When Andy introduced me to his motorcycle last summer I chuckled beneath my breath. I've, as long as I can remember, always been a human-powered kind of gal. Andy's toy was not exciting to me. At the time it was quite the opposite. I was not at all impressed. I reluctantly agreed to go on a little, blazing-hot summer tour, and before I knew it I was purchasing my very own BMW motorcycle! WTF happened!?
When Andy and I went on that very first tour, we were pulled over on the side of the road taking a little break. I remember saying him to him right then, "This is great and all, but I definitely won't be getting a bike anytime soon." We hopped back on Andy's bike and continued onward. 5 minutes later it began to rain. HARD. And it did not stop. We were drenched, riding through Tahoe National Forest, and neither of us were wearing rain gear. Andy had given me his full-faced helmet so I was able to see just fine; but Andy on the other hand, was wearing an open-faced snowmobile helmet with sunglasses and was getting pelted by high speed, bullet-like rain drops. Instead of getting terrified like any other normal person, something strange happened. I began laughing uncontrollably. I was invigorated. It was just the type of type-2 adventure that Ive always enjoyed, and from that moment on, little did I know, I was a motorcycle fan.
That night we camped at a nearby hot spring. We soaked in the springs, slept on a tarp beside the motorcycle, and got up in the morning and hit the highway. How the hell had I not incorporated this type of renegade freedom into my life earlier? Im not sure. All I knew was that it was great fun, it was totally exciting, and I needed to join this club. A couple weeks later, a bright red BMW GS was posted up on craigslist and I immediately knew id be getting myself a motorcycle. A big one! I bought it. But there was just one thing... I had never, myself, ridden a motorcycle before, so it was time to learn.
I signed up for a California Motorcycle Safety course a couple weeks later and learned how to ride. We rode 250's in that class and the bike I had purchased was a 700. I thought I was a fool for buying such a big first bike, I was terrified of its size, but Andy kept assuring me it was the right move. He said I would quickly outgrow a smaller bike and would be wanting to purchse a bigger one. And a few months later, Andy was right. Once I got license, got a few months of riding experience both on and off the pavement, I fell in love with the size of my beautiful red bike and became so happy I didn't choose a smaller one.
Its been a year and the trips have been great! They've been getting longer and longer and have been including more and more dirt roads. This summer I started getting excited about doing solo moto trips, something I never would have considered a year ago. Last summer I was terrified about riding in larger towns, or God forbid, cities. I was scared of dropping my bike and not being able to pick it up. I was scared of so many unknowns. These days, I'm excited to go on solo trips! To experience life on the road, on a motorcycle, as a woman. I've completed a couple of trips alone, Ive met up with friends along the way, we've camped and recreated, and the expereinces just keep getting better and better.
The possibilities are endless!