Saturday, August 14, 2010

Motorcycle Mania

Within one week, I've attended two events by motorcycle manufacturers here in the greater Portland metropolitan area. And I'm gearing up for my first overnight motorcycle trip on my own bike! Am I a biker babe yet?

One event, in Gladstone, Oregon, was a women's-only event by Harley Davidson, called a Garage Party. These events are held at Harley dealerships all over the USA. It could not be more female friendly: it's staffed entirely by women (all male staff leave), because new women riders tend to be very self-conscious and self-depreciating, and there's nothing like watching a woman smaller than you pick up an 800 pound bike (362.87 kilos) and then tell you, "YOU can do this." And, yes, I did, indeed, pick up a 800 pound motorcycle! There's great food, short demonstration stations, gift bags, and free t-shirts with I am not a back rest on the back.

The other event was by Triumph in Canby, Oregon. They had about 20 motorcycles you could sign up to ride, on group rides, every 30 minutes, on one of the many nice roads around here. The Triumph truck travels all over the USA to bring these events to cities all over. I had no idea Triumph made such a huge variety of motorcycles. The reps even hinted at some new models coming out later. I found my current dream motorcycle, a Triumph Scrambler. And I wore my I am not a back rest t-shirt and not only did the Triumph local dealer representative ask to take a photo of it, several men told me, "I have to get my wife one of those!" Stefan rode a cruiser for the first time ever at the event (I know, I know, he is SO hot).

Both events inspired me to write about them over on my professional blog, per all their great ideas that nonprofits most certainly could learn from.

* * *
We're gearing up for our first motorcycle overnight trip with me on my own bike. Yes, I am beyond nervous. We're going to Petrolia, California, the "Lost Coast", for the 19-22 August Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting. We will be meeting lots and lots of other people that orient their lives around traveling -- specifically by motorcycle.

Then, around September 7, we will head out for about two weeks into Canada for my second motorcycle trip-on-my-own-bike. Stefan's birthday is September 8, and he likes to spend it on a trip of some kind. After that trip, I'll be able to say, at last, "Why, yes, I am an ADV Rider!" Although, honestly, I think riding on the back of the bike all these years earns me at least a few ADV Rider stripes already.

While we're gone, dear Albi the Dog will be taken care of by our new dog sitter, who has family one block away and two blocks away, and our neighbors will look after her as well.

I continue to be amazed at how many people there are out there, to know that Stefan and I are far from alone in making travel a priority in our lives. I'm not talking "Eat, Drink, Pray, Shop, Sell-the-Movie-Rights"; I'm talking about people who go to foreign places, and that doesn't necessarily mean leaving their own countries, and immerse themselves in experiences starkly different from their home lives -- not just shop. Love, love those people, and I feel oh-so-honored to be part of their tribe.

My favorite travel-the-world-by-motorcycle folks are "Dusty Old Bags," Sheonagh Ravensdale and Pat Thomson, from the United Kingdom, who just finished touring Central America and are now somewhere in Europe. This is, in fact, their second world trip by motorcycle (they did another in 2006). It's Sheonagh’s way of marking her 60th birthday. Their earlier travels inspired them set up and run a charity for girls in Mumbai who are at risk from or who have been rescued from child prostitution. Here's a short newspaper article from their hometown paper about their travel plans. I haven't read all their blog entries, but so far, my favorite is for Guatemala, when they attending a local blessing-of-the-bikes event and all the local Guatemalan bike guys wanted their pictures taken with them (scroll down a bit on the page to see those). And they have an excellent way of handling attempts at bribes!

I just wish they had made it easy to find their contact info, because I would love to send them an email to tell them how awesome they are!

Could I be so lucky to be spending my 60th birthday touring Central America by motorcycle? Could I?!?!?

No comments:

Post a Comment