Women Riders

Random Ponderings from the Pillion

Written by  October 31, 2008

If you notice such things, you’ll see I have a new image up. The new ride is a 2007 Honda VTX 1800T, purchased mid August and new out of the box. The ride is awesome, so much so that on an all day ride recently, I left my riding belt in the saddle bag and didn’t feel I needed it. However, my feet always fly off the pads from any bumps or divots, which cracks me up every time. Luckily, I am weighty enough not to actually fly off entirely. We are assuming it is because I can sit back on this bike, placing my legs and feet forward more. That, coupled with the softer ride, gives me less “grip,” causing me to “fly” a bit more than when on the Shadow.

Another new purchase in recent weeks has been a new riding jacket. I could not very well write about safety gear and be lax in having it, so I now have a First Gear mesh jacket with body armor. It has a zip-out lining, so it should be comfy in the coming cooler weather. It’s all black with an underlining of reflective gray. My one complaint about riding gear for women is that a lot of it is too…..womanly. I am not fond of pink or pastel colors or cutesy decals. I prefer basic black, but that choice was pretty limited. I found, much to my dismay, that I couldn’t get the men’s versions closed over my hips. Odd, since my leather jacket is a man’s; the women’s leather jackets I had been looking at were of a thinner, softer leather, none had a zip out thermal lining, and the sleeves were too narrow and short. Apparently I am not alone in my complaints about women’s leather jackets as I have been asked where I found mine.

A little correction and/or clarification to September’s Getting Lost column: when figuring out which direction you are headed, I stated that “the shadows are on your left, then to your left is south, so you are probably heading west.” I should clarify that I mean the shadows covering the road. Your own shadow would be on your right to indicate a westerly direction. Hope no one got too lost with that one.

Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of charity rides? It used to be one or two major RCs would sponsor something and, if you were into charity runs, you might do one a month. It seems that now there are four or five any given weekend right through the fall months. Charity motorcycle runs have been found to be a great way to raise money for a pet cause, and these days, not only RC’s are doing them, but companies, churches, schools and organizations such as the Elks are getting into the act. The problem is that so many are sponsoring these runs that their numbers of participating riders go down as we make choices about for whom we want to ride on any given weekend.

Am I the only one bothered by the “First Annual” tag placed on these rides? Save the word “annual” for the possible second one. The proper word would be “Inaugural,” as in “Bucky’s Inaugural Save the Titmouse Poker Run.” Then, if it’s a success, it could be called “Bucky’s Second Annual Save the Titmouse Poker Run” next year. I will now step off my grammar soapbox.

On the last day of August, I tripped in my own yard and twisted my ankle. Four weeks later, it appeared I had also fractured it. Since the doctor stated I had waited too long to do anything, he gave me a plastic contraption that straps onto my lower leg. This has not deterred me from riding, however; we just strap a cane to the bike and go. I can do this as a pillion warmer, but I would not recommend it for those of you who ride your own. My car is a five speed, and it’s hard on the left leg, even with a hydraulic clutch. My advice to anyone who has an injury and thinks it would be okay to ride anyway, ask your doctor and then think again. Better to heal right and miss a few times of joy than to push it and do more harm.

Autumn is here and I would call it my favorite season, at least until it gets really cold. The sights, the distinct smells, the brilliant colors of changing leaves are a joy to me as we cruise the country roads. Some farms have smokehouses, and I love to breathe that scent in as we go by. I also love the scent of fireplaces and burning leaves and you just can’t appreciate those from a car. A long time ago during a newscast, the anchor asked the weatherman about the differences of the seasons because it was autumn, but very warm. The weatherman replied that, even if you could not see what time of year it was, your nose would tell you because each season has a distinct range of scents and those of fall are most prominent.

As the cooler weather approaches, it’s time to take inventory of what you have, what you can toss, and what you might need. Last winter I treated myself to a pair of flannel-lined jeans and I love them. I tried all kinds of different things to keep myself warm while riding. First I tried old reliable pantyhose. Fuhgeddaboudit. Then, on the advice of a long-time rider, I bought silk long johns. Those did nothing as well. A friend’s daughter skis so she recommended Underall thermals but those were a waste of my hard-earned dollars. Desperation crept in and I decided to get the jeans. Not only do they help keep the cold off my legs, but paired with leather chaps, I can’t feel any cold air at all when I ride in the winter.

By Louise Reeves