Monday, March 20, 2017

Something to say how I often feel about being a biker

Cycle Source Editorial

Thanks to Chris Callen, aka Wildman, Editor and chief janitor of Cycle Source Magazine for this.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cruising with Robin 2016

The Wrap Up to the Ride

Yup... just my luck
Wet pants, despite rain pants!
I would like to quickly post a wrap up to my ride home from the UP and my visit with Don and Theresa. I had decided to run two lane black top home and found my way to Michigan Route 66. It was a great ride for most of the day, rolling hills surrounded by lush fields of hay, corn, soy bean and other farmed goodies. I couldn't help but smile to myself, thinking how fortunate I am to live in such a fantastic country that is blessed with such bounty. We all really are and so often we take for granted what a really good place this is to live.

Of course, my nostalgic thoughts were eventually rinsed away by the rain that managed to drench my thoroughly that same afternoon. By the time I made it to Battle Creek, Michigan, the storm was seriously upon me, so much so that I was forced to pull over to a gas station, leave my bike under the awning between pumps and slosh my way into the convenience store where, once again, my faith in the kindness of humanity was rekindled. I asked the middle eastern clerk if he had coffee and he said, yes, and pointed to the back of the store. When I had poured me a cup and approached him to pay, he said, no, that was fine, enjoy it. So often we have certain stereotypes that we cast individuals into, and this guy, in one sentence, broke the mold for me. We visited for awhile as I drank my coffee and waited to the rain to lighten up. Radar indicated there was another wave coming, so I didn't dawdle. I eventually cleaned my glasses off, bundled back up and headed out.
Last stop before home

I must not have had my rain pants fully secured in the front because I could feel that my jeans were wet. When I finally settled on lodging for the evening, my feelings were confirmed.

The next day, I had decided I was done with the idea of the two lane, as the weather channel indicated another good chance for rain. I hit the interstate and booked it home, but still didn't quite make it and got hit again with rain a half hour from home! Friends from home informed me it had not rained but once here all the time I was gone and I was accused of bringing it with me!

Following are a few pictures from the trip I don't think I posted previously. Enjoy and thanks for sharing the trip. It has been a pleasure and truly an honor to have you along for the ride. I love my life. I am truly blessed. I just with my best friend was still here to share it with me. Miss you, Buffalo.

Peace...Bobbi


 Old motels never have enough power!

These are from two different places I
stayed on this trip! hahaha!!!
On my way from Thunder Bay

See the railroad tracks in the background?


Getting ready to pull out with the Canadians!

Old School GPS - I think I posted this once, but I love this picture!!

Another one of Don and Theresa! Awesome Hosts!!
Stormy cold day on my way back south from Thunder Bay

The day I got to the UP in Michigan






Thursday, July 21, 2016

OMG - I survived the UP and Lived to Tell about it... barely

I am living proof that life does exist after high school. A very very long time after high school. Because two days ago I saw somebody I had not seen in forty plus years. And it was like it was yesterday again.

I came down the Canadian tail of the dragon in the rain... oh yeah, I already said that, right? So I
My view in my room in Thisselon, Ontario. Dump motel but nice view
found the first lodging accommodation available at the end of the highway and checked in. Thank goodness my lifestyle affords me that opportunity these days... years ago, it would have been looking for a campground or the best affordable accommodations.This place had food and I already had adult beverages for the evening so I was happier than hell to get out of the rain.

In the morning, I stopped at the front desk to inquire whether the local gas station or the one down the road was the closest, only to be informed that the local station had closed down. Lesson learned... don't count on the conveniences we enjoy in the states.

Theresa and Chloe
Up with sun, gone with wind... Oh yeah, I am not living the Bob Seger songs... forgot. Sorry. LOL. But yeah, I was on the road by 8am the next morning looking forward to hitting my American soil. Ran through customs without a hitch, over the bridge, and into the UP heading for Don and Theresa's place between Marquette and Big Bay.  I knew Don in high school , dated briefly, but we shared a love for bikes. He introduced me to his beautiful wife over the internet and Theresa and I were instantly connected. But it wasn't until I met her in person that I realized that we could totally be good friends. OMG, we laughed at all the wrong things !!!

Don's Property

Don was kind enough to have my favorite on hand
First stop was Don's business in Marquette, where he sells used cars. It was very busy when I stopped by and he was in a pissy mood since two of his employees had called off that day, so he couldn't leave when I got there, which he was hoping to do. We visited for awhile then he gave me directions to his place, which I would never have found if he hadn't had Theresa park her car at the end of the driveway! 

By the time Don got home, Theresa and I had settled in on the back deck and were having a great time. The three of us spent the evening bullshitting and talking bikes, bike trips, old school stories and the stuff you catch up on after forty years. Theresa made a great dinner and we drank way too much alcohol. Go figure...

Tuesday morning, Don had a quick appointment, so Theresa took me for a drive in the convertible to Big Bay for a short hike and to see the local lighthouse, which is now a B&B and for sale for about $800K.

When Don got home, he pulled out the Road King and we all went for a ride out to Grand Morais. Don and Theresa were cool enough to stop at the touristy places for my benefit, including a place that I think is called Lakenden, where a local fabricates sculptures and displays them around the property. Very interesting. This guy has the place completely open to the public, including a beautiful picnic pavilion and restroom facilities. According to Theresa and Don, he operates the place 100% on voluntary contributions, but I didn't even see any thing asking for donations. Could have spent more time there, but we had pavement to burn.

Me and Don

Don and Theresa



 We made our way to the "end of the road" in Grand Marais for beers before heading back, making a couple of more stops on the way. I think we got back to the house around 8:30, and Theresa spread out a buffet of left overs and we pigged out. It was a great, home made meal (again) followed by more drinking. Fortunately we finished off the whiskey some time shortly after midnight, which encouraged us to get our old asses to bed.

The next morning, it was a consensus that it is a good thing I don't live closer because none of us would survive it long! LOL

Don ad Theresa were kind enough to offer another night's stay, but I didn't think any of us could handle a third rough morning! I am pretty sure Don went back to bed after I left!
Road Dinner
And so Wednesday morning, I packed up and hit the road again. I decided to follow two lane black top as much as possible for the rest of the trip, so I hit state route 13 south heading south. The first half of the road was in great shape and a fantastic ride, but the second half was in very rough condition from logging trucks, I guess, and beat the shit out of me.

Ship loading coal in Marquette
After crossing the Mackinac Bridge, I exited the interstate and followed two lane black top, down a highway nick named the tunnel of trees. My faith in humanity was restored along the way. I had stopped to stash my jacket and had both a lone motorcycle rider and a car with a family of four stop to see if I was ok. I eventually made my
way back to the west coast of Michigan's lower, where Don says they call the people "trolls" because they live below the bridge! LOL



Thursday I head further south to encounters unknown. Thanks to Don and Theresa for your hospitality. Hope you get over the hang over!

Peace.

Bobbi




Monday, July 18, 2016

Thunder Bay and Back Again ... plus the dragon

Saturday evening my new Canadian friends lead me to a very comfortable hotel in Thunder Bay, the Victorian Inn, where motorcycles are encouraged to park under the awning by the front door! And this place wasn't a dump, it was pretty darned nice! Thank you for that!

First day in Canada ... Saturday on Route 17
Another Saturday stop. Most of the road was blasted out.
Unfortunately, Sunday morning had stormy weather heading in. I knew this going to bed, so I was up early and on the road by sunrise ... or actually, day break may be more appropriate as the sun never really came out for most of Sunday. It was cold and windy as the front was pushing in, and I pushed myself hard to get ahead of it, since I was running south east. I made it from Thunder Bay to Wawa by lunch time. I was starving and getting grumpy and a Snickers bar wasn't going to do the trick. I had already had road breakfast (milk and a breakfast bar during a gas stop) because the  hotel's complimentary breakfast hour didn't start until 45 minutes after I hit the road. So I needed something substantial. As I waited for my meal, I logged into the diner's WiFi a pulled up the radar and went, "Oh shit, eat fast." A large green monster was headed my way and it was going on 1pm. I still wanted to run the Canadian version of the Tail of the Dragon, route 129, that runs from Chapleau to Thesselon. I wolfed down my BLT and fries and headed out. I made it about 100 Km (I'm getting used to the measurements here... more on that shortly) when I started getting rained on. It went from a drizzle, to steady rain, to an eventually down pour. Of course, I had additional warning from friends Theresa and Don in Marquette, Michigan, where it had been pouring rain and Theresa had sent me a heart felt message letting me know they were thinking of me! LOL

No pictures from the dragon, since I was getting drenched, and wouldn't you know it, that was the only time I was able to spot a moose so far, standing off to the side of a pond, under a tree, waiting out the rain. It was raining too hard for me to try to stop and get a picture. Crap! I will say that there were definitely some great sections of the road that would earn it the nick name, but I have been on equal or better roads without any names. Of the 226 Km of road, maybe 40 Km were challenging. Most of it was relatively straight or sweeping bends.

Now, as I am on my last day in Canada, I will say that I quickly figured out that 6 miles is about equal to 10 Km. So I became adept at calculating out distances based on that calculation. It also helped me determine when and where I needed to stop for fuel. There is no 93 octane here. You're fortunate to find 91. Many stations only carry regular. And where I rode, most stations are ESSO, with a few Husky, Petro Canada and alot of mom and pop stops with one or two gas pumps.

Here are some photos from last few days... remember you can double click on any one and it becomes a full size slide show of all the photos.

I am off to Michigan this morning. Looking forward to getting back to the states. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and dry. Looking forward to meeting Theresa, wife of Don Johnson, who I knew from high school and haven't seen since then! Theresa and I are friends on FB... Don is not into the whole social media thing! LOL - They're gonna ride with me around the UP tomorrow! Yay!

Peace, my friends and family.

Bobbi

The Falls that my Canadian friends showed me!


Lake Superior on Saturday ... Blue Skies!

On my way out of Thunder Bay on Sunday.



Lake Superior ... storm coming in.



Bundled up on my way out of Thunder Bay.

Another stop on the way to Wawa



Met a German motorcycle rider here on his way to Manitoba on a dirt bike.



My Monday morning view from where I stayed after Sunday ride on the dragon.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Doing the Ride in Canada

My Buffalo in Arkansas where I spread some of his ashes... illegally...
This post is dedicated to the riding partner and best friend that should be sharing this adventure with me right now. I truly do try not to immortalize the man or make my whole life out to be him. But it was through his encouragement and ambitions that I evolved into the strong, independent and adventurous individual I am today. It is from his love for life and the desire to always seek more that I am here today, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. And so here's to you, my Buffalo, my soul mate and my forever best friend, that I am living the life that you should be. And I will share with all of you what I say to him, in the urn mounted on my handlebars, as we travel down the highways, "You
Buffalo and his Kitty Dog
Terry
motherfucker, you should be here, damn it, you should be here." And, trust me, he would get that.And so this ride, this blog, this trip, my love, is my tribute to you. You taught me how to understand who to trust and friend on the road, and on this trip, it has been a gift. For I met seven of the most amazing, kind and kindred spirits and have been so blessed with an opportunity most will never know. To meet people who are so tuned to your inner soul, to what you love about the road and the experience, to trust you so to ride within their band of brothers and sisters is a gift. You, my Buffalo, would have loved today. For it was a day that what this brotherhood was made of. And once again, I must say, you should have been here.


Little John
Beth
Dave
I love meeting fellow women road warriors and I met two very good riders on this 24 hour journey. Terry and Beth were two of the best lady riders I have come across in my thirty years pounding asphalt and I will ride with you two down any twisty any day. Thank you for riding with me. It was a true pleasure.

Dave, you were the glue of the group. The perfect social fabric that drew me in and seemed to hold the group together. You were a perfect gentlemen and such a great pictographer (as your Canadian signs seemed to suggest) ... so share with me please because you got so many!
Santa John ... because sometimes you need Christmas now
 Little John ... you were the consumate host. What a gentleman to invite me to your home when you knew nothing about me! Thank you for your invitation and I truly look forward to meeting your wife some day. And Shirley and Big John, I am so sorry your journey was cut short due to personal issues and I hope all is well tonight as I post this. And finally to the savior of the day, I like to call him Santa John (because there were three Johns on this trip and it became rather confusing...)... but I feel Santa John is appropriate because this gentleman exemplified what brotherhood means.

Peace to you all and to all of my  brothers and sisters and family and friends sharing this journey. My brothers and sisters of the wind always bless me with their kindness. I am so fortunate to be part of this family. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I had the very best 24 hours I could have never imagined.

PEACE! Bobbi

Friday, July 15, 2016

BOBBI'S 2016 ROAD TRIP BEGINS

Hello all from the road.

True confession... When I packed up the bike on Thursday morning, I had jitters. I have had them the last two solo runs I did when I first started. It is a question of whether I should be doing what I am doing, on my own, and the thousand "what ifs" start playing out in my head. And just like the first couple of solo runs, I shook it off and said, ""Biker up, girl..." and hit the road. And as the pavement and miles melted behind me, the zen experience enveloped me, and I left the doubt and inhibitions behind. And I fell into the women I became after 30 plus years of road running. It is a humbling experience, facing your challenges head on. It is an empowering experience living them.

My first night trying to post was frustrating. My little POS Acer notebook was having issues and I thought it was finally done for. However tonight, it healed itself and we are back in business !

My first day was relatively uneventful and mostly (no, bullshit) totally Interstate. I ran I80 into Indiana and then north on 69 into Michigan. Now I will say that once I got around Lansing and onto 127, the ride was nice. Really pretty scenery, traffic was reasonably light and the temperatures climbed into the mid-80s, allowing me to run in a tank top most of the day. I finished up my day in Grayling, Michigan, a small town with alot of Mom and Pop motels, one of which I found on the web called Fay's. With a cabin like atmosphere, and a fire pit out back, I settled in and found myself spending the evening bullshitting with a couple from somewhere else that I no longer recall. We talked about the times and the state of our country, the drug epidemics, the state of affairs, all in a very light and non-judgemental ways, something so hard to do in these times. And it was one of the greatest ways to start a vacation. We talked way after sundown. It was totally what vacation should be.

Of course, Friday morning I awoke to a wet motorcycle and pavement and dark, gray, threatening clouds and thought it was going to be a bad day. I found my way to the local diner, chowed down on some biscuits and gravy and hit the highway, bundled up and still cold. I was seriously wondering if I had made a very bad choice about going to Canada. The skies were not clearing and I was getting a bit depressed.

By the time I crossed the Mackinac Bridge, I became seriously nostalgic. I cried as I rode across, thinking about how much I wished my Buffalo was running with me. I actually had to stop at the visitors center and pull myself together, it was that raw. 

And I almost did the same thing crossing into Canada but I worried they might think I was a terrorist if I was crying so I bikered up again. LOL

Once I got on route 17 north and worked my way out of Sault Saint Marie, the scenery was spectacular. My head should have been on a swivel stick!The weather broke and the sun peeked out and I was so happy I decided to carry through with my plans!

But because I did not make any reservations, I am flexible. And my plans have now changed! More tomorrow!!!! I have an 8am kickstands up with a new group for a day of riding ... You, my friends, will be surprised! Peace. Live life like you mean it!!!

Bobbi