Sep 11, 2013

Summer's Gone....

Just a quick note to share with you some things you missed this summer...

I went to the BMW Rally in Salem this was so close to my house I just had to go.  Volunteered for three days and sat in on a good lecture and on one that was "so so".  The "so so" one was on riding in Oregon...and I was pretty amazed at the level of local knowledge that was not represented.  I thought surely there would be some stuff that knocked my socks know...something I could learn since I know there are a million places I have yet to explore.  Nada.  There was a great slide showing how moss sometimes grows on the roads...and how deer can sometimes get in the way.  Uh huh.  Thanks.  Most of the riders represented I'm sure they are already fully aware of the hazards of the road...even if they aren't from Oregon.  There were a lot of vendors present, which was pretty cool...but it was in attending this rally (even from mostly the sidelines, as it were) that made me realize riding is about having fun and enjoying what you are doing.  It's about finding your own way and not feeling the need to be a follower.  It's about riding at your speed, to your destinations, the way you feel most comfortable.  And, thus, I've decided that group rides suck.  Sure, they serve a purpose.  But, for me, with what I want to do in life, group rides are a lot like going to the dentist.  I go because I have to, but I certainly don't look forward to them and I only want to do it once a year if possible.

Which brings me to the other thing I did this summer...the Third Annual Chris Kilcullen Memorial Ride.  I've ridden this ride ONCE and have volunteered for the three years it's been going.  Each year it seems we do more to improve the ride and make it a fun event...and each year this takes many months of planning, meetings, emails, texts, and endless hours and minutes from my life that is already filled to capacity with work, my dog and going to school full time.  I do it because I believe in the cause, because I want to make a difference, and because I consider the people I volunteer with to be my friends.  This year we had another great turn out...almost 400 riders and passengers.  It was almost a disaster with the food, lunch location issues and sponsor "dilly dally" issues but we pulled it off and I'm proud to say we fully funded the Chris Kilcullen Memorial Scholarship at $50,000.  That goal having been met, next year we are hoping to start giving back to the community by donating the money raised to worthy charities.  That's where the fun begins.  There will always be a place in my heart for this ride, despite the fact that I may not always be as involved as I wish I could be.  

I did just give Runkle his 12,000 mile service at the tune of $533 and replaced the chain and sprocket at another $300 all within the same week...which is enough to make any self respecting BMW rider want to throw in the towel and buy a Kawasaki KLR.  I can't even think about that anymore, let alone write about it.  

The summer has come and gone and again, I didn't do as much as I'd have liked.  Next year...there's always next year.  I probably say that a lot.  But yeah, next year I'm going to do some awesome shit.  Promise.  In the meantime, I'm going to start doing more dirt and gravel roads and researching...because as I move toward the future I see a lot more of those in my story.  After all, that's what Runkle was made for.  I'll try to keep you updated...until then....

Be safe.


  1. You did make it back from Vegas alive!! I was starting to wonder.

    This summer seemed odd in the riding aspect. We didn't do nearly as much riding as we historically do in the summer. It just seemed off for some reason. Hubby taught quite a bit in June and July so some weekends were taken.

    And I am inclined to agree with you on group rides. I used to participate, but I just find I really don't have any use for them. I prefer to ride with hubby and maybe 1 other rider if they care to join. We set the pace, stop when we want and it is easier to please just us when it comes to lunch stops too.

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