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MZ33
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#41 Unread post by MZ33 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:40 pm

Here you go, Gina!

http://www.womenridersnow.com/PublicFil ... cleID=1276

What do you think?
[img]http://i39.tinypic.com/16jla1l.jpg[/img]

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Gina
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Real Name: Regina Russell
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My Motorcycle: 2007 Suzuki Boulevard 800
Location: London, KY

Interesting....

#42 Unread post by Gina » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:29 pm

Hey MZ,

Yes, that's a great looking bike. In fact, it looks a lot like my bike! I got the Yamaha Majesty today. I got to drive it for about two and a half hours just to bring it home and I loved it. My first Majesty was totaled and it broke my heart.
I feel truly as if I've come full circle. My Yamaha is red and beautiful. It's not quite as big as the T-Max but it's a nice step up in weight, wheel size and stability compared to the 250. I was sooooooo ready. I loved my GV and had a lot of fun on it but after riding my 400 home, I don't want to ever ride my GV again. See how fickle I am? :twisted:
I kept it on 70 on the highway. My husband was riding behind me and he said I was going about 65. It was smooth riding and I had so much more room for my legs and could put them in several different positions. It was easier to lean into the curves on the winding road to our house. The stability the weight gave it really made a difference. I had to drive past the place I wrecked before but it was no problem. I'd done it plenty of times on the Grand Vista.
But thanks for the link about the T-MAX and if you can talk my hubby into buying me a third bike I'll go for it! :lol:
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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Close call!

#43 Unread post by Gina » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:46 pm

My husband and I had several things to do in town today. Plus, you know I wanted to ride. Town is about 20 minutes away if there's a lot of traffic and there was. I knew it would be a challenge too. The Yamaha outweighs the Grand Vista by about 100 lbs. and I'm still not back to where I was before my fall, my operations and my bike wreck. (Exciting two years, huh?)
Riding back on the highway and stopping at a few lights like I had to do yesterday is one thing but zipping all over town, up and down curvy side roads, weaving around pot holes and manuvering around crowded parking lots is another. I knew my inexperience with the heavier bike could cause me to go down pretty quick so I prayed and drove as careful as I could.
I had done alright after about three hours of town business and traffic when my husband decided he needed to go to the bank. He came back out and I followed him. Now, I've read that I should always be very careful about putting my feet down on metal when coming to a stop but I never even saw it. I was just watching my husband and the traffic on the cross street and when we came to a stop, I needed to put both feet down and my right foot was right on a metal grating. It wasn't one of those with little holes in it. It was long, big slabs of metal and my boot started sliding on it and I went to the right taking my bike with me. The ground sloped toward the right there also and I thought I'd lost it. I yelled so loud my husband who was stopped in front of me at the stop sign heard me over his bike and he had a helmet on too. Somehow I managed not to go all the way down and handled the bike and got it back upright before it touched the road.
By this time, my husband was looking back at me and asking if I was alright. I told him I was okay but I was a little shook up. It was just the kind of thing I was afraid of. You think you're doing fine and some little thing you overlooked can cause you to go down. I just thank God I didn't. I don't know if an angel helped me or God allowed me to handle it by giving me a little boost of something but even when I look back on it and the way the road sloped down to the right there, I'm surprised I didn't go all the way down.
So, if my little near-drop can be a warning to anyone and keep it from happening to them, it was well worth the time it took me to tell it. My husband has reminded me about watching where I put my feet down and to watch out for oil on the road at stop lights and the such. I just wish remembering it all was as easy as going down apparently is. :oops:
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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A great day!

#44 Unread post by Gina » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:30 pm

We got back from our vacation Sunday night. We were worn out from the long car drive and so glad to be home. The traffic was crazy in NC and TN. Everytime I saw a biker, I wished I were riding.
Then, the next few days we got a lot of rain and I didn't get to take out the Majesty. Our church bike ride is tomorrow though and I felt like I needed to get used to my bike all over again because I'd only ridden it twice before we left for our vacation.
So, my husband and I headed out for some back roads and then we went to town. Then, this afternoon, my son-in-law came over and we all went riding together. So, now I feel ready for our bike ride tomorrow. I'm very excited about it. I've never ridden in a group of more than three people before. You all remember our group in your prayers that we have a safe and fun trip and most of all that we acknowledge and praise our Father for giving us good health and glorious days to ride!
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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Bike Ride

#45 Unread post by Gina » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:20 pm

We just got back from our ride and I'm a little sore and pretty tired but I enjoyed every minute of it. I was surprised when we headed out on 66 towards Pineville, that we would encounter such a road but I believe a few spots were like the tail of the dragon. One of the other riders said that when he goes to ride the dragon, he knows now that he doesn't want to have his wife on the back.
Once I took a curve too wide and went into the other lane. I was really disappointed with myself over that. I know that's how some bikers get killed. I'm used to curvy country roads. That's what I cut my teeth on out here where I live. But this ride really took me to a whole new level.
We were going over some railroad tracks once and a huge Heron flew down. I knew I needed to concentrate on the tracks ahead of me and where we were going but the bird was so magnificent I hated to quit looking at it. It was so big, it looked like something out of prehistoric times. It resembled a big, awkward looking crane but after looking it up on the web, I'm convinced it was a great blue Heron.
There were about 8 bikes altogether. Brother David, our Associate pastor, led the group on his Kawasaki and Bro. Perry was at the end of the line on his blue Harley.
We drove about 75 miles to get to the Pine Mountain State Park where some ladies from the church were waiting. They had grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and fixed some fine potato salad and baked beans.
Most of the trip was shaded by trees in the mountains so it stayed pretty cool. With my jacket, it was perfect weather for me.
Before we headed out, we said a prayer together and now I would just like to thank God for a wonderful trip and the fellowship we shared today. May this be the beginning of many more such trips!
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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Riding and Riding!

#46 Unread post by Gina » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:44 pm

You know, I finally feel like my dream has come true. I've ridden down country lanes behind my husband. I've driven highways in the rain by myself and I've driven on the interstate now and wasn't afraid.
Since my accident, I've learned so much and overcome so much fear. But I know it's no time to rest on my laurels. For one thing, I do believe that I had the help of God so many times that I would be surprised if I really knew. Also, I know that I can lay my bike down tomorrow even if I'm careful and watching out the best I can. I also remember reading that the first six months are the most dangerous time for a rider. I keep reminding myself that it's good to get comfortable but not so comfortable that I forget to ride as safely as I can.
I'm planning on taking a little trip in the morning. I'm going to head north and see my granddaughter. I don't know if my husband is going or not but I really look forward to the ride anyway.
Last week when I headed out by myself, I knew it was supposed to rain but the forecast didn't call for much so I thought I'd chance it. It was a good day to do it anyway--not much traffic and not much rain when it did come.
Hwy 25 here is the winding country road everyone used to take before the interstate came in over 40 years ago. There are hills and cliffs to enjoy. I can't help but think of my grandparents every time I travel over it or the times I rode the church bus that was taking us to summer camp when I was a little girl.
I remember sitting on that bus with my face pressed up to the window and marvelling at the drop off on the other side of the road. I wasn't afraid. I enjoyed being above the trees and being able to look down on them.
Have you ever travelled over roads and remembered when you went that same way in the past? Sometimes I think how surprised I would have been back then to know I would be riding the same road on a bike decades later. I'm sure it would have made me smile.
Another thing that makes me smile is going back over a road that brings back unhappy memories of sadder times. The reason I smile now is because I can see that even though I was discouraged at the time, God has brought me to a place where I can travel it with happiness.
I guess it just goes to show you that the same road can take you different places. :lol:
Have a happy and safe Labor day weekend!
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Our Labor Day Weekend Jaunt

#47 Unread post by Gina » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:11 pm

We started out early Saturday morning---so early that the people didn't have their items for sale uncovered yet. (It was a community yard sale that weekend.) I was wearing my jacket but I still got a little cool as we traveled the main road to town heading for Hardee's. I got the steak biscuit and my husband got his usual and after a quick breakfast, we hit the interstate. We had decided that if the traffic wasn't too bad at that time in the morning, we'd just take the fastest route since we had so much to do. It was a brisk ride that took about thirty minutes. Even the interstate is beautiful in this part of Ky. and I enjoyed riding it on my Yamaha. I've had my Majesty up to 90 when I was passing a truck once and she rode just as smooth as she did at 60 so I wasn't worried at all about taking her on the interstate again.
My granddaughter's game was fun to watch and I got to hold my grandbaby some too. After the game, I put my gear back on and we got on 25 and headed for a town about twenty minutes away. It was homecoming day there and they were having a parade. Even knowing that, we still didn't want to get on the interstate. Traffic was getting heavier plus the ride to Livingston via 25 is beautiful.
When we got to Livingston, the parade was in full swing. We got in a line behind some trikes as horses clopped by us in the other lane. I had the chance to pull up next to a woman driving a trike and I asked her how she liked it. She laughed and said it was just like driving a Cadillac. I saw a politician I knew and waved. However, when we got to the middle of town I was disappointed to see that the road was blocked and they were detouring us. I was not happy about that because my husband was in front of me and he immediately headed up the hill someone had pointed out without consulting me. I knew the area well and he didn't and I knew how bad some of the backroads were. Unfortunately, he didn't make the turn to go back down to the main road where he should have, choosing to go further down where the road became even narrower and steeper and I ended up stopping my bike on a very steep hill while he gingerly took his 750 down it. I looked at the large pieces of gravel and the angle and knew I didn't feel comfortable at all trying it.
There was a truck behind me that wanted by and that left me with the option of going down the tiny, steep hill headlong towards town where I possibly could have become the focal point of a whole parade if I did not negotiate it successfully or pulling into a gravel driveway behind a pick up truck. I chose the driveway. However, the grade was so steep that I couldn't get my bike backed out onto the road to try to turn around and there was no question of being able to do it where I was at.
I kept pushing with my legs and backing up a little at a time but I couldn't get my bike out. I didn't know what else to do so I just bowed my head and prayed. Sweat was popping out on my brow not only because the day was hot and I had been working hard to get out of my predicament but because I was a little unnerved too. I was still determined not to try that hill.
Only a few seconds after I lifted my head, a man came walking around the truck and asked if I was having trouble. I told him I couldn't get my bike backed out and he offered to move his truck forward and let me come up and turn around in his driveway. His poor dog was scared of my bike but I was relieved just to be able to get back on my way. (Thank You, Lord.)
Soon, I was rolling down 25 again and saw my husband standing beside his bike with his cell phone out. I knew he was trying to call me to find out where I was. Thanks for the help, I thought as I buzzed past him but soon I calmed down and pulled over to wait for him. I wanted to be following him again even if he had led me wrong earlier. lol Later, when we discussed it, he admitted that the hill gave him a moment of discomfort too but he went for it and agreed that I did the right thing by not going beyond my comfort level. He has a lot more experience than I do.
We had over an hour's hour's drive ahead of us as we headed toward the funeral home to pay our respects for a friend of my husband's stepfather. My legs were tired and the ordeal on the hill was still on my mind for the first part of the trip but as we rode, I regained my confidence and love for travelling on my bike. The weather was perfect and once again I marvelled at the beauty of the rocky cliffs and deep drop offs the curvy road took us by.
I was glad when we got to the funeral home though. By then I was tired and hungry as we settled into our seats. I looked around us. There weren't many white people in the room and though the preacher had begun to speak about someone with the name my husband had talked about, I started getting a feeling that we were in the wrong place. Later, we found out that it was not who my husband thought it was and we had a good laugh. It didn't bother me at all. You could do a lot worse on a Saturday afternoon than sit in a cool air conditioned building and listen to a good sermon! That preacher could preach! (Later, we found out that it just happened to be a person with the same name!)
We headed for a restaurant on the other side of town after the funeral and after getting off of our bikes, I spotted a place to dine that I had never noticed before. We found out later that it was new. I wanted to try it so we went in there instead and I was so pleased!
Not only were they playing Christian music in the background (K-Love, if any of you all ever listen to that station) but we had a nice conversation with some of the people who worked there. I ordered the Chicken Teriaki with potato soup and onion straws. It may sound a little weird but it was the best meal I'd had in a long time at a restaurant. I was tickled to find the place and look forward to my next chance to go back there.
After that fine meal, we headed home which was not too far away. My food had some time to digest before we were able to stretch out on the bed for a little nap while we awaited his son's call. He was planning to visit his grandmother that day and we were going to meet him there. The call woke us up after a few minutes of rest and we hopped back on our bikes for the 45 min. trip there. That was the nicest little ride! I had never been that way on a bike before and two lanes that wound down to the little country town couldn't have been nicer to ride on. I enjoyed it immensely.
The light of the day was starting to fade when we left after a a nice visit with my husband's family. And almost like a perfect end to a wonderful, fun day, a huge orange moon greeted us when we got back to road that led to our home. As we travelled towards that lovely orb that seemed to be welcoming us back, I thanked God for the day and for protecting us. The night air embraced us with her cold fingers and I thought of arriving at my home and listening to Neil Young sing Harvest Moon. In my mirrors I could see the dark sky behind me, still streaked with shades of blue and I smiled as I often do when I'm riding and everything feels absolutely perfect. :wink:
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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Riding in the sunshine and the rain.

#48 Unread post by Gina » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:29 am

One morning we left to go someplace on our bikes. We knew we were possibly heading into rain but my husband wasn't worried about it. He had driven a lot in all kinds of weather, even snow. I had driven a little in the rain and knew that I needed the experience. I would rather be driving in the rain at the time of day when the roads weren't crowded while I was learning anyway.
The sky ahead of us was magnificent. I could see streaks coming down to the earth up ahead and knew it was the rain we were expecting. As we drove towards the dark clouds, I tried to remember all the things I had learned about travelling on wet roads.
We did end up getting a little wet but we had a safe trip. The thing that bothered me though is the reaction we got from several people when we arrived.
Have you ever seen people smile in a wicked way when something bad happened to you? I'm sure you have. Well, there were a few people who just seemed tickled to death that we got wet. It was like they refused to believe that we knew we might be heading into it and weren't bothered by it. They wanted to scoff and poke fun at us. (Don't get me wrong. I'm not against scoffing and fun-poking as long as the people doing it are doing it in good fun.) Sometimes, though, it was almost as if you could see the darkness in their hearts--a darkness they did not acknowledge to even themselves.
Of course, some people were just concerned and worried for us. I probably would have been the same for someone I cared about who came in wet from a motorcycle ride.
But I've seen other people like this before. Someone I know well but don't see very often has greeted me like this the last two times they saw me: "Have you had anymore wrecks lately?"
They are referring to my bike wreck a year ago. My knees were busted up. I had to have one of them drained twice since then and my doctor says that surgery may be in the offing. My right shoulder still gives me a little trouble and my left arm was "traumatized" according to my physcian. (I had two surgeries on it before my wreck.) And because of the traumatization, my recovery took a few steps backwards. I also had severe bruises all over my body and a few deep scratches.
So, all in all, it could have been much worse but I was hurt pretty bad. Now, I said all that to say this: What kind of person walks up to someone who has been in a wreck, got injured AND totaled their vehicle and asks if they've had any more wrecks?
I think you know the answer the same as I do. It's people like that who take stabs at you behind your back and make fun of you to your face. This was also someone who was supposed to love me. Another person who I know has problems has greeted me twice (with a big smile on their face) and said, "I heard you wrecked your bike!" They look totally excited about it and I can tell that they have gotten some kind of perverse pleasure out of being able to say that to me.
Now, before you all start thinking that I'm just being paranoid or that I'm not giving these people a chance, you need to realize that I know these people very well and I believe these incidents are indicative of the kind of heart they have towards me.
But I said all that to say this: It's very sad to me. I could never walk up to someone with a smile on my face and ask them if they've wrecked again when I knew they had been hurt and had a terrible experience. I realize that there is something very dark in the heart of some people that causes them to rejoice when someone else is hurt. They don't acknowledge that to themselves and you could never get them to admit it or get them to see the motives behind why they do what they do. They don't even realize how obvious their envy or dislike is to others.
The hard part is to pray for them--to look at the smiling face and instead of taking offense, see the need behind it. That's what Jesus did, you know. How was He able to look down from His cross and say, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?"
Jesus has been a wonderful influence in my life. He has changed my heart and caused me to love people I couldn't love before. But I still can't even begin to fanthom the kind of love He had in His heart for His tormentors to be able to make the statement He did from the cross that day.
So, to bring these thoughts and this post to a close, I will say this prayer. "God, may I be more like Your Son. May I care more about the hurting hearts of others than I do my own poor wounded pride or ego. May I be able to reach out to others despite my humanity and touch the truth of who Jesus was and is.......and forgive." :)
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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turn, turn, turn

#49 Unread post by Gina » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:32 pm

Whoo-hoo....riding in the cold with the icy wind running up your sleeves taught me something else about riding on cool mornings where the temp. was barely into the forties: Be sure and zip up your jacket sleeves and tuck them into your gloves. I know that's basic to many of you all but remember I'm a newbie so things like that sneak upon me if I haven't been through them sometimes. :oops:

Another important thing I learned while driving in the cold: If you've had an injury, especially a major one, try to make sure that area has extra to keep it warm. My left arm, (the one that was broken so bad it was splintered and required bone grafting,) doesn't ever ache or bother me when I ride. All that changed Sunday morning when it was 41 degrees outside and I was still wearing my summer jacket. Even though I wore a thick hoodie under it, I could feel a huge difference and quite a bit of pain in my arm. I started worrying about it stiffening up on me. :(

It was a great time to get my new larger windshield installed though. My husband had just put it on for me and it was such a help. I didn't feel like a bobble-head on the highway anymore either. I did have to get used to it though but after one good long ride this weekend, I wasn't even paying attention to it anymore. :P

My turns are getting a little tighter although I'm still not able to do the things my husband can. I love improving though and am so proud when I make a u-turn behind him (in an appropriate place of course) like when we came to a piece of road that was flooded and blocked. I almost put my foot down once during the turn around but was so pleased to make it without doing so! :shock:

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend to travel. The leaves are changing and the brisk air is invigorating. How much longer will I be able to ride before we give our bikes a rest for the winter? I don't know but one of the wonderful things about fall is that it causes you to want to appreciate the beautiful weather even more while you still have it. And I intend to do that to the fullest--to be as alive and aware as possible. Isn't that what bike riding is all about anyway? :wink:
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#50 Unread post by Gina » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:51 pm

Hello all. I thought about changing my name from the Grand Vista of Bards because I'm riding a Majesty now but I decided the comparison was more apt for someone with my limited writing skills, so I'm keeping the name. I like it anyway.
I haven't been on here in a while because I've been spending more time on the Majesty site with people who have bikes like mine. However, I got my start here and there are so many of you who I enjoy reading about that I am not going to abandon this site. I felt like writing a corny poem today so I posted it on the other site and then I thought of this one so I'm putting it on here too. I'm inviting others who have felt the need to express their desire to ride (whether snow-bound or in California) in a poem, to add to this post. I don't expect perfect rhymes or even perfect spelling, I just think it will be neat to share our feelings. Maybe somebody might even get the warm fuzzies....lol :lol: . Here's what I'm beginning with.

Preamble to Majesty Poem

The roads here are treacherous.
We've had a lot of snow
And I haven't got to ride my Majesty.
So these words built up inside me
'Cause they had no where to go.
Is there anybody else who feels like me?

My Majesty

There’s something freeing about riding on a winding country road
The wheels with every turn taking away
The earth bound feel of weightedness
Where childhood never goes--
A time-machine to freedom, unblanketed with steel
The calling in the wind that cagers never feel.
Riding, Riding, Riding
Taking no cares with me.
Like a horse-back riding cowboy
On my Majesty. :cowboy:
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Gina
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The Grand Vista of Bards Returns!

#51 Unread post by Gina » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:18 pm

Hello all! It's been quite a while since I posted anything and there's a lot to catch you up on. I told you a while back that I was spending more time on the Yamaha Majesty forum because that's what I drove. However, I have given up the Majesty even though I never thought I would.
It all started with a little desire inside of me to see what it was like to ride a motorcycle compared to the super scoot. I started talking to my husband about it and even considered getting a little 250 but he said I already knew how to ride and that since I was used to more power, a 250 wouldn't satisfy me.
So, I did some research and some looking around and finally settled on a 2001 Suzuki Intruder. It weighs about the same as my Majesty. It's an 800 so it's got plenty of power and it's low enough to the ground for me to handle comfortably. I thought that I would have two bikes and ride the scoot when I wanted or the Suzuki when I chose.
After a lesson from my husband in the parking lot where I learned about the clutch and then a few more days of instruction on a country road that had a good, long, straight stretch, I learned to change the gears. But it was when I started taking the curves that I changed my mind entirely about having two bikes. I don't even want to ride the Majesty anymore. My husband said the bigger tires is one of the things that makes a difference in the feel of it but I love the way my Suzuki takes the curves and we live on a curvy road that people fly on. We're a long way from town too. I believe the Majesty is better for someone who lives closer in although it certainly has the speed and goes on the interstate with no problem. The Intruder just suits my needs better.
I feel kind of sorry for my Majesty. She's so beautiful but just sits in the garage now. I'm going to put her up for sale and I hope whoever gets her enjoys her as much as I did. I never laid her down or wrecked her and she's in fine shape. My husband had just changed the oil on her and she always starts up like a top at the twist of the throttle. But I've went motorcycle and I'm never going back. lol
So, expect some more posts from me again. The Grand Vista of Bards has returned!
Help me, Jesus!
www.reginarussell.weebly.com

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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#52 Unread post by NorthernPete » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:41 pm

congradulatons on the new bike and good luck on sellin the scoot.
1988 VN1500
2009 GS500F

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Gina
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#53 Unread post by Gina » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:08 pm

Thanks Pete! I've put a lot of miles on my Intruder since I got it but I'm still not real smooth at changing the gears. I am enjoying the learning process though!
Help me, Jesus!
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Gina
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#54 Unread post by Gina » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:13 am

There are three things I always wear when I ride now: a full face helmet, protective boots and leather gloves with extra protection on the knuckles. I also have a reflective jacket with protective body armor that I paid a pretty penny for but I mostly wear it at night. No doubt, I should wear it all the time. It's even made to be comfortable in warmer weather and it is but nothing would be comfortable to wear in the weather we've been having here in Kentucky.
I'm sure this is the hottest summer on record in a long time. I don't know how many days we've had so far that have been in the 90's but there have been so many, I have become over-heated several times. I just love to ride so much that I put the gear on anyway and head out but I have had to become more picky about the time of day I choose to ride. (I've put almost 3,000 miles on my Intruder in the 2 months I've had it.) I've said all that to say this: I will be glad when it cools off some. This weather has interfered with my riding enjoyment.
However, cooler weather also means wintertime is coming and Kentucky gets its share of icy roads and bad driving conditions.
So, here I am, contemplating in deep August the future conditions that will make riding my Suzuki unwise. And then I wondered about the people who get to ride year 'round. (I rode every month last year but there were a few months I didn't get to ride much at all.) Anyway, do those people realize how lucky they are? I figured that there must be a higher proportion of riders in areas where the weather supports their choice of vehicle all year.
Earlier, I wrote about my son becoming a Marine. It's been over a year since then and he's a Lance Corporal and stationed in California. He works on radios in a training center for other marines where they teach them how to fix them. My son has talked about getting a motorcycle and I don't want him to because he has admitted that he won't drive as safely as I do. I know...this article has been nothing but a stream of consciousness piece and very random but it does show how a mother who has a son in the Marines in Calif. and who loves to ride a motorcycle could justify moving from a place that experiences all the seasons...sometimes to their extremes to a place that experiences more stable climates.
I don't see myself ever leaving Kentucky though. There are just some things that I love even more than riding. The seasons we have here, the mountains, the winding roads and the down-to-earth country people who know more about life than many of the "educated or wealthy" I've met, are embedded deep in my heart.
(Not that you can't be educated or wealthy and be a good person. It's just that I've witnessed so much stereotypical thinking in articles and shows and movies today about country people that portray them as witless inbreds, that I am offended for their sakes.)
Now, to continue the randomness of this little blog, I ordered a Motorman video. I have so much to learn about riding and I thought it would help. Have any of you all seen seen any of his videos? Did you like them? Did they help you? Maybe I should have asked you first before I invested my money. However, I will give you this piece of advice--if you're going to order it, order it from the Motorman's site not from Amazon. They charge shipping and it makes the video quite a bit more expensive and he offers it with free shipping.
After I watch the video, I will post on here about it. I'm planning a Motorman party so my brothers and some of my friends who ride can come and watch it with me. Doesn't that sound like a good idea?!
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#55 Unread post by jstark47 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:03 pm

Gina wrote:Earlier, I wrote about my son becoming a Marine. It's been over a year since then and he's a Lance Corporal and stationed in California. He works on radios in a training center for other marines where they teach them how to fix them. My son has talked about getting a motorcycle and I don't want him to because he has admitted that he won't drive as safely as I do.
Gina- it might not be as bad as you fear. Googling around, I find the following practices in place this year at California Marine bases like Pendleton and Miramar:
  • 1. All Marines that have a motorcycle must "register" it with their CO

    2. All Marines that ride must take the BRC and Sport Bike class if they have a sport bike.

    3. All Marines must have a Riding Mentor. This person is at least an NCO with their own bike and is an experienced rider.

    4. Each Marine has a training record for their motorcycle training which is part of their military training record.

    5. Each Marine is required to attend once a month class conducted by the Mentor. The subject matter includes subject matter that the command has determined needs emphasis as well as what ever the Mentor decides to be included that month. They are conducted in a training room with blackboards and includes open discussions.

    6. The Mentor must conduct a once a month ride and during the ride is suppose to stop and offer critiques. Each Marine is required to have this ride logged in their training records.
I believe the Navy asked the MSF to develop the sportbike curriculum in 2008, after motorcycle accident rates got the brass concerned. They're taking this seriously now.
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#56 Unread post by Gina » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:35 pm

Hi J Stark,

Dustin had told me a little something about some kind of requirements but I didn't know the Marines were doing all that! That's great. He had told me that they had talked to them a lot about the dangers of riding and he spouted some statistics once that were pretty scary. I don't have any kudos to give to Tom Cruise for riding around without a helmet in Top Gun either. lol But thanks for the info. It reassures this mother's heart a little bit.
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Of dogs and dragons

#57 Unread post by Gina » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:04 pm

I was getting ready to park my bike at Wal-Mart when low and behold, two women on bikes rode right in front of me. I took off after them and blew my horn. They stopped and we ended up talking the whole time my hubby was in the store. (Suits me fine. I don't like shopping anyway.) Anyway, we talked about starting a women's riding club. I have been wanting something like that in our area.
I'm still loving my bike and have been riding so much that I've put thousands of miles on my Suzuki in the last four months. I know I've put over 5 thousand miles but I keep seeing things that I'm doing wrong. There's still so much for me to learn! I even laid my bike down a few weeks ago. It's pretty cold natured and has to have the choke pulled out for a while if you start driving it right after starting it. I had only been in the church about 45 min. for practice so I didn't think it needed much choking. I began doing parking lot practice and thought it was time to push the choke in. Then I started going up a little incline into the other side of the parking lot. I was leaning a little, squeezing the clutch a little too (friction zone practice) and the bike coughed and died and down it went. It was a real slow lay down and I was able to set it down gently without hurting my bike but it shook my confidence a little. My husband tells me that learning to operate the choke better will make me a better cyclist and I'll be able to ride any bike I want but it is a challenge sometimes.
I've been practicing the friction zone riding. That's something I really couldn't do on my scoot. I like acquiring new skills. It makes life interesting. But having your bike fall over when you are turning is a little more excitement than I wanted.
That night, on the way home, my husband and I ran over a dead dog in the road. Everything happened so fast that there was not enough time for him to give me a warning signal before I hit it too. It wasn't a large dog but it wasn't a tiny one either and I knew my bike was actually carrying some of the remains home with it. I even felt it hit my boot. E-w-w-w. But it was a black dog on a very dark night and that's one of the main reasons I don't like night driving. We were on a road that has some ups and downs and curves mixed in between the straight stretches. Even though my husband had his brights on, he wasn't able to see the dog until just before going over it. It was quite a jolt. My hubby has been riding for many years and he said it's the biggest object he's ever went over. But, thank God, we were able to hang on and rode it out.
About a week after that, some bikers from our church went on a ride that lasted about three hours. One of the bikers who has driven the tail of the dragon twice, told me that if I could go on this ride, I could go on that one. I don't know about that. The tail of the dragon is intimidating and I'm not even going to consider it until my skills are a lot better. However, the ride we went on was a great one with a lot of good twisties and beautiful scenery.
Speaking of dragons, I was riding the other day and when I came close to a gas station, I saw what, from a distance, looked like some kind of walking bushes or something waving in the wind. I didn't know what in the world it was. When I got closer, I was able to see that it was huge dogs being allowed to take a break. I stopped to see the dogs and they were magnificent. There were four of them on leashes and one in particular acted as though it did not like the lady who pulled up on her motorcycle to look at them. The person holding onto the leash didn't look capable of being able to stop a lunging mammoth so I remained wary. I found out they were Newfoundland dogs. The wind was blowing their luxurious coats and I wished I had my camera.
Then, the other day I saw a huge, black dog crossing the highway we travel frequently. I don't believe I could ride over him if I had to and the last I saw, he had even stopped a few cars with his meanderings. My husband said it was a local dog.
We've got some places to go this afternoon and might not be able to back before dark and I don't know if I want to ride or not. I hate to get in the car and leave while it's so beautiful outside though! It just seems wrong. :-)
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#58 Unread post by MZ33 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:54 am

Wow, Gina, no moss has grown under your wheels in the past year, has it?

I have Ride Like a Pro, also, and have found it really helpful with slow riding. Not so much with faster riding, though. I want to work on that.

How's the women's riding group coming? I just joined a new chapter of Women On Wheels this past summer. You might want to look into that, or Women in the Wind. There are a few women's groups out there that are national, with regional chapters.

Ride on, and enjoy!
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#59 Unread post by Gina » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:28 pm

Hello to all my old friends on here! I couldn't believe how much time had passed since I wrote on my blog or replied to others. But when I checked the dates, I saw that my last post was in April of 2009. I've been writing a whole lot. (I actually wrote a book about a woman learning to ride and published it) but I shouldn't have neglected this site when it's been such a help to me and getting to know some of you other riders and getting advice was definitely important to me too.
I ran through some of my posts and caught up to where I left off at on this blog. I had just started riding my 2001 Suzuki Intruder. Well, a lot has happened since then. My husband rides a 2005 Suzuki Boulevard and it is fuel injected. How I came to want fuel injection too! I loved my little Intruder but the foot pegs were not near as comfortable as his roomy looking footrests appeared to be and what a thick, soft wonderful seat his Boulevard had!
I'll bet you can see where this line of thinking was going. So, I started looking. I sat on a Honda Shadow and some Harleys that were too expensive for me and I found myself loving the looks of a 650 V-Star. It seemed to have everything I needed. But then I compared it to the 800 Boulevard my husband rode and I found that of all the bikes I had looked at, a Boulevard suited me most of all.
There was a guy downtown who had one for sale so I went to his shop. It had the extras I wanted too so I wouldn't have to buy a thing for it--crash bars, saddle bags and tall windshield--three things I really wanted besides the fuel injection. We agreed on a price and I ended up with a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard 800. So, my husband and I have our own set of twins!
Another reason I wanted it at that time is that we were getting ready to go on a bike trip with a church near us and I wanted a larger cruiser for a little more stability too. Ten days after I bought my Boulevard, we headed east to Oneida, Ky. to meet a group of people riding 16 bikes headed to Gatlinburg, TN. There was some talk about the Tail of the Dragon but I said I wasn't ready for it. However, after riding with that group out through Virginia first before arriving at our motel 9 hours later, I had changed my mind.
Sure enough, the next morning my husband and I got ready to ride the Tail of the Dragon with them. I had already decided that I was going to take it at my own pace...no knee draggin' here, folks and that's just what I did. It was an exciting experience and the 11 miles of twisties took concentration and planning as I sat myself up for the next hair-turn while I was in the middle of one already. I loved it.
It was something to see the Tree of Shame at the top and I bought a t-shirt that said I survived the dragon. My hubby got one that said he slayed it. I didn't slay it. I just survived it. Really.
And since then, I've continued to enjoy my Boulevard. My son-in-law bought my Intruder and still has it. I get a little nostalgic when I see it in his driveway. It was my first motorcycle so I guess that's like someone being your first love...you never forget them.
I wrote to you about my son joining the Marines. Well, guess where he's at right now. Yep. Afghanistan. So, for those of you who have a relationship with our awesome Creator, say a prayer for my youngest for me. Thanks.
So, I'll say hello to everyone again! I won't stay gone so long this time, Lord willing. I have more to tell and we're getting ready to go on another ride with that same church and guess what...they said we're going to do it all over again but this time, we're adding in the Cherohala Highway! Whoo-hoo!
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Re: The Grand Vista of Bards

#60 Unread post by Gina » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:04 pm

Hey MZ33, are you still out there? I see I never replied to the post you wrote in 2010! I hope you haven't walked rode around with hurt feelings for almost two years. lol Anyway, like I said in my last post, I quit coming on here for a long time and then my hubby took my computer apart. I didn't have all my info to get back into places on the replacement for a while and I just let things slide. But I've been doing a lot of riding in the meantime!
But speaking of taking things apart...my husband has my Boulevard in pieces right now because he's putting the blue LED lights on it before our trip. My kids put in together and got them for my birthday. I said, "How did you know?" My daughter gave me a look that told me my question was ridiculous. She replied that everytime I see a motorcycle go by that has blue lights on it, I always say I want to have them too and that they're beautiful. Yep, I do do that. But I didn't think anyone was really listening.
Now, my husband is out on his bike and I am sitting here at the house. There's a couple of things he needed to get before he put it back together. Tell me, is anyone else like this...If it's a beautiful day and I can't ride my bike, I'd just about rather stay at home. :-(
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