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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Counting Counties

Steve and I have decided that we are going to ride through every county in the United States on motorcycles. So, these are the rules.

1. We have to be together (So when I go to the International rally next month by myself, the counties I hit won't count.)
2. We have to be on motorcycles (Either ours or rented-Hawaii will likely be rented)
3. Previous trips count (So I will have to go back and count a few counties over the last two years I've been riding)
4. We have the rest of our lives to do this.

There are 3,143 counties (or county-equivalents) in the United States. Here is a picture of the US with counties lined out. Next time I post this it will have the counties Steve and I have ridden through filled in blue.

This should be a fun and exciting challenge.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

165 miles on a work day

I rode my bike to work today. Not something I do very often, but it was going to be a gorgeous day, high of 79 and sunny. Plus, I had a doctor's appointment. First of all, I work 22 miles away from where I live, almost entirely interstate, and luckily against all the rush hour traffic. Then my doctor's appointment was about 60 miles from work, right in the middle of the day, so I have to go to the office first, then the appointment, then back to the office. Might as well make the best of it.

Good ride, gorgeous day. At one point, though, had to lock up the brakes seriously hard, initializing the ABS more so than I have had to since I've been riding. Talk about a rush of adrenaline. I'm glad I didn't panic. And I'm glad no one was behind me since I kind of forgot to check that in the mirrors as I was locking up the brakes.

But the good news is that I changed my knee surgery to a later date this summer so I will definitely have no issues riding up to the rally in Pennsylvania in July. :) Oh, and I rolled over 6000 miles today. Time for an oil change.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Blog

So, I'm starting this blog to write about my awesome motorcycle adventures. I have a 2009 BMW R1200 GS. My husband, who I will refer to as Steve from now on, rides a 2009 BMW R1200 GS Adventure as well as a 2010 BMW S1000 RR. Having all these BMWs, you might thing we make a lot of money. Well, I do have a good job with great job security as does Steve, so not too worried about the initial costs of the bikes. It's really all the extra money that starts getting spent on these bikes and accessories. It's an expensive hobby. But one I'm happy to spend time and money on.


I won't bore you with the details of how I got started motorcycling only two years ago when I turned 40, but let's just say it was a case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Since I started, Steve and I have ridden our bikes to Key West and back home to Virginia, we've ridden the entire Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in the Shenandoahs, and we've made two appearances at Deal's Gap. My first time on the Dragon resulted in a slow speed crash that bent the handlebars on my first bike (2009 BMW F650 GS Twin). Steve was able to straighten them out enough and I was politely reminded by the Tennessee State Trooper that I could not brag about riding the Dragon if I didn't, so thanks to him, I got back on my horse and completed the mission.

I was convinced by Steve and our great friends Rick and Nolan at Adventure BMW in Chesapeake, Va. to trade in my 650 for the 1200 GS after only a year and 5700 miles on it. I love the 1200 but admit that it's a little heavy. I've dropped it numerous times and Steve is always there to help me get it back up. I've practiced a couple of times to pick it up on my own and it's difficult. But the ride is so great. I've only done a little off-roading with it and the heaviness of it has a negative impact (for me) when off-road. But I plan on taking one of the BMW off-road courses down in South Carolina sometime in the future.

Steve and I are members of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Hampton Roads, www.bmwmchr.org, and we've met some great people there.

I'm headed out to the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America International Rally in Bloomsburg, Penn. next month without Steve. He has other commitments. But I really wanted to go since it's only 400 miles away. While there, I plan on taking the Total Control Advanced Riding Course which will help me in my cornering, I hope. Cornering is definitely one of my weaknesses, but I hear that is the case for many women who start motorcycling. That's probably not true, so I decided I need to get better.

We have a couple of ideas for big trips over the next year. One will just be back out to the Smokey mountains and areas that are close to us (we live in the Virginia Beach area, the absolute worst place to ride a motorcycle). The other trip is a three-week trip across the country to California and back next Spring.


Mostly, I'm writing this blog to keep track of my adventures for myself and my family. But if you are reading this and getting anything out of that would be fine with me. I'll try to figure out how to make it better if I can.