I started riding
in my own motorcycle in June of 2002 after taking the MSF safety
course given by
MTII in West Palm Beach FL.
My late husband
convinced me that I should learn to ride my own...this was
during his 6 months of radiation treatment for
cancer. We had already bought his Harley just before his
surgery. I am very glad that I did...we didn't know how long he
had, sadly it wasn't all that long.
My first bike was
a 200 Harley-Davidson Sportster Hugger in White Pearl.
bought the bike in December while living in Pennsylvania...at
the same time my husband traded in his
1998 Electra-Glide for a
2003 Softail Heritage Classic. A job transfer moved us to
Florida, just in time for me to learn to ride. I spent 3 months
on the Hugger, about 750 miles, but never really got comfortable
In August my late
husband and I attended the Harley-Davidson Open Road Show in
It was the kick-off for their 100th Anniversary
Celebration. While there I sat on a Harley-Davidson Low Rider
(part of their Dyna line). I fell in love...low slung with a
wonderful low center of gravity.
While it was several hundred
pounds heavier than the Sportster, it fit me better. In August
we traded in my bike and took delivery on a brand new 2003
Anniversary model Low Rider.
In the 20 months I
owned the Low Rider, I put 24,000 miles on it...most of it was
around Florida (Daytona, Vero Beach, the Keys, etc) but there
were two longer trips. The first was the
2003 Pony Express Relay for Breast
Cancer. I hadn't been riding but 6 months when I signed up.
It was one of the best experiences in my life. I rode the entire
Eastern Trail from Orlando to New York City....via Chicago.
After the closing ceremonies at Hard Rock Cafe in NYC, I headed
to central northwestern Pennsylvania to see friends before
starting the solo trip home.
The next long trip
was my late husband's first - last - only multi-day motorcycle
trip. We rode from St. Petersburg, FL area to Johnstown, PA for
their annual Thunder in the Valley rally. You can read all the
details and see photos here:
So Great Trip With Some Great Moments.
My late husband
had a recurrence of his cancer and it was deemed terminal. We
moved to Tennessee and I sold my bike and took delivery on a new
2005 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe. This was my dream
bike...made for smaller riders, it fit me without modification.
This is the bike I rode when I
toured the country the year after my husband passed away.
In 2007 I took
another major plunge and bought a used 2007 BMW F650GS on ebay.
I bought it knowing that my Harley wasn't the best bike for
using in campgrounds (often dirt, gravel, grassy, uneven roads)
and the BMW was a dual-sport bike, thus meant to ride in those
conditions. Why was this important? Well, I had made a decision
to sell my house and go full-time RVing.
Before I hit the
road in late October 2007, I sold my Harley-Davidson Softail
Deluxe, with 32,000 miles on it, to another lady rider in
Tennessee. It helped to sell to someone I knew but was still
very hard to do. I traveled with the BMW until March of 2008
when I finally sold it and bought a car. (Lots of gory details
in my old blog:
the Lily Pad).
Fast forward to
July 2008 and I met a gentleman with a Harley-Davidson
trike...built on a 1998 Electra-Glide with the Champion Sidecar
conversion. I never liked riding on the back of two wheels once
I learned to ride my own. I've found that the trike changes that
completely and I'm very happy to ride back there...AND, once we
get an EZ Clutch installed, I will learn to ride the trike as
well. [update: Jan 2012 We are now on our third trike,
now a 2012 HD Tri-Glide and I am back on my own two wheels, a
2011 HD SuperLow. You can see more on our
blog for our Route 66 ride in 2013. Hope you'll follow
You can follow
along with our travels around the country, including bike trips,
on the new blog
Taking a 5th (since we live in a 5th wheel toy hauler). We
have bought a cargo trailer to pull behind the trike and plan on
some extended overnight trips in the future. Remember to ride
safely with the proper
motorcycle jackets and gloves for protection and a helmet if
the state requires it.
Thank you for
visiting "I Ride My Own" and I hope you will come back often as
well as refer the site to your friends.
Keep it in the wind and ride safe!