Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sometimes something small can make all the difference.....

The Black River in the autumn morning - the water is warmer than the air.
So it was a sunny but chilly Sunday morning as I rode with two other guys, on our way to meet #ScootinAmerica. It was 37.8 degrees and the main thing you have to remember: when you're riding a motorcycle, whatever the temperature is, take 20 degrees off of that for the wind chill. If you don't believe me, check this out.

L to R: my bike, Lionel & his bike, Mark's bike & Mark
And as I'm riding along, freezing my patukas off, I'm thinking to myself, "Why am I doing this??!!" Of course I'm layered up - thermals, jeans, wool socks, wind-proof liner, leather chaps & jacket, waterproof gloves, and my 3/4 helmet - but I'm still cold and it feels like I've got nails being hammered into the ends of my fingers.... 

Me, Adam & Scooter
But then I remembered that Adam & Scooter have been riding for nearly two years, crossing the country six times, and has ridden in weather much worse, all while raising money for veterans and their families. (Read why I was excited to meet these two here.)

I'm just riding a short ways and the weather forecast says it'll get warmer - guess I better put on my big girl panties and suck it up. And even though my riding this short distance to ride with #ScootinAmerica may not seem like much, meeting these two did make a positive difference in my day. Hopefully my presence did the same for them. 

Just like I'm not a mechanic nor do I carry any tools with me
A tiny yet powerful tool
on my bike, I still stop for fellow bikers stuck on the side of the road because that's what bikers do. Earlier this year I stopped for a friend who had a clogged fuel line, and was trying to clear it. As I watched him work I remembered a paperclip I had with some of my paperwork. I unfolded it and we used it to eliminate the obstruction - bingo!!!

At FXCHD we raised just over $200 for #ScootinAmerica -
Dan holding #ScootinAmerica's donation jar while
I put money into it.
not the big donation I was hoping to give to them, but better than nothing to be sure. Again, it might not seem like much but maybe it'll be enough (when added to the other funds Adam has raised) to reach their goal. After all, every bit counts.

Sometimes it's like that - you don't think you'll make that big of a difference, but then you do! Or that someone else, doing what they do, will make a difference. Maybe their presence and/or actions aren't a big deal to you but they just might be to someone else. 

The Dalai Lama
Remember what the Dalai Lama said: "If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." 

A motorcycle might not seem like a big deal, but I invite you to take a small ride with me, through a small town and cross over the Black River on my Youtube channel. I'm hoping that this small slice out of my ride home will make you smile.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It ain't over till the Salt hits the Asphalt!!!

Season Wheel - Autumn next up!
As the new autumn season begins, I've heard a few people say that the riding season is over. Over??? There's still plenty of great riding to be done!! 

Of course I am a realest: I know that as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, Old Man Winter is not far behind. And, according to the latest Farmer's Almanac, Winter is coming back with a vengeance. Well that just tells me that I've got to take advantage of all the Fall Riding I can.... And I'm not the only one.

Magazine cover featuring
Adam & Scooter
If you haven't yet met Adam & Scooter of #ScootinAmerica, please allow me to introduce you to them. The team of two have traversed the lower 48 five times, raising "over $200,000 to our military." And soon this dynamic duo are making their way - finally - to FXCHD!! (The were scheduled to visit in the Fall of 2015 but the weather closed in, then again earlier this summer but that was postponed due to an accident.)

Our U.S. Military Men & Women - This is something near & dear to my heart! I grew up an Air Force brat, and then met & married my husband who then enlisted in the US Army, Infantry. He spent 18 years as an Infantry Soldier and went on six 'real world' deployments during that time (Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan twice and Iraq twice). He was medically discharged from Fort Drum (home of the 10th Mountain Division) three years ago. The post is practically in our backyard and about one-third of our customers at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson are here because of the military.
My husband (in the middle) on his second trip to Iraq

Fort Drum is located in Northern NY State
According to the VA my husband is 90% disabled - although he was lucky enough not to suffer an amputation or TBI. Despite my husband's injuries and ongoing medical problems, he will be the last one to ask for help. He'd rather see those soldiers who are more deserving get the care they need first - which is how many of these guys feel (at least with my experience)! It then falls to the family member(s) caring for these wounded warriors to ask for assistance. 

So in a sense, #ScootinAmerica is riding for me. A man whom I have yet to meet in person has dedicated himself these last two years to help raise money for veterans and veteran organizations. A
Scooter, Adam and their ride,War Horse
man who hasn't served in the military, but has ridden over 100,000 miles to give back to men & women he hasn't met. And he's got some miles left to go (check their Facebook Page and see where #ScootinAmerica has been) Some people would say that's crazy, but I say Adam & Scooter embody everything about being a Biker is about.

I'm looking forward to meeting #ScootinAmerica in person (and maybe even riding with them for a bit if I can get out of work!! lol)! And when I do they'll be getting a big "THANK YOU!" from me!! Especially since my son is now a Marine about to go off on his second deployment. 
My son (on the left) & friend at the Marine Corp Ball

Monday, September 12, 2016

Getting outside your 'comfort' zone - part 2

Got my leathers on to lead the
9/11/2016 Ride for the Red -
American Red Cross Ride
We're nearly into Autumn officially, I had to put on my leathers to ride in to work at F.X. Caprara Harley-Davidson, and we're getting close to the end of the riding season... At least for people like me that stay in snow country during the winter months. 

Even though it's coming to an end, now is the time that I take a quick look back and say a quick
"Thank You" for a great riding season so far. With the drought in Northern New York (which reminded me a lot of growing up in Northern California - hot & dry) that we had most of the summer, it did make for some fantastic riding, events and rallies! 

The 10th Annual Thousand Islands River Run, NY H.O.G. Rally in Alexandria Bay, all the rides that our NNY H.O.G. Chapter has done, and riding to & back from the Annual Dealer Meeting in
Me "riding" (Jumpstart) a 2017 Street Glide with the all-new
Milwaukee-Eight engine!
Boston!! And all summer long myself and my fellow Harley Enthusiasts are out on the road, cruising through your town, stopping for a bite to eat in your local diner, and maybe having a few at your local watering hole (ALWAYS after my bike's kick stand is down for the night! Please don't ever drink & ride/drive!! Exceeding that comfort zone is totally NOT worth it!!).

I was supposed to be able to get on the Mass Turnpike
"using any lane".... but no signs for I-90!!!
So far this riding season I've led three group rides (when it comes to riding I'm usually by myself, riding faster than the posted speed limit, and decide spur-of-the-moment which route I'm going to take - not a good combo when you're supposed to be leading a group!), have done a few videos, have successfully challenged myself to projects at the shop & home I normally wouldn't have taken on, and have ridden my motorcycle through not just one, but four - count 'em: FOUR - tunnels while making my way home from Boston because I got lost soon after leaving our hotel. (Did I mention I'm slightly claustrophobic??!!)

I'm also working on taking better "selfies": here's me and my husband at the
Annual Dealer Meeting at the Boston Convention & Expo Center!
But just because the riding season is winding down doesn't mean we get to stop exploring. I must keep getting out of my comfort zone! So the same goes for you, to!! Chase that sunset and smell freedom on the wind. Because bottom line we are all human beings and we are connected by that.  

There's still plenty of events and riding still to be done this season!! Check out FXCHD's Discover More Open House, September 23-24. Can't make it in to see me?? Then find your local Harley-Davidson dealer - they'll be having a Discover More Open House that same weekend. 

Get out and meet some bikers, maybe even make some new friends. Still don't feel comfortable getting out of your comfort zone? Then try reading this blog.