So I’ve had this goal for a long time – not a dream, exactly because it would be more of a nightmare, but a goal – and that’s to run a marathon before I’m 50. So, without going into exactly how old I am, let’s just say that it’s time to get moving. And the first move was a half marathon.

I had originally planned to run the Big D Half Marathon, but things didn’t exactly work out for that. And once they didn’t work out, neither did I – meaning I kind of abandoned my training regimen. But I didn’t abandon my dream. So The Big D day dawned stormy and rainy and cold and I was SO grateful I’d opted not to pay money for the event. But as it turned out, the balance of the day was perfect for running so, once the last serious rain shower had passed, I took off with my iPod set to my “Running Tunes” playlist and Nike Trainer letting me know how much further I had till I was home.

13.1 miles on a bike is a handy distance. It’s definitely not a long ride but neither is it a trip to the corner store. On two feet, 13.1 miles is akin to what William Walton experienced at the hands of the English and at about 12 miles, you’re thinking about how you wish you’d taken whatever drug it was that would keep you from feeling everything they’re doing to you. In fact, at mile 12, even Led Zeppelin wasn’t making me happy I was still alive. It was all pain and age and miles and people honking like they couldn’t tell I was about to die and honking didn’t make it better. I mean, when has a “thumbs up” ever been listed as any kind of medicine. Now, if they’d REALLY wanted to be helpful they would have tossed me a beer, but who parts with a beer in Irving on a Sunday afternoon?

So, I’m running really far and I’m really tired and everything hurts really badly and I’m contemplating the series of events that have led me here. The question I landed on, that I contemplated for the last hour of my run was this: why? Why, why, why?

When I was a little kid, I clearly remember asking my Mom – over and over – why? Why, why, why? Why, Mother? Then, once I became a Mom, I was asked the same question: Why, Mom? Why did he do that? Why is this that way? Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green (or, in our case, brown)? All questions I couldn’t answer. I fell back on my mom’s answer to me. “Just because.” Or, if she wasn’t in a good mood, “Because I said so.” That was actually the point in time I decided I wanted to be a Mother – because they were able to just say something and make it so.

Back to life’s question. Why? Why was I doing something that was causing physical pain? Why was I doing something that no one really cared about – except to be glad it was me and not then? Why had I gotten it into my head that there was some kind of significant reason to do this? Why? Why, why, why?

I made it home – stumbled, rather. In fact, either because my GPS is off just a bit or because of the way the streets meander, I actually finished about a quarter mile from the house. That meant I was through running but still had to get to the house. I actually thought about calling Tim and asking him to pick me up but pride intervened…thank God. I mean, how embarrassing would that be? I just ran 13.1 miles and cannot go another step so come get me for the last 100 yards!

Anyway, once I was home and sipping the beer no one had been kind enough to throw me, I had a chance to analyze things. Why? Why do we do what we do? I asked my father why I’d done something like that. (I rarely asked him the “why” question growing up because, as a chemistry professor, his answers often involved logic, reasoning, and science, three things I avoid religiously.)

He replied, not like a scientist, but like a father: because we take pleasure from setting challenges for ourselves, then achieving them. I suppose that’s why, at 82 years of age, he’s still kicking pretty hard. It’s about challenges.

I also suppose that’s part of the reason for me. It’s why I rode an Iron Butt (1,000 miles in 24 hours) on my own a year ago. It was for the challenge. It was also because someone very close to me (who shall remained unnamed, except to say he’s sometimes referred to as “Honey”) told me it was really hard and I had no idea how much work it would be. It was basically a gauntlet being thrown down. Turned out it wasn’t that hard after all and I realized that, while Tim (oops…not that Tim is the one who told me I shouldn’t do an Iron Butt because I had no idea how hard it was) is a great rider – much better than me – I’m in pretty good shape and have more endurance on the bike than he has.

The same was true with the run, except that Tim really encouraged me to do it. When I was having second thoughts because I’d slacked off on my training and the weather was bad early in the day, he reminded me of just how important it had been to me and how much I’d talked about it. He was right. It was important. Why? I don’t really know. Just because, I guess.

So that’s the story of how a Lady Biker got a thrill out of going a modest distance on two feet instead of two wheels.

Oh, by the way, later that evening, we rode the bikes up to spend time with friends. I’d had a short nap, three Advil, and was almost completely myself again. I guess 13.1 miles wasn’t that much after all. But I sure am glad I did it.

Now, as for the marathon. Right now that’s a little bit like asking a woman who’s just had a baby how many more she’s going to have. But I’ve had more than one baby. I know I’ll feel better about it later. And there’s still time before the drop-dead date of 50 years old to make my decision. The pain always goes away and you’re left with the sense of accomplishment. Feels good!

Until next time, wheels down and eyes up.

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So spring has arrived in Dallas and, from the looks of it, it will be spectacular – at least if you like 80-degree days in late March and early April (which I do). Sure we’ve already had some tornadoes and hailstorms but that’s the price you pay to be out of cold weather gear and into real riding weather.

So why am I not riding??? Oh, sure, I’m making the trek back and forth to work but that’s not riding; that’s getting from point A to point B and fighting for lane space with ten million cars (70% of which must be unmanned since there are only 3 million people in the metroplex but I swear that’s how many cars are pressing in on me each day on my commute).

There’s only one answer, of course. Well, maybe two or three. Or four. But basically, this is what’s going on. I’ve traveled thousands of miles so far this year. Only problem is they’ve almost exclusively been on an airplane. The only riding I’ve done is back and forth to the airport and that ain’t riding!

I love my job; it funds my riding habit. But it also sucks up my ride time and that…well, sometimes that sucks. And while I want to get back into my long rides to visit courthouses, there are so many other things that need doing right now – the yard needs work; I need to spend time helping Honey out with his business, (check him out at www.rockerlifecoach.com) which is taking off; oh, and there’s this thing called a wedding that I’m still preparing for, although everything else is closing in on it like it’s a juicy piece of meat to be eaten for dinner, devoured before it even takes place.

Now would be the perfect time to ride, to get away from it all; the perfect time to enjoy the wildflowers that are out double force to make up for last year’s total dearth of anything growing by the roadside; the perfect time to take an overnight trip with my sweet honey, who is so busy he makes me look unemployed. But, nothing doing.

You see, life intrudes on … well, life all the time. That’s what’s happening now. At least I’ve spent a whole week in town. A whole entire week – only the second one of the year. It’s been kick stands up every day this week (so far; I hope I haven’t jinxed it) and the weather has been amazing. (OK, except for the tornadoes and hail, but Coco came out unscathed.)

When my kids were young, I was a single mom and there was no extra money for anything. And still we had fun, enjoyed doing simple things like making cookies together; going on treasure hunts in the backyard (that was to find a missing earring, but they didn’t have to know that); drawing comic strips on the sidewalk with colored chalk. All things you could do on the fly for not much ka-ching.

Those were good times and these are, too. My bike isn’t racking up the miles but my life is racking up great moments. Even though I’m traveling on business, taking a tip from Tim, I’ve made new friends every place I’ve been. He featured that topic this week in his blog on RockStar Friends and he’s so right about the joys to be found wherever you go – no matter how you get there.

Not that much riding for me but boy have I scouted some great places to ride when the time is right: New Orleans, Buffalo, Atlanta, Columbus, Albuquerque, Raleigh. You guys hang tight. I’ll be back on two wheels and we’ll have a ball.

Until then, I’m happy to be riding to work in beautiful weather and coming home each night to my family. It’s all good!

Until next time, wheels down and eyes up.

I’m writing to you from lovely Columbus, Ohio. I’m here on business and it’s pouring down rain. I mean the kind of rain that makes you look for a guy building a huge boat. I’m waiting for the Statue of Liberty to go floating by. That’s how much rain there is. When the plain landed, we came in over a small lake…that wasn’t here back in November when I flew in. That’s how much rain there is. I’m actually glad to be in a cage instead of on a bike. THAT’S how much rain there is.

It’s been raining in Dallas, too, and I endured plenty of wet stuff earlier in the week before I left town. I also endured a pretty serious breakdown on Coco Wednesday night. Here’s how it happened. I had my son, Noah, on the back of the bike as we rode from my office in Addison to downtown Dallas for a Mavs game. We’ve had season tickets for years (since he was and ten or so and now he’s 20) and Wednesday night was a game night. It was cold but the rain had finally stopped – just a few sprinkles. Did I mention the part about it being cold? OK. Just want to be sure the scene is properly set. 

We took the tollway there because it was fast. By the way, Noah is a terrific passenger on a bike. He’s not a big kid and he rides beautifully. Never jerks or anticipates and most importantly, he rides like he trusts me completely – which is what you really want in a passenger. But I digress. Back to complaining!

So we’ve gotten to our primary parking spot, about a quarter mile from the arena, under the bridge. We like it because it’s a quick exit when the games are over and we don’t mind the quarter-mile walk to and from the arena. Just as I turned into the lot, Coco started making a horrible grinding sound, like the kickstand was dragging. But, of course, it wasn’t. I turned it off immediately and we both got off to see if anything was dragging. Because I’m always paranoid about the oil level, I immediately checked that but it was fine. So I decided to try starting it up again and I had, hands-down the strangest bike experience ever. 

Coco has an electric ignition and to turn her on, you must (1) turn on the power switch on the tank, (2) press the “run” switch that primes the engine, then (3) press the “start” ignition button. If the bike is in neutral, as it usually is, you don’t need to depress the clutch. Well, I knew it wasn’t in neutral so I did steps 1 and 2, then pressed the clutch in anticipation of hitting the “start” button. As soon as I pressed the clutch, the bike tried to start itself. It popped like a dead battery, and ground some more. After that, nothing. That’s something seriously wrong. And scary, too, like a gremlin is in the bike.

There was something else seriously wrong. We were at a game, pretty late on a rainy cold night, in downtown Dallas, about 25 miles from our nearest friend with a trailer – and considerably further from most of our other friends with trailers. Oh, and the Mavs were getting their NBA Championship rings in just a few short minutes. There just wasn’t time for this crap!

So here’s how it went down: Tim started calling friends looking for someone who could come down to pick me up. I called Harley-Davidson Member Support (the national guys) but their offices had closed and they wanted me to leave a message. I took Noah to watch the Mavs get their rings, then I called my insurance company, Geico (I absolutely LOVE these guys now) figuring they would at least have the names of some towing services I could call. Turns out it was much better than that; I actually having towing insurance on my motorcycle policy (PLEASE don’t tell any of my friends who have towed me for free before I found out about this wondrous thing). They arranged a truck to arrive after the game was over (the game totally sucked, by the way, much like the rest of the night) and Coco was transported to North Texas Harley Davidson, our guys.

Just to make it a tad more frustrating, when the driver asked what was wrong, I told him what had happened. Then to prove it, I tried to start the bike…which started beautifully, like the day I bought her. It’s almost like she’s not my friend anymore. Fortunately (I suppose) when I depressed the clutch, it began making the grinding sound again and at least I didn’t look like an idiot. And at least I was able to drive her up onto the bed of the truck, which was very helpful. Even with the grinding noise, the clutch still worked so I figured there was something else going on. I was right, darn it. 

So I dropped it at the dealership and Tim met us up there to drive us home. Next day, I had to catch a 6:00 am flight to Columbus (I mentioned the rain, right?) and I don’t get back until late Friday night. And I have to be at work at 6:30 Saturday morning so my bike HAD to be and back home where she belongs by the end of the day Friday. I called my wonderful friends at the dealership during my layover and Daniel promised he’d take care of her. By the time I’d finished my first day of business in Columbus and called the shop to check on her, she was almost done – lots of problems, though: clutch plate, starter and one other thing I didn’t hear because I interrupted him to be sure it was all covered by warranty. It was. Whew.

I had them slip a new set of rear brakes on since mine were so bad I could barely hold her on the truck bed when is was angled down to get me on. Still need a new front tire but I’ll probably wait until that just gives out on its own…I mean now that I know I have towing insurance and all.

This whole thing has not left me a very happy Lady Biker, as you can probably imagine. Sure, it could be worse, but it could also be better. But my bad attitude is a post for another day. Why get all your ranting and complaining done in one sitting when you can have the satisfaction of spreading it out over many days?

Exactly. So until next time, wheels down and head up. And let’s add one more thing – smooth roads and healthy engines. 

Lady Biker Starts a New Year

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

So 2012 is under way and I’m brimming with excitement and enthusiasm for the year ahead. There are so many things I want to do this year and, of course, there’s one special event I’m working on right now – my wedding July 1st. There’s going to be riding for me this year and event planning like I haven’t done in almost 30 years. I’m thinking about rides I want to do and colors for dresses; courthouses (that challenge is still going) and dance music; greasy spoons to ride to and what to feed guests. It’s going to be a great year!

Since this wedding is such a big part of my life, it’s also going to be a big part of my blog. It’s a very important day; I’m marrying a man I adore. We have a great life together now and it’s only going to get better. He’s both a business partner and a life partner. I am definitely happy girl! I’m going to do as much myself as I can and have my great friend, Tracy, help me with the planning because that’s her expertise.

The first thing is the dress. I’ll be sewing it myself and I’ve already picked the pattern with some help from my friends. I know the color (although that will not be revealed here since it’s a secret). I’ll start sewing it in May to give myself some time to lose a few pounds (wouldn’t be a real bride if I weren’t thinking about that, now would I?) and I chose the style with a couple of things in mind. Sure I want to look good. But there’s something else I had to consider: I’ll be riding off on the back of a motorcycle with my baby so it has to work for that. Yes, I’m actually going to ride girlfriend – well, ride wife – that day. Tim will take my bike to wherever we’re staying earlier and I’ll ride with him on the back of his bike when we leave the wedding (which will be at our home). I ordered the pattern today and will start looking for material soon. I’m really too old to be so excited, but there it is. Dress…check.

I also have riding plans for the year. Our honeymoon will, of course, be a riding trip. I don’t know exactly where, but it will be perfect. Tim and I have been fortunate to have taken a number of riding trips together and each of them has been absolutely wonderful. We’ve had nothing but good times together, whether we camp or stay with friends or in a hotel. Riding has been a really important part of our lives together – not everything, but important. How wonderful that we’ll start our marriage with a week of fun on the bikes!

But that’s not all the riding I hope to do this year. I did an Iron Butt (1000 miles in 24 hours) in 2010 but none last year. I think I’d like to do some again in 2012. I have a friend (my wedding planner, Tracy) who is planning some Iron Butts herself. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to work them in since they normally take place on Saturdays and I have to work Saturdays but even if I can’t go with her and her group, I want to do at least one myself.

Tracy and her group are also planning another trip to the Hill Country of Texas to ride the Three Sisters (a challenging trio of country roads that attract thousands of bikers every year). We did that last year and I loved it but there weren’t any flowers because of the drought. I’m hoping for better sights this year.

And there’s my courthouse challenge. There are 254 counties in Texas and each one has a courthouse. There will be rides to capture more courthouse pictures for me. I hope to do the trip I missed out on last September to take on the Texas Panhandle. Maybe over Memorial Day weekend. I still have the entire trip mapped out, ready to go. It’s in my tank bag so I can see the route each time I get on the bike – teasing me, tempting me, encouraging me.

I’ve got 37,000 miles on Coco and I think I’ll finish the year with more than 60,000. That’s a lot of miles for a bike I’ve only been riding since April 2010 but Coco and I have gone a lot of places and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Tim has always said my bike could easily hit 100,000 miles and I aim to take her that far.

2012 is going to be a great year for me. What about you? What do you have planned? What rides are you hoping to do? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time, wheels down and eyes up. Let’s ride!

How many Lady Bikers does it take to change a light bulb? Well, it depends on what kind of light bulb it is. Take, for example, the rear light/brake light bulb on Coco. That’s not your everyday, ordinary light bulb. Finesse and skill are required. Not to mention knowing it’s out in the first place, which is not the sort of thing you can easily discern while riding. A second rider (one who doesn’t insist on leading everywhere) is required. That you only get from riding with a group – which I did a couple of weeks ago when I went on our Panther Creek Hog dinner ride. 

So I’d just learned my light was out. Now what? It was 10:00 pm Friday night – no Harley shops in this time zone are open at that time. Fortunately, my tail light was working; it was only the brake light that was out so I could still ride relatively safely, as long as I didn’t stop. Hmmm. Well, regardless, I made it home OK but headed to my favorite Harley shop–North Texas Harley Davidson–the next day so I could replace the bulb.

Turns out light bulbs – even Harley light bulbs – are surprisingly cheap. In fact, It was less than two bucks. I mean, do they not KNOW how much I’d have paid to avoid a ticket which was surely just around the next corner…right after I got rear-ended by someone who didn’t see my brake light…which wasn’t working.

So, I’ve got the bulb, my pocketbook doesn’t even know it’s been hit, and it’s time to change it out. Piece of cake, right? Whoa, Bessie. Not so fast. As with all light bulbs not in lamps, you must have a screwdriver before you can even THINK about changing anything. No problem. I’m at a Harley shop, after all. I asked my friendly service guys for a loaner Phillips, and was soon back outside taking things apart. 

Now, while I’m a chick who rides a bike (not a dainty occupation) and I was definitely wearing head to toe leather that had been through mud like an off-track racer thanks to a week of rain, I do not like yucky stuff like mud and muck, bugs, snakes, dust bunnies, mildew, dirty dishes, and, well, the list goes on and on. And guess what accumulates in a the taillight of a Harley that gets ridden in all seasons? Muck and mud. There were probably some bus in there. No dirty dishes that I saw right off, but there was a lot of nasty stuff inside that cover, just waiting to jump to freedom…all over me! Ilch!

Once I got that emptied out and got my hands somewhat dried off, it was time for the light bulb switcheroo. Well, what do you know? There’s only one bulb back there with two functions and one holder holding to it REALLY tightly. So tightly that I was afraid to pull the bulb because I was afraid the glass bulb itself would break off and I’d have to replace the whole unit…and you know THAT wouldn’t be another $1.98. I tugged on it delicately for a while, tried to pinch what looked to be plastic pieces functioning like a locking clasp, all to no avail. Finally I went back inside to the service desk for some more guidance. They said you just pull it out and when I told them I was worried about it breaking, got the reflexive “Hang on a minute and I’ll be right out there to do it for you, little lady.”

OK. He didn’t say “little lady” but he might as well have. Grrr. NO WAY I’m being beaten by a light bulb. No way! I tug a bit more and another biker rides up and parks beside me. I make a friendly, unobtrusive comment about the great Red Hot Chili Peppers tune he’s playing and he leaves it on so I can keep listening. I initially think he’s totally cool but his next words say otherwise. “What have you messed up there, little lady?”

OK. He didn’t say “little lady” either but he might as well have. Grrr. I explained what I was doing and how I was concerned that all the muck and mud and bugs and dirty dishes inside the case had caused the bulb to be stuck in the socket. He knelt down, grabbed it and pulled the light bulb out like a peach off a tree. Just like that. Of course, if he’d broken off the bulb on my bike it wouldn’t have mattered at all to him. “Turn the bike off when the song’s over,” he said, reminding me that he was also providing music for my failed attempt at rudimentary bike repair.

I quickly snapped the new bulb in (once I now knew how hardy they are, it was easy), returned the bulb holder to its place in the light unit, screwed the cover back on, gave it a quick check which was pretty pointless in the bright sunlight, returned the screwdriver, and headed out to get my nails done like any respectable biker chick who just broke a nail trying to fix a stupid light.

So, to answer the question: how many Lady Bikers does it take to change a light bulb? One. Plus a guy with a screwdriver and one with enough nerve to just grab, pull, and walk off. Grrr. Next time, I’m pulling, too, and to heck with the consequences!

Until next time, wheels down and eyes up. Happy New Year, everyone!

When you’re a biker like me, with no car, who rides everywhere, there comes the inevitable time when your enthusiasm bumps smack up against the weather…the cold weather, that is. I can deal with the heat but the cold. Brrrrr!

Of course, as a biker, I have things to assist me…and the promise that someday, if I save my nickels and dimes (and twenties and fifties) I’ll be able to buy some things that will REALLY assist me – like heated gear. For the time being, I’m the master at layering clothes on – some mornings, when it’s really cold, I’ll have so many layers on that if I fell down, I wouldn’t be able to get myself back up! Which makes it that more important that I stay upright!

Because I’ve chosen to incorporate riding fully into my life, I’ve had to make some concessions. Or maybe accommodations is the better word. When I need to dress up for work, I have to bring clothes along (or wear a dress over my jeans, which is always good for a few bewildered stares from motorists on my route). I wear my hair short so it works under a helmet and comes out looking…well no worse than it went in. It also dries much more quickly. OK. I wear it short because I just happen to like it short but it does make the whole motorcycle and helmet thing better.

When I shop, I have to pay attention to how much I’m buying or it won’t fit on the bike for the ride home. Watermelons are especially troublesome (although I’ve done it with enough nets and riding slowly). I haven’t tried to bring a Christmas tree home on the bike yet; maybe next year.

All these accommodations are fine; they don’t really create a hardship in my life and I’m more than happy to make the effort since it means I’m out on Coco every day. 

Happy, that is, until it’s time to work out. 

In the summer time, it’s not a problem. I finish a great work out, hop on the bike in my workout gear and head home. Sweaty? No problem. It’s hot outside. The wind blows me dry and keeps me cool. Ahh.

But in the winter, it’s a different story entirely. When I finish a workout I’m sweaty and hot. I put as much gear on over my workout clothes as I can stand (which isn’t much) then head toward the doors. And then I go outside and here comes the cold — like the wall I just hit during the endurance portion of Jesus’ R.I.P.P.E.D class. So I start putting the rest of my gear on…and everything’s good, right? Not so much. As soon as I put the helmet on, the inside of it becomes an instant sauna – all steam and fog. Add rain (like tonight) and there’s no way to win. Visor up and it’s all pellets of rain like bb’s on your face; put it down and I can’t see a thing.

And that doesn’t even go into how cold the cold becomes when you’re sweaty. It’s funny but the hardest day-in-and-day-out part of winter riding for me is working out. Let’s face it. I’m usually looking for a good excuse to skip a workout, get home a couple of hours early and…eat. It’s just that much harder to make myself do what I know I need to do.

So what’s the bright side? Actually, there are a number of them. First of all, it’s a fact proved scientifically that when you work out even though you have a REALLY compelling reason (like riding a motorcycle in cold weather) not to, you burn twice as many calories and you have an automatic dispensation for your first post-workout meal. It’s free.

But wait. There’s more. I live in Dallas. Winter lasts about 32 minutes. OK, it’s a little longer than that but summer will be here pretty soon. And the winters we have aren’t that bad. It will probably get in the teens once each winter. In the 20s fewer than 20 times and the rest of the time it may be in the 30s and 40s but the sun is usually shining and we could see 70 just about any day. That’s not the kind of thing you can complain about and retain any credibility as a complainer.

Oh, and don’t discount the actual true benefits of working out: feeling better, looking better, accomplishing something in the face of great adversity. Ah. I feel so proud right now. All that and cold, too. I’m so good!

And it’s all worth it. 199 days and counting down. No, wait. It’s after midnight. 198 days. Keep working out; don’t stop. Neither wind nor sleet nor…really cold weather and rain on a motorcycle.

Back to the ride. Wheels down, eyes up. And stay warm!

So you all know I was part of a challenge to win a new 2012 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. The contest involved visiting participating HD dealerships throughout the state and completing an entry form at each one. If you visited all 41 participating dealerships (which I did), you got an additional 41 entries. You also got entries for renewing your HOG chapter membership and 10 entries for going to the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee (which I also did – one of the best days ever!). I had almost 100 entries by the time everything was done and I just knew I would win. I mean, how could I lose?

It wasn’t just about how many entries I’d made which should have helped my odds. It was about how worthy my quest was. I ride a lot – almost all the time. I don’t own a car so if I have to get someplace, it’s either by bike or by plane. If it’s really, really horrid (like ice on the roads, which happens a couple of times a year here) I take the bus and train to work or work from home. I borrow my father’s car occasionally when there is simply no other option. To give you an idea, I probably don’t ride in the car more than once a month.

Sounds like a worthy winner, right? Well, I agree. The only problem is fate often thumbs its nose at worthiness and does its own thing. In this case, someone from a small town West of here (Weatherford) won. I name the town only to reinforce my worthiness to win – especially compared to the unworthiness of ANYone from Weatherford. Weatherford catches on fire every summer and that bike will be burned to a crisp in six months. I’m crying already at the pointlessness of it all.

It’s interesting that when I was working to get all my entries (“work” is clearly a misnomer; I was riding the roads of Texas in the most consistently beautiful week of weather I can remember, ever), every time I left a dealership where I’d sat on all kinds of new bikes – especially the Street Glide and the Heritage Classic (my two favorites) – and got back on Coco, I realized I was perfectly content with my bike. 

Sure I’d love to have a new motorcycle and I’m still salivating a bit over the new bikes each time I go to the dealership but I actually hoped to win the bike so I could finagle a deal to get the money and not the bike. I would then use the money to pay down some debt and keep riding Coco. Of course, I was going to do a few upgrades on her (speakers, heated handgrips, maybe heated gear for me) but I knew that no matter what, I could be happy with Coco. In fact, I felt kind of disloyal just thinking about replacing her.

Still, even with all that turmoil about new bike versus old bike, I was absolutely POSITIVE I was going to win. I mean, I just knew it. I was so certain that I almost did something HORRIBLE – spent some of the money before I got it. Of course, I knew by 2:00 Saturday afternoon that I hadn’t won when I didn’t get a call telling me to come pick up my  new bike. The drawing was at 1:00, it was 2:00. I hadn’t won. I’m sure that’s what the people feel like who mortgage their homes and sell everything they have to buy lottery tickets certain if they have so much invested in it, they will win. And then they don’t win.

In life, things we are absolutely SURE will happen sometimes just don’t. A promotion we just knew was ours doesn’t come through. A financial windfall we are positive is just around the corner turns out to be more elusive than that. An invitation, an offer, you name it. We’ve all expected something that didn’t happen.

Does that mean I wasted my time pursuing a new Harley? Of course not. Our week-long motorcycle trip was one of the most enjoyable times ever. Tim and I had more fun on that trip than two people deserve. And I would never give back the trip to the museum where Tim arranged a perfect marriage proposal. If I only focused on what I missed, I’d miss what I actually got. No motorcycle is worth what I have.

Besides, I’ll probably appreciate it more if I work for it. But that won’t stop me from participating in the challenge next year…and, I’m sure, I will be absolutely certain I’ll win!

This year I didn’t win a new bike. So what!

Until next time, wheels down and eyes up. What a great year it’s been!