing right in front of the rider, so I raised my hand. It was surprising how much they do weigh as these riders move them around like they are feathers. I didn't manage to balance too long, but had a sense that if I could get 10 minutes I’d be doing OK. It was fun!

                After our free lunch and a bit of browsing, we headed back to watch more stunts. This time, it was Chris “Teach” McNeil performing incredible stunts on stock motorcycles. He clowned around at the start, and I cracked up at his rendition of a novice biker trying to tame the motorcycle. It was a hoot!  Check out the video I've posted on YouTube* to see for yourself the talent this guy has on a motorcycle.

                While I didn't find any new apparel for myself, I did get a 25% discount on a new rear tire that will ship Monday to my home; no shipping charge. I was pleased with the personal service the Michelin rep gave me, even walking out to visit Blaze. I did suffer a bit of scolding when he saw her though, as Blaze is in dire need of new sneakers.  

                With clouds gathering and Blaze with treadles tires, we decided to head home mid-afternoon.  I didn't want to take more risks than necessary. I had a great time at Twisted Throttle and hope to visit again in the future.  

*Videos embedded 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cabela Tales

This past weekend the Fearsome Foursome (as Lee likes to call us) took to the super slabs and hightailed it to Cabela’s in Hamburg Pennsylvania. Cabela’s is a favorite of Lee’s and since we were celebrating (birthday), it was his destination of choice. Cabela’s is definitely a “man’s” store, so the guys were happy as clams the whole weekend. Deb and I enjoyed watching them enjoy themselves, and we had a few good chuckles over their antics.

This was my first adventure to Cabela’s and I have to admit, I was impressed. The place is most certainly a tourist destination as much as it is a sporting goods store. This particular Cabela’s is the largest in the nation at 250,000 square feet. The animal displays (taxidermy), are superb. The aquarium and historical bits of information need more than one visit to truly appreciate. The employees go out of their way to make you feel welcomed and not once did anyone complain or even bat an eyelash at the goings on in their store.

Some of the scenes from the weekend keep rolling through my mind like movie trailers. There is Lee, posing like a Jedi Warrior in his camouflage jacket. Then there are the guys with rifles in hand and talking like bad boys. Or how I caught them wearing coonskin caps and challenging each other over whose tail was the longest.  Andy found a kids pop gun, snuck up behind me and let loose. The noise made me scream, (yes, just like a girl) and I jumped a foot at the loud POP.


Debbie always has me laughing with her witty observations.  In the African display area, the animals are fantastic and so life like in their poses. There is a majestic lion perched on a rock outcropping posed in a perfect roar stance. Across from this scene are the lionesses taking down their prey. As Lee was admiring the mighty lion, Deb pointed out that it was the lionesses taking down the prey. We both observed that is was the women taking care of things and bringing dinner home. I couldn’t help but jump in with my own observation that the pose was really the lion telling the ladies what a great job they're doing and how he’ll be rewarding each of them tonight!  Lee was not to be outwitted, so in the aquarium as we observed the pike, barely moving in the tank. He gave them voice in true Pixar fashion. “Don’t move anyone! Maybe they won’t see us and leave.”

We came back in the morning and had breakfast in the café. If you have the app Foursquare on your smartphone, check in, and get a 30% discount at the register. You have to show the clerk the code on your phone, so do that first. They have a decent breakfast buffet on Sunday mornings. After breakfast, we made our purchases and headed back to the slabs for home. That doesn’t mean the fun is over. At any rest area with a decent table, we can find Lee taking a load of his feet.

All in all, the weekend totaled 722 miles. Not bad for the first good ride of the season.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Afternoons

     What ever happened to the concept of the 4 day work week?  There are companies that do have such a thing, but it hasn’t caught on quite as much as I’d hope. So here I am on another Friday, when the inbox is stagnant, the phone remains quiet, and I’m scratching my head at how to be productive. It’s tough when one is raised with a strong work ethic. So, I pretend to strategize, plan ahead, and follow all the concepts of Stephen Covey. But let’s get real, I’m looking out the window at the beautiful spring day and dreaming of the weekend and where I will ride.

     We have finally managed to get the bikes out on a few excursions. The last vestiges of snow have vanished and the song birds are out in full force. Yet, winter doesn’t seem to want to loosen its grip. This seems to happen just when I get out on the open road. In addition to the danger of sand at the intersections, and last autumn’s leaves, Andy and I have been hit by hail, if for a brief moment, but still it was hail. So to see a Friday as beautiful as today and be confined makes it hard to keep to my own standards

     I’m going to confess that I had to check up on the motorcycle world. I discovered that Antiques Roadshow will have a special on April 29th, broadcasted from the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.

Also at this year’s rally, women who have been influential in the motorcycle world will be featured. These aren’t the big name movers and shakers, but the everyday person who has had an impact on the motorcycle world.

     In addition, I’ve made some decent headway into planning our motorcycle vacation. I’m looking at Kentucky this year. The Daniel Boone National Forest it attracting my attention with everything from waterfalls, natural arches to caves. The roads getting there look absolutely inviting. But alas, my moment of daydreaming needs to end; time to break off here and get back to the work ethic.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Live Life!

Is there something you do or dream about that makes you think “now this is the life!” I have those fantasies too. At other times, I have to pinch myself because I just can’t believe we’re on our dream trip; like our visit to Sturgis for example. Well,  I reached another milestone this week as the two things I love to do most got a bit of a global presence when SafecoInsurance’s site when live this week with its new look and feel.  There on the first page is a story with my byline. 

                There’s more to come too! I’ll be writing for in the coming months. What better gig is there than writing about motorcycle adventures? For me there just isn’t anything I’d rather do more.  If you’re looking for some ideas on where to ride and what to see, check out my posts and that of the other contributors.  There’s a little something for everyone from RVing, boating and car trips. The site lets you focus on the area where you live for a narrow focus, or you can broaden your dreams and check out other parts of the country.

                In the meantime, while you’re visiting the website read my posts and check out the photos. There are map points too so you can see exactly where I’m writing about. Take notes so you can visit yourself.  Like castles? Then start with Gillette Castle and the Devil's Hopyard. If the waterfall attracted your attention in this story, then the next one to read is  Letchworth State Park.  Are mountains more to your taste?  Then Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina is a must read, and the photos are gorgeous. When you’ve read these three you might have worked up an appetite. No worries, I’ve got just the place for you to visit. Take a Rib Run to Curtis’ BBQ. Please feel free to leave comments here and at LiveLifeLocal!  Let us know what you think!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It’s Spring Already (for pity's sake)

Our snow blower gave us trouble this season, so the driveway has a narrow swatch carved out, big enough for one compact car. At the end of the drive is the storage shed where we house the motorcycles. I can only see half the ramp. The snow on each side is still waist high where the snow was thrown while digging out storm after storm. I pull into the yard after a long day and immediately my brain cries, “its spring already for crying out loud. Start melting!”

Even if we could roll Blaze and The Vulcan out into the driveway, it’s covered with ice. Even if the driveway were clear, the road out of here is nothing but mud. Oh joy, mud season in New Hampshire. While I love living out in the boondocks, it does come with challenges sometimes. I tell myself to suck it up and do something productive. Since Andy needs a new helmet, I take him off to the Kawasaki dealership in the next town over. The sleds are still on the showroom floor. (That’s snowmobiles for those who live in milder climates.) The clerk has to go digging in the storage inventory to find what we want. In the end, Andy finds something he likes and that fits well. One motorcycle related activity done and I’m feeling better already.

When we get home I fish out the box we got ourselves for Christmas and which I haven’t yet opened. It’s a Sena SMH10 Bluetooth Motorcycle Headset. Several rider friends of ours have enjoyed using theirs, and we have become tired of the wires hanging from our helmets while using the walkie-talkies. I start reading the manual. I like to follow instructions. Andy likes to dive right in. We compromise. I start with charging the units. I’m surprised at how giddy I feel watching the indicator light turn from red to blue. Then we move on to installing the clamp to our helmets. After that, Andy can’t wait, and begins putting it all together. I still read out loud, as I know the boom mic will not be installed as his last. Things start coming together nicely.

Then we are back to the manual so we can understand how to work these things. There are so many options that I want to take advantage of, but for right now, we just need to talk back and forth. A few false starts and we have it where we feel we like it. Not the voice activated option. Sometime I like to sing to myself on the bike. Sometimes Andy has a few choice words when drivers cut us off. Neither of us wants to hear the other unless necessary. So we select the tap. Then we put on the helmets and move around the house testing it out. As it turns out the day is not so bad. We’re wearing helmets after all. It’s a start. And the snow can’t last forever.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chasing Off the Winter Blues

It’s March 8th, and yes, I know the calendar does not say its spring yet, but do we have to get hammered again with another winter storm? Sure I made it to the office, but there are only five people here. The thought that has sustained me all day is that tomorrow we are heading over to the Northeast Motorcycle Expo in Wilmington Massachusetts. The next morning, as if in response to my eagerness, the sun appears and the temperatures shoot upward. Like icing on the cake, we meet up with Jan, Alan, Lee and Deb.

As motorcycle events go, this is not the largest event around, but if you’ve missed them all for one reason or another, something is better than nothing. I had money to burn in my pocket. Sadly I didn’t find anything that suited my tastes. However, Deb pointed us to a new product she stumbled upon that we found some interest in, ergonomic grips. Lee picked up a pair, and Debbie is now sporting new grips on Thor.

One aspect of any motorcycle show is the bikes in competition. Taste here is as varied as there are people. Some of these have me thinking of friends with cool cameras and the fun things to photograph. Of course there aren’t just bikes to look at. I won’t go into detail, let’s just say cleavage was involved. Then Andy spots two Amazon women. Honestly, I don’t think there are men that tall. Not only that, but if I were going to stick out in a crowd like that, I’d have selected a different outfit to wear. I’ll say this; no one was messing with ‘em.

With the afternoon rolling around, our stomachs were saying it was time for lunch. We all headed off the Whole Foods where shopping around is as much fun as visiting the cold and hot food bars with the curious assortment to select from. It’s easy to over eat because one tends to want to try a taste of everything. While Whole Foods might have interesting selections, I’m still looking forward to chasing smoke and eating BBQ. Come on spring! Where are you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Smoke Chasing

We riders don’t need excuses to get on the motorcycle when a beautiful day presents itself. However, we seem to have to explain why we aren’t home, where we are going, and when we will be back. Yet, people who take off for the beach on a gorgeous day don’t seem to have to explain why they are throwing off responsibility in the same way we do. The difference between beach lovers, and motorcyclists is that beach lovers are not always looking for a new beach. Riders on the other hand are always looking for new roads and places to visit. So when I read on the NER forum than one of the guys had signed up for the Smoke Chasing Grand Tour, my mind started working overtime.

The Smoke Chasing Grand Tour is a self-paced challenge to visit 20 BBQ joints during a specific time frame. There are a few rules of course, a fee which supports a charity, and a few prizes which are more for bragging rights than value. To make things interesting a few side challenges are tossed in for extra fun. When I signed up I discovered that only 20% are ladies, only ¼ of those ladies are solo riders and the rest are 2-up.

When my mind started working overtime, here are a few of the things I thought about.
1. I have a sense the summer will be crazy with no time for a more detailed trip.
2. Last season we were scratching our heads about where to head off to at the spur of the moment.
3. My pal Dave is a rib loving fan and we don’t get to drag him off riding as much as we’d like. I thought I’d dangle this carrot of him.

I checked in with Dave and he was onboard and willing to take photos too! While investigating more, the forum offered up a great link to all the BBQ joints in NH and in 7 surrounding states! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I started reading that list in amazement at the BBQ places in New Hampshire alone. My stomach started rumbling and I thought about Curtis’ in Putney Vermont, one of Dave’s favorite places. When Curtis’ came to mind, it had me looking down the list for seasonal places that cook outside like they do. What do you know! There are several. I’m flagging these to create routes we can take to visit them.

While my stomach was rumbling thinking or ribs, I get an email from Dave. It appears his stomach must be doing the same and he suggests a rib run to KC’s in Manchester NH to get us in the mood. On Saturday Dave picks us up and we head over to KC’s. The food is finger licking good and the photo opportunities abound. When I saw the shovel appear, I knew this Smoke Chasing Grand Tour Challenge is going to be fun. I can’t wait to see how each of these places makes themselves unique.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Passion is Ageless

I’m sitting comfortably on a sofa at the dealership, typing away on my iPad, while my car is being serviced, when a young man approaches me and asks;

“Does that thing work?”

“The iPad?”

“No, the keyboard. Cuz I’ve read some reviews that were not that favorable.”

“It works great!” I tell him.

I continue on telling him that I use it all the time because I write.

“In fact, I’m working right now writing my next article. I’m a contributor for a public website. “

“What do you write about?” he asks.


There is a moments silence and he blinks a couple of times.

“Really?” he asks.

“Really.” I say.

Then the usual questions about what I ride, and where I ride. In mid-sentence he holds up a finger in a “wait a minute” gesture and disappears into an office. He reappears a moment later and holds out for me a color snapshot, edges cured, of a vintage Triumph. We start talking bikes and the both of us are really enjoying ourselves.

“I had an unusual upbringing,” he tells me.

“I think most kids would say that.”

“No really, my Dad is a bit different.”

“Again, I think most kids would say that.”

“Do you know Sammy Hagar?” he asks.

“I’m not too sure,” I say.

“He was lead vocalist for Van Halen before he went off on his own. My Dad is a musician and played back up for Sammy. I grew up a roadie. My Dad’s passion is vintage bikes. Indians, the real ones, Panheads and Triumphs.”

He spent his youth restoring bikes with his Dad. His favorites are Triumphs. We’re really enjoying our conversation, swapping tales of motorcycling. His description of his Dad has me telling him that he sounds like all my classmates. This has us looking at each other suspiciously. It turns out his Dad is only a couple years older than me, and he himself is 30 years old. There’s a pause in our conversation.

“Please don’t be offended,” he says. “But…”

“I’m old enough to be your mother?”

His cheeks turn a bit pink. He shrugs an acknowledgement.

“Yes, but we’re talking bikes, and you get it!” he says.

I do indeed get it.

Note: Next time you’re at MacMulkin in Nashua, be sure to look for Doug Wiltz. He’ll want to sell you a car, but I know his love is motorcycling. Tell him I say hello.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Taking the Edge of the Winter Doldrums

The Early Days

For a lot of motorcyclist this time of year is tough. Many suffer from PMS. That would be Parked Motorcycle Syndrome. Some try to relieve the symptoms by visiting a motorcycle trade show in the area. There are even those who travel out of state to attend a show and pay big bucks for fancy hotels just for the pleasure of sniffing leather and wearing shades to cut the glare from all the gleaming new motorcycles on display. They run their hands along the smooth tanks and fenders, gawk at chrome covered accessories and trash talk with each other about some ride they mastered on the twisties.

I have to admit, I do like a good trade show and I had planned to visit one this weekend. To my dismay, my husband flipped the calendar to February and I realized that I lost a week someplace and missed the show. I’ve been cruising the internet for more shows, and discovered one in our area come March. I’ve marked the calendar, and since it’s near my birthday, I’m likely not to forget what week we’re in when the time draws near.

My PMS hasn’t been too bad this winter though as I’ve been reliving rides from years past. As I scroll through the photos and remember each ride, I almost feel the warmth of the sun on my back despite the cold snap outside. Why am I reliving the past this way? It’s all for my new writing gig with CuratorPR. As one of Curator’s content contributors I get to write about what I love most, motorcycling. Talk about the best job in the world! The site is due to go live soon and I’m waiting anxiously to see my blog posts on-line.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying all the photos again. Mountain vistas, waterfalls, covered bridges, rivers, ferries, lakes and ponds; ribs, diners, pork rinds, grits, burgers; faces, friends; all of these trigger senses that contribute to great memories. I’m dreaming of my next new destination. Each time we set out on the bikes, we discover another treasure in our own backyard.

I’ll keep writing to fend of PMS. I don’t care what prediction the groundhog has for us. For me, spring is never so far off I can’t dream. The map’s up on the screen, the rally brochures fanned out, a few touring magazines litter the floor and the cold snap can’t last forever.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A New Year, A New Beginning.

                I had goose bumps ripple over my flesh when I reread my post from this time last year.  I had forgotten most of its content; on the surface that is, but subliminally, I seem to have soaked up my own advice, and its rewards are beginning to show.  I will share more in a few minutes on what is going on with me, but first, with the New Year of course comes advice I want to give you so that I can also soak it up again for myself. The value of which will only be clear to each of us when we look behind us.
                I, like everyone else, have things in my life I would like to accomplish. Yet, not unlike the majority of the population, I spend too much time looking back and bemoaning missed opportunities, or crying over failed expectations. At the beginning of the 2012 I became tired of this and took advice that is serving me well. A geek friend of mine (said with loving affection and geek is not a bad word as some believe) gave as a gift a program he wrote then installed on my home PC. It’s a nice little script that emails to me on a schedule I specify, affirmations throughout the day. I select the affirmations that have meaning for me alone. This constant reminder throughout the day has helped me make strides forward in my goals, and modify habits from bad to good. I feel calmer, less stressed, and enjoy everyday life more than I have for years. What kind of affirmations you might ask? Here are two of my favorites.
                “It is the constant dripping that hollows out the stone.”
                Accept life's nuisances but don't give them more power than they deserve. Stay positive.”

                The result of all my affirmations is that I feel more relaxed and centered than ever.  What about those goals of mine? How are these affirmations getting me to where I want to go? It seems one drip at a time.  In looking back, I can now see that I needed more personal growth, a better understanding of what I want and why, and when I was ready, the universe delivered.

                I am currently working on inking an agreement to blog professionally for a national website. This agreement is currently being reviewed. And while due diligence is being attended to, I don’t think it is premature to say that the parties are in accord. It has been a dream of mine to share more broadly the wonderful motorcycle excursions we take throughout this amazing Country of ours. This is a magnificent opportunity to do just that; in word, photo and map.
                While I’ll be sharing motorcycle adventures to a greater audience, I will not forget my friends here. Come back and visit now and then, because this is where the personal antics will continue to be shared.  In the coming days, I will post the link where you can follow me nationally. Thank you to all of you who share a love of motorcycling and have continued to follow my blog over time.  I also owe a great thanks to the New England Riders, who took me under their wing when I was but a novice, and always made me feel accepted. Some of my first best stories came from our association. I’m off now to renew my affirmations for 2013. Try this for yourself.  Let me know how it goes. I’m always pleased to hear from you.