No riding for a while…

Have you seen a sadder sight? :(

bikes snow


Seattle was hit by a storm two days ago which brought loads of snow and heavy winds. The temperature dropped to well below freezing leading to ice on the roads (and pretty much everywhere). We don’t salt or sand our roads since this sort of weather is most unusual for us. This essentially means no riding of any kind. *sigh*

Bringing her back home.

Yesterday Oleg and I borrowed our friend Dmitry’s truck and drove up north to Sumas to pick up the SV. It was sitting in the gas station I had left it in. We loaded it up quickly, secured it and took off, making only a short break at McDonald’s for some roadtrip food. It was a long 5+ hour journey and I am so grateful to him for driving the whole way. I will be happy if I never see Sumas or that stretch of I-5 or Hwy 9 for a very long time.

I haven’t looked at the SV since we parked it. I simply do not have the mental space to deal with it or fix it now. It will have to wait until I return in September.

On the way, Oleg and I talked about various things, the one main thing that stuck in my mind was trying my hand at racing either vintage bikes or supermoto, the latter being something that a lot of guys are gravitating towards these days seeing as the trackdays are a lot cheaper ($40/day) and the speeds are slower and hence a bit safer than sportbike trackdays/racing. This has always been at the back of my mind for a little while, although I don’t really know if I have the mechanical know-how, money or support system to get into racing. I’ll see.

I took this as a sign that in spite of the last few entries, maybe my enthusiasm for riding hasn’t waned and my hating the riding in BC was more of a glitch than a sign that my motorcycling days have come to an end.

I am beginning to look forward to being in Europe next week.

Stuck in Sumas…

The bad news is that the bike completely gave up the ghost in Sumas, WA. The good news is that it was on the US side of the border so I’m not quite as fucked as I would have been otherwise. In the last few miles, I noticed that there was a small oil leak. The starter issue from last year came back with a vengeance too and I had more and more trouble getting it to start. (The border crossing deserves a mention – I was through in about 2 minutes – typical of everytime I show up on a motorcycle rather than a car. The novelty of girl on a motorcycle apparently works charms on border security every single time. The guard even helped me push my bike to a side when it wouldn’t start.)

When I stopped to refuel after crossing the border into the United States, the lights all dimmed and the GPS lost power (the mount had mysteriously started working this morning) clearly indicating another battery issue. This in spite of the fact that I had been riding all morning. After this it just plain stopped and wouldn’t start up.

I had concerns about the oil leak, so I got some 10W40 and filled it up. I got a little overzealous though, and filled it up way above the sight class window level. What do they say about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing? :| I tried all manner of things to get the motor to turn over – bmp starting, jumping from someone’s car, nothing worked.

There was nothing to it except to park it at the gas station and come back for it later during the week – the gas station people were nice enough to say that it was okay to leave it there. I was also lucky enough to have a good friend drop everything to come drive up and pick me up. I must have done something right in my life sometime to have such good people in my life!

Things could be a lot worse. I took a gamble in riding this bike up knowing that it was plagued with electrical issues. I can go  shoulda, coulda, woulda but that’s just going to be so much navel-gazing. Yeah, it sucks that I’m not home free yet and enjoying the rest of this beautiful day in Seattle, but I *am* in a comfortable place and I get to have a bit of a road trip down highway 9 with good friends. Above all, it’s good to know who my friends really are and whom I can count on when the chips are down.

British Columbia ride report…

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Lytton, British Columbia,  writing this update. It’s about 8:00PM and it’s still daylight out. It’ll probably be light out for at least a couple more hours at this latitude. The hotel room is dark though because of a power outage caused by a forest fire raging 30 miles north. They say that the wind is blowing in the other direction, so we are safe here and we probably won’t need to be evacuated. Let’s hope they are right, because I just unplugged the battery from my motorcycle to prevent it from dying again like it did two nights ago in Vancouver. If I wake up in the middle of the night with the town in flames, there probably won’t be very much time to reconnect the battery, load up my assorted luggage and flee. If anything – this morbid thought did strike me – I’d have to abandon yet another motorcycle in Canada.

Going back to the beginning, I rode up to Canada on Wednesday for some work with the US Consulate. I stayed at the Victorian Hotel downtown, which was a delightful little place, bright and cheerful and certainly very Victorian. Outside of the faint-inducing shock of the added taxes (HST? Parking tax?) it was quite a comfortable place to live in and the location was central enough that I could easily walk to several different neighborhoods. By the third night though, I had had quite enough of the Victorian and of Vancouver. I realize now that even though I prefer to live in a big city, there comes a point when the incessant noise, fumes, cigarette smoke, and the overwhelming sensory overload starts taking its toll. Vancouver reminded me a lot of Montreal, where I spent a couple of days last summer when I rode my motorcycle out along the East Coast. I probably wouldn’t mind going back up there for a weekend sometime, but as of this morning, I was ready to leave.

I could have ridden straight back south to Seattle, but it seemed a shame to have ridden the I-5 slog all the way to the border and not explore some of the motorcycling roads up north. So I consulted my Destination Highways – British Columbia book and plotted a rough idea of a route – the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver up north to Whistler and Pemberton, then the Duffy Highway to Lillooet (a name that’s always sounded rather charming), then south to Lytton and Hope, and towards the border, crossing over at Sumas and either I-5 back to Seattle, or the more pleasant Highway 9, depending on how I was doing with time. This is what it looks like in Bing Maps.

Considering that I can generally do about 300 miles on an average day, I figured I could even make it to Bellingham by Saturday night and wondered if I could resist the temptation to just keep going home so I could sleep in my own bed. I needn’t have worried though, because as it turns out, I only rode about 200 miles to Lytton, feeling so tired, dehydrated and sore that I just wanted to go curl up in bed and take a long nap. This then is what the first long-ish ride of the season feels like.

To be fair, the 200 miles that I did do were probably on the twistiest roads I have ridden in the past five years. I’m talking twisties with no end to them, with hardly any stretch of a straightaway to relax for a few minutes. I knew that my riding skills had gotten really rusty after the very first five miles on the Sea to Sky Highway when I realized that I was exerting the death grip of doom on the handlebars. I didn’t really let up for the next 195 miles, hence the crushing soreness in my upper back and shoulders now.

If I could analyze all the contributing factors that led to what was a really uncomfortable, not very fun day of riding today, here’s a list in no particular order – my glasses are all scratched up and they kept getting smudged (I’m out of contacts) making it difficult to focus; wearing glasses also meant that I had zero peripheral vision, which is fine for the short commute to work, but not an all-day, very technical ride; my visor was also scratched up with one big scratch right between my eyeballs from where I dropped my helmet at the border three days ago; my left saddlebag was heavier than the right, causing the bike to handle very peculiarly in certain corners; some sections of the road were extremely bumpy and my bike’s suspension is dialed up to super-stiff so that I could practically feel my brain sloshing around in my head; my GPS stopped charging from the mount (again!) and so I had no music; there was lots of traffic on the road for the first 50 miles and eerrily no traffic in the last 75 or so. The list goes on and I could keep going, except I’m beginning to sound like a right old crybaby now, aren’t I?

The last 40 miles between Lillooet to Lytton were – and I’m still a little surprised to say this – one of the most harrowing rides I have done in a long time. By this time I was exhausted enough that I wasn’t thinking straight anymore, very dehydrated, it was hot and dry, the road had sheer drops on the side that triggered my fear of heights so badly that I was practically riding in the wrong lane, the wind was blowing hard, enough to blow me around a couple of times where I almost thought I was going to drop the bike, there were a few gravel stretches that came out of nowhere, and I hit a rock that that made me wobble violently (I remember thinking that if I had been a n00b, that would have been a sure-fire trigger to panic brake and really go down), and the scenery was mind-numbingly boring. Of course, everything’s boring if you don’t dare to look around you and force yourself to keep looking straight ahead at the road.

A quote from the DH guys on this stretch of road – “At 17.3 km, the road narrows to a twisty one-lane trail across an immense gravel slope that plunges right to the river. The collapsing rubble and pockmarks on the pavement testify to the rockslides that pummel this precarious stretch of road. Afraid of heights? Don’t look to the right. The narrow road, sheer drop off, and collapsed barrier can be disconcerting. One missed corner and you’ll be on the the world’s worst trials course.”

I read this after the fact, of course.

Which brings us to Lytton. It isn’t so much a one horse town as it’s a town that used to be a one horse town except that they killed and ate the horse a long time ago. They had a Visitor Center, the sight of which made me want to giggle hysterically. I stepped in on a lark, and as it turns out, it’s rather fortunate that I did. They sold “tokens” for wifi there, which I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. The entire town uses the same wifi network and there is no cell phone coverage. I was met with blank looks when I asked them what they did in the evenings. “You could go down to the river…” was the best suggestion I heard. I might just do that.

In parting, one thought that struck me during today’s ride was that I seem to have lost the enthusiasm I used to have to find new roads and to document my rides. I thought back to the times when I first started riding alone through Washington state and how I used to stop every 5-10 miles to take pictures, and did a long, illustrated trip report when I got home. As my bikes got bigger and I started riding more miles at a stretch, the desire to stop at all appears to have faded away. I didn’t see anything today that made me want to pull over and just pause and look, much less photograph. Is it because BC is so similar to Washington and there really wasn’t anything new to see? Was it the oppressively hot weather? Was the ride reflective of my general state of mind for the past week – stressed out, unhappy, trying to find an ever-elusive escape? I don’t know what it is, but it worries me a little. In exactly ten days, I board a flight to Slovenia for a one month long motorcycling vacation. If today’s ride is reflective of what that’s going to be like, am I out of my mind to be spending so much time and money on something that has lost its allure for me? I dearly hope not, but I guess there’s no way to find out without going through with it.

Battery activating in 10, 9, 8…

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a new battery for the SV – a Yuasa YT12A-BS. It was a lot cheaper to purchase it on with my AMA discount and some points I had accumulated with them, so I chose to go that route instead of getting it from a local store. The only downside to this was that I had to activate and charge it myself before I could plug it into the bike.

It turns out that activation involved adding sulphuric acid to the battery and then sealing it up. The acid was provided in six little connected vials which you have to drain into the battery. Having burnt myself a couple of times with acid in chem lab back in the day, I was a little wary, but it was pretty smooth sailing.

It’s now sitting on the charger. Be nice if this were the end of my electrical woes. A girl can dream, right?

Activating battery for SV650

I got a package!

I found a package waiting for me this morning that looked an awful lot like a disembodied arm mummified in tape. :| I gingerly brought it upstairs, sliced through the tape wrapped around the cardboard to find… more tape.


A disembodied arm preserved in bubblewrap?



Holy crappy brakes, Batman!

“Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!” You’ve heard that before and it usually isn’t me. I like Monday mornings because unlike most people I like getting up and going to work and having a week of work to look forward to. Some Mondays are exempt though. Like today.

I’ve vowed to wake up early and go to work every day this week. This usually means getting out there before 7:45AM when traffic turns to shit on WA-520. I cut it too close, got geared up, got on the SV and turned on the ignition and… nothing. It wouldn’t turn over, meaning battery issues out of the blue again. This is the second time in as many months that the battery has died for no apparent reason. I last rode it on Saturday, so it really has no reason to be doing this. F***ing electrical gremlins.

This meant walking back up and getting the key to the XT and riding that to work instead. By now I had missed the window of opportunity and looked forward to getting stuck in bad Monday morning traffic. The XT started up grudgingly and I rode it out. Switching bikes that are so different is always tricky and my muscles take a little adjusting – my steel-plated arm is always the first to protest for the first ten minutes. My muscles were the least of my worries today though when I realized that the brakes on the XT are way less reponsive than the ones on the SV. I found this out when a moron car just *stopped* in front of me at a “yield” sign. Wasn’t quite expecting that and stopped with only about an inch to spare between us. Ugh… my fault though. I should have been looking ahead instead of off to the side to yeild to traffic.

The second time was worse. As I droned through stop-go traffic on 520, an asshole Subaru driver unexpectedly swerved from a gridlocked left lane into my lane with no warning and I had to stomp on the brakes again. This time the bike went all wobbly and I’m surprised that my knobby tires had enough grip to come to a stop. I’m also grateful that the driver behind me wasn’t tailgating me and didn’t collide into me. I recovered and retaliated by honking at the Subaru driver and flipping him off for the next five minutes. I’m sure he genuinely hadn’t seen me at all and he kept trying to wave an apologetic hand. I passed him in a little bit and glared through his window while he still looked apologetic. I’m not quite sure how menacing a tiny motorcyclist on a 250cc bike looks, but I put everything I had into it. :P I wasn’t really mad seeing as I had recovered and no damage done, but it was more to shame him into realizing that making lane changes without looking is Not. Cool. and maybe him and the drivers around him would remember that in the future. Really I did it all for him. :P

I made it to work unscathed. The XT is such a fantastic bike to ride, in spite of its limitations. Maybe I’ll ride it through the rest of the week.

On the miscellaneous bike news front:
1. I did an oil change on the SV on Saturday. Fresh oil, whee! I noticed that my drain plug bolt was missing a crush washer and the oil filter didn’t come with one. I need to remember to get one the next time I change the oil. And umm.. also hope that the bolt stays in place without one. It did for the last 3000 miles, so why not 3000 more?

2. I noticed that 5 out of 6 bolts on the Givi windscreen were missing. They were either taken out by the douchebag who stole more bike two weeks ago (likely) or vibrated off in one night (doubtful). This calls for a trip down to the hardware store to find substitutes. I should probably also get some OEM nuts and bolts to replace some of the more rusty ones on the SV.

3. I washed the bike! After about 6 months. This is pretty good going by my track record.

The SV has landed…

Lebanon Motorsports in New Hampshire called me this morning to tell me that MY BIKE HAS REACHED THEM. So yay it reached them a week ahead of time, so I don’t have to stress out that it might not get there by the time I fly down next week. Part of me is a bit miffed that JC Motors overestimated and told me it would be there a week later (on the 17th) so I had to postpone my plans by two weeks instead of one. I could have been there now and starting my vacation a whole week earlier if I had known.

I’m not going to be negative though. The guys from the store were totally cool about hanging on to the bike for a week instead of just a day as planned, so I owe them some good quality beer when I go to pick it up. I also talked to them about maybe replacing the kick stand on the bike with a longer one and they said they could totally do that and charge me for 15 minutes of labor (which would be pretty unheard of in these parts). I’d be thrilled if that can be taken of for so cheap while the bike is just sitting there.

The first part of the plan is complete and I’m pleased. I will join my bike soon and together we will have strange, mad adventures together. :)

Contract Number: WM968300
Ship From: SEATTLE, WA 98102
Ship To: LEBANON, NH 03766
Actual Pickup Date : 07/01 11:30
Actual Delivery Date : 07/10 12:00
Current Shipment Status: Shipment has been delivered
Delivery Signed For By: DIXON

Suspension upgrade

Just got off the phone with Dave Alexander from Fluid Suspension Science and he gave me a quote for upgrading the SV’s suspension.

$100 – 2005 GSXR 750 shock (a used one that he has from a crashed race bike, this seems like a good deal)
$110 – new spring for the shock (he said that even a brand new shock would need to be re-sprung for my light weight)

$170 – Cartridge emulator (not sure what brand)
$328.58 – All the front end work (I guess this involves installing the emulators, messing with the spring, fork seals etc.)

I already have Progressive springs in there, which he said should be okay although they feel stiffer than the stock springs.

He has a good reputation in the biz, so I agreed to get it done as soon as I could get the bike in. He works out of Renton and says that he can get it done in a day, although he needs to order the spring for the shock which could take some time.

$700… erk! This had better be worth it.

(Of course, after this is done, I’m going to get greedy and want a new exhaust and a custom seat and a nicer windshield…)

Bike update…

J. and I worked on the bike on Sunday and replaced the stock brake lines with braided steel, and put on a new chain and sprockets.

We were going to adjust the manual cam chain tensioners, but the rear tensioner was next to impossible to get to. We decided to order automatic tensioners and replace the manual ones, which I’m going to try and sell to someone at WMRRA. I left the bike in the shop to get that done.

We load tested the battery and it turns out to be perfectly fine! I left the Gorilla alarm disconnected all of last week and the battery never ran dry, so I think I found my electrical gremlin.

Things that need doing while the bike is in the shop:
– Fix the dent in the gas tank a little bit (two whole years later!)
– Install knee grips on the tank
– Reduce alarm sensitivity
– Swap out cam chain tensioners
– Clean/replace fuel meter (this was behind the gas light always staying maddeningly on or blinking even with a full tank)
– Install K&N air filter which will last the life of the bike
– Adjust clutch lever position as much as possible to decrease the reach
– Raise the bike to the highest position on the lowering link
– Replace various stripped out bolts, especially in the seat/battery area :P

After I get it back, I am thinking about finally getting to the suspension upgrade. I will most likely replace the rear shock with a gixxer shock, install a cartridge emulator for the forks and maybe try a heavier fork oil. I have to ride down to GP Suspension in Kent to talk to Barry and get his opinion on exactly how to set the bike up for a person of my weight. Right now the ride is so rough and scary that I balk at riding it over longer distances. I know that I’m subconsciously comparing the suspension to that of the GS and it’s never going to be that good, but I’d like to get as close to it as possible.

If I have any money left over, I’m going to try and upgrade the Givi windshield to an A 750 model, replace the cracked headlight assembly, get nicer looking turn signals, possibly fix the rusting dent on the tank and who knows maybe even paint a nice stripe down the center.

And in my final act of extravagance, I *might* splurge on a Rich’s custom seat. That’s a huge might, we’ll see.

Home again…

I rode my SV to work today after six months. Small victory? I’ll take it.

My left arm has started hurting again and I find myself wincing while picking up the lightest objects. I even found myself waking up multiple times last night and finding that both my arms had “gone to sleep” so to speak. This might have something to do with the fact that I’m forcing myself to rotate the arm and wrist 360 degrees to regain my mobility. It’s been five months since the surgery, so I don’t feel like I’m pushing it too soon.

As for riding itself, it doesn’t hurt too much when I just have to hold on to the handebar. Pulling in the clutch is another story though. I guess only time can cure that and until then I have to contend with cornering like a n00b. :|

There’s also of course the feeling of – “oh crap I’m on the freeway going 70mph on a motorcycle and in my… protective gear…” like when you first started riding. Granted I have the best protective gear money can buy, but that’s small consolation. At least I feel absolutely in control when I’m riding though and have very little PTSD type symptoms, like I do when I’m a passenger in a car and white-knuckled and screaming on the inside all the way.

The SV is currently plagued with electrical issues too. The battery keeps dying. The starter switch seems to have a bad connection because I have to really press down on the button to get it to start. The gas warning light is permanently on. This time though I’m determined to fix it all myself rather than ask the “experts” for advice. I’m going to go get a multimeter and run through all the diagnostic tests to isolate the problem to the battery, the reg-rec, some short or bad grounding. I would loathe for it to be the battery because I had a brand new one installed in it in May and barely even rode the bike since because I had the BMW then. Those frakkers are almost $100! :|

I stayed home sick today because I felt like crap when I woke up. Amd going to stay home and rest up in the hopes that it goes away. Am welcoming the downtime in the wake of all the stress of the past few weeks. I also find myself able to relax in a way I never do during a vacation or weekend, seeing as I feel just sick enough that I don’t feel guilty about lying and doing nothing productive.

I got my bike back yesterday evening. The radiator leak is still a problem, but I reckon I should be okay to ride it five miles to work and back before I fix it. I bought a cheap pair of FirstGear gloves in men’s medium size, to wear the right one over my splint. I had to tape down the ends of the fingers with electrical tape to get them to fit somewhat okay.

I’m a little curious to see what it will feel like to ride after a two month hiatus and a high speed crash.

Mike Sullivan’s Women-Only trackday

I attended Mike Sullivan’s Performance School‘s Women-Only event late last July and have held off on posting an update about it for various reasons. A small part of it is that I didn’t have the pictures from it, but they are finally up here, courtesy of .

OMGZ I have a racer’s eyes! I always wanted my eyes to look like that. :P

The rest:

My favorites:

The pictures are copyrighted and I need to pay to get the digital originals. I might wait until my trackday on Sep 8th to decide which pictures I want though. Still, these are brilliant images, and the very first ones I’ve had of me actually riding the bike, rather than posing on it. I always wondered what I looked like when I rode. :)

A brief list of the pros and cons of the event, in no particular order:


  • It was my first ever time on a race track and a great learning experience. It was oddly exhilerating to not have to switch on turn signals, look out for left-turning idiot drivers, dodge crazy traffic, but just ride, ride, ride on a safe enclosed circuit.
  • I got 1:1 instruction with one of the trainers, and got a lot of valuable feedback. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see one particular bad habit I had that was pointed out to me.
  • It was great to practically have the track to myself, seeing as there were only 26 riders out there – far less than a typical track day.
  • My riding style improved dramatically after this day.
  • I won some freebies! A $50 gift certificate to Skagitt PowerSports, and a 50% discount off of a rear tire from Seattle Cycle – pit I’d already broken the bank for brand new tires the week before. :|
  • I got to hang out with Wendy Leber – ranked 104 at WMRRA, and according to Mike – the fastest woman he’s seen on the track. I’d met her before and chatted, and she’s such a lovely person! It was also cool to have three brilliant female instructors.
  • I was sick the day before, and practically collapsing when I woke up at 5:30 that morning. I got my leathers on and made it to the race track on sheer willpower alone. Strangely enough, I felt perfectly fine at the track although I felt like I was holding back a little. I felt sick again an hour after I got back home in the evening. Guess someone was looking out for me that day – it would have broken my heart if I hadn’t been able to make this event.
  • The instructors said that I had very good, clean lines. :) They also said that it was great how I anticipated every turn and looked far into it. It was nice to get some compliments where I was beating myself up for being so abyssmal.
  • I have started studying Keith Code. I love Twist of Wrist 1 and am beginning to critically analyze my riding and mentally correcting myself. All the racers recommended TOW2 as they thought TOW1 was more “philosophical” than practical, but I like it a lot.


  • We were instructed to get to the track at 7:30 am, but we only got out there at about 10:00. We wrapped up at 4:00 PM with a one hour lunch break. I was rather disappointed at not having enough time on the track, and didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth. I would have given up the freebies and catered lunch for more track time. :|
  • I felt like such a squid. Some of the women on the track were so young and so fast that I cringed at how bad I was. This woman especially is someone to watch out for. You can see from the pictures how good she is. Do any of you feel this way on the track? The feeling that you got into this way too late and the young ‘uns have everything going for them? This was one of the few times in my life I felt like I was old. :|
  • I wish I had done a few trackdays before this school. My form was so bad and I never really pushed the limits of my bike. Part of this was the fear of wrecking my only bike – I think I really need to get an inexpensive race bike that I don’t mind crashing and losing for next season. The track was also unfamiliar to me, and I spent the major part of the day just learning it and getting used to it, rather than improving my riding abilities.
  • At the end of it, I still didn’t master shifting my weight on the bike, getting my butt off of it, sticking out my knee, or shift gears without using the clutch. I know it’s impossible to learn everything in one day, but I wish I had made some progress in each of these areas. I have however started working on the former while commuting to work everyday. I look like a right tool with leaning and shifting my weight while going 20mph on city streets, but it’s really the only place I can practice until my next trackday.
  • I know everyone goes through this, but I am still concerned about just trusting riders behind me to not collide into me and overtaking me safely. The instructors said that I need to get past this mental block and just concentrate on the road ahead and trust my fellow riders on the track. It’s hard for me to do though. I’m reminded of the last horrendous accident I heard about at the WMRRA novice races a couple of months ago, where there one of the riders lost control of his bike, flew up into the air and his motorcycle landed on another guy ahead of him, who had to be airlifted to the hospital. :| Scary shit.
  • I need to get in shape and really build up my core strength and endurance. I just know that it’s going to improve my riding.
  • I didn’t ride two-up with Mike Sullivan. I just couldn’t get past my mental block of never doing two-up with anyone, but I felt a little wistful when the other women who did it said that it was the scariest thing they had ever done, and they were that close to vomitting in their helmets. Maybe next time?
  • I think I hit 100mph, but I’m not completely sure as I was trying my best not to look at the speedometer. It was sobering to realize that while my bike was upto hitting 120+mph, me – the rider – was not.

In conclusion, I love the little motorcycling community. I really got a sense of that on this day, the same as I do when I attend WMRRA races. When I rode away from the track, I felt so empty – heading back to my normal life in my normal city seemed like such an anti-climax to the day.

I was hoping that I would be able to decide on this day as to whether I want to race next season, but I’m still not there yet. I don’t know if I’m able to spend that much money and time on something that could potentially get me killed. It’s not the getting killed part that I’m daunted by as much as the time and money bit though. Add to this my insecurities about my abilities although even this I could work on. I remember the first time I tried riding and how terribly bad I was, and how far I have come since. I know I can do this, and I know I can be good, but I am a little haunted by the thought of how good those other racers were – I don’t know if I have it in me to putting in the effort to get to that level. Perhaps I’ll settle for just doing trackdays regularly, rather than club racing. I’ll give myself some more time to decide. I have another trackday with Adrenaline Freaks coming up on Sep 8th. I’ll just concentrate on having a blast there, and let the decision-making rest until then.

The weekend…

In other news, I’ve practically sold my Icon red and white Tuscadero jacket to another woman at work who just bought a spanking new SV. And I bought the Teknic Violator jacket from Seattle Cycle last Saturday. They need to order it for me and hopefully I can go pick it up this weekend and drop it off at Eugene’s who will zip it up with the pants for me.

Last Sunday I went on a loooong ride by myself on the SV. It was the first time I took her out on the freeway and I was amazed at how well she handles as compared to my Virago. So stable and hardly any vibration. Of course, the first plunge on the freeway on a motorbike is always scary to me as I feel the wind blasts on my helmet from both sides. I try to crouch down as much as possible, but that feeling of utter panic carries itself into my handling of the bike as well.

In any case, about my route – I took the ferry frm Edmonds to Kingston on Sunday morning and rode on WA-101 along Hood Canal. From there I turned back up north to the other side of the canal to the little town called Tahuya.

My intention was to do the Destination Highway from Tahuya to Gorst, but I think I missed the turn someplace and got in North Shore Rd. instead that goes by the water.  It was gorgeous and twisty and there was hardly any traffic!! Don’t get me wrong – it was lovely to see so many bikers out there, but after a while I got tired of waving. :P

I rode as far as I could, but it ended in a rather steep, un-engineered, uphill, one lane route and I stopped and turned around. I don’t like heights, and I wasn’t keen on turning a corner to see a car directly in my face.

From there I rode back to WA-3 and took it all the way north back to Kingston. There were almost 20+ bikers on the 5:45 ferry back to Edmonds! I think I rode almost 250 miles in one day! Suffice to say, I’ve broken the SV in! :) The curious thing is that I was having so much fun riding that I never actually wanted to stop and take pictures! So not much of a photo record this time.