Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cruising through life (on a motorcycle that is)

Photo credit – Jim Degerstrom
My road to riding
I had never forgot the thrill I had as a kid when I ‘borrowed’ a few wooden clothes pegs from my Mom and clipped baseball cards to the spokes of my bicycle and magically turned it into a motorcycle. I rode as fast as my little legs could pedal while I listened to the rhythmic clicketty-clack of cardboard on metal racing through my neighbourhood with no particular place to go. It was that sense of feeling free and oh what a rush as I glided down a large hill. So I guess in a way since the day I put those baseball cards on my bicycle I was destined to eventually ride the real thing. 

Unfortunately real life got in the way for quite a long time and it would take nearly half a century before I would be able to experience what I had so longed to do. Sure, over the years I had the opportunity a couple of times to be a passenger on a motorcycle but it wasn’t the same, something was missing... I wasn’t in the drivers saddle! As time passed (too quickly the older I got) before I knew it I was headed towards middle age, I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t do something soon I would eventually become an old and bitter woman for at least not trying to accomplish the one thing I so desired to do. 

After I turned 44 (consider me a late bloomer) I decided it was about time I learn to ride. I still had never actually driven a motorbike, hell I still couldn’t even drive a standard car. But that wasn’t going to stop me. I was determined, not only to achieve this dream of mine, but to actually do something just for me for a change.

So in early April of 2009 I bought a motorcycle handbook and a week later I took the written test. A half hour later and $20 dollars lighter I walked out with my learners permit in hand. But wait! As I hopped into my car it occurred to me I was missing one very important thing, I didn’t even have a motorcycle! Then another thought hit me, more importantly I had yet to even drive one. Reading a handbook and passing a written test is one thing, but now I needed to get on one and ride it.

At this point I decided that it would probably be in my best interest to take a Motorcycle Course before I inherited any bad habits. I found that Georgian College offered a three day course and that it was starting in mid May. It was ideal for me that they were providing the motorcycles and all I had to worry about was buying my gear to ride.

Love at first sight
Even though the course was several weeks away I wasted no time shopping for a motorcycle.  The moment I stepped through the doors of the Yamaha dealer a small, slender beauty caught my eye. Dark red with a hint of sparkle captured that perfect mix of dainty and dangerous. As soon as I sat on the little V-star 250 it was love. We were a perfect fit and I just had to have her. Call it destiny, excitement, impulse... all I knew was she was the one.

Finally the day arrived to start the Motorcycle Course and it was the best thing I had ever did and was well worth the $489. Even when it poured rain the entire weekend, that didn’t dampen my spirit to ride. Dripping wet, glasses fogged and hair plastered to my head, I had a smile from ear to ear the day I passed. (However now I prefer to keep the riding in the rain to a minimum if at all possible :)

Hard knocks makes a better rider
We drove through the summer until that fateful day while taking a sharp curve my back tire hit some sand and I hit the guard rail. At least I was not going very fast, however it was fast enough that both my bike and myself got a little broken from that encounter. After a trip to the hospital to get a cast on my broken thumb, I sent my bike to the mechanic to get her patched up with a new gear box and blinker light. We were both left with a permanent reminder of our ordeal. For my bike it was a dent in the gas tank. Mine was not so noticeable, now whenever it rains my thumb aches. I was told it was my initiation into the bikers world, conveyed by the words “A biker has to kiss the pavement at least once” I hope to never have to “kiss” anymore pavement again. As soon as both my bike and I had healed I was determined to get right back on and ride again. I learned a valuable lesson though, be aware of my surroundings and the change in road conditions, most of all, always practice safe driving.

Practice makes you perfect, well makes you at least better...
That winter I packed up my bike and brought it to Florida where I spent most of my time practicing with my BF. He was especially patient with me, and I have to admit that I was still shaken from my confrontation with the guard rail. Florida was good for practice as it is very flat, doesn’t have as many curves and no hills to speak of, however it does tend to get boring. At least I got used to being in lots, and I mean lots of traffic. 

With enough practice time under my belt I felt I was finally ready to get my permanent license. (Taking the first Motorcycle Course allowed me to reduce the 22 month wait period before getting the full M class to 18 months) I again returned to take the Motorcycle Course for my final. Which again, I highly recommend, however be prepared to spend another $419 for this, although it is easier than going through the DMV. 

My ‘little star’ (which I had began to refer to my motorcycle) didn’t let me down and the sun even shone the day of my final test. I was so proud to have nailed it my first try and finally I could officially call myself a motorcyclist! Over the next four years I proceeded to put on a lot of miles on her, (just over 6,000 km) most which were earned while spending the winters in Florida.

A new chapter 
I had thought I would always be content with my ‘little star’. But soon we were starting to go on longer rides, and my ‘little star’ with it’s 250 hp laboured on the long runs, not to mention it was also taking a toll on my old behind. One day in 2013 while out and about we rode into the Harley dealer in Fort Myers. The whole ‘The Legend, The dream, The lifestyle’ mystique of a Harley had drawn us in. (We both had been drooling over the Harley’s for the last few winters)

I had to laugh when a sales person approached us and referred to my ‘little star’ as a “Scooter on steroids”. Then he let me test ride a Sportster. As I straddled this new beast my excitement rose. I felt the rumble of the engine as I twisted the throttle, sending a shiver down my spine. Here was the power that I had been missing and it felt good, real good. It was bitter sweet saying good-bye to my ‘little star’, after all she was my first. I felt like such a ‘big girl’ now and really it was after all, time to move on.

Not quite the perfect fit
I have to admit, my Harley 883 Sportster was not immediately the perfect fit the day I bought him. The handle bars were too spread out, making me feel like I was on one of those torture racks back in the middle ages, the seat was so hard that I have sat on rocks softer, there was no windshield to protect me from getting blasted in the chest by the wind (and the bugs) and the foot pegs resembled something you would find on a telephone pole that a utility worker would climb to reach the top with. At least he was decked out in navy blue, a colour that I have always been partial to. Although I would of preferred black, but navy was a close second. (In case you are wondering, my Harley just feels more masculine to me than my dainty v-star was.)

Once I put the smallest mini ape handle bars I could find on, got the much needed windshield, added a comfy seat for my boney butt and switched out the foot pegs for something more solid under my feet I was ready to cruise in style. His ride was smooth and solid, I eased into a curve without having to slow to a crawl while the weight of him held tight to the pavement. It was night and day compared to riding on my 250. Even working the clutch was smoother. My ‘little star’ was great for learning on, and I honestly don’t think I would of been comfortable enough or confident for that matter with riding a larger bike at the beginning. 
(Note to Harley: Not all riders are big burley guys - think about us smaller gals once in awhile - we are not all passengers, we ride too!) - Hmm, maybe I should design a bike for Harley <smile>

Two years later
Well it has been two years since I got ‘sporty blue’. I am loving every chance I get to be out on the open road. We have went on countless day trips and little short rides. We still have many plans, like Key West is on the ‘must do’ list. And it would be nice to check out Daytona Bike week, at least once. In fact now I am wanting to go even farther, like Italy and Panama! (Of course I wouldn’t be riding my bike all the way there, but it would be great to check out those places on a motorcycle) The possibilities are endless...

Why I ride
Riding not only makes me feel young (at heart) again, it is my one proud accomplishment that I did just for myself. I just can’t get enough of that intoxicating high as I encounter the next curve, the  heightened awareness I get when I see, feel and even taste the world around me from that unique perspective which only can be achieved on two wheels. (It is just a bonus that I also feel sexy in leather)

Riding is pure joy as I discover my next adventure, travelling with no particular destination in mind, my soul is liberated. Whether I am speeding over the landscape (or as the speed limit allows :) or cruising down a sleepy country road in the sun, nothing can compare to capturing that exhilarating rush of adrenaline pumping through my veins while the wind whips through my hair. Why do I ride... it makes me feel ALIVE.

I am going to just enjoy the ride and keep cruising through life...


‘Straddling my Sportster I rev the throttle and an exhilarating rush pulses through my body. I am a force to be reckoned with as I conquer the open road. A calming wave washes over my soul as the wind rushes past. I am alive. New adventures await, as I discover the road less travelled on two wheels’ 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fort Myers Bike Night

Fort Myers Bike Night - March 14, 2015

I have to admit, we were at the Fort Myers Bike Night on January 10th, but we actually drove the car there. (Yeah, I know, it felt like cheating to me too) Non the less it was a good time, with bikes to see and people to watch. I had chickened out taking the bike that time because I had never drove at night. That’s right, six years of riding and not once have I ever rode my bike at night. (BTW - mainly because it was just a little too chilly for me <smile>) I don’t know what is worse, being a chicken or a wimp LOL

But tonight was going to be the night because the temperature was still about 31 C (87 F) at 5 pm. That is right, finally we went to a Bike Night on our motorbikes! However it was just my luck, as we headed up Colonial Blvd it was obvious that it had recently rained as the pavement had turned into a creek that proceeded to wet my pant legs and give me a cool facial. A little further up the road one ominous cloud hovering above opened up and proceeded to spit on us. At least it was a brief wetting and nothing but clear cruising lay ahead as we pulled into the gas station for a quick fill up. As we neared downtown Fort Myers we were completely dry again... I was just glad I didn’t have to squish in wet boots as we walked around - Note to self: invest in a rain suit - because you just never know.

Bike Night in downtown Fort Myers officially starts at 6 pm, it was just about 5:45 pm and the party was already in full swing as we found a parking spot. Loads of people were milling about and even the live bands were already rocking. There were three stages set up at the three corners where the downtown section is blocked off. This is truly a must see. The area is blocked off to cars, however not for motorcyclists. So be prepared as you walk down the middle of the street to move over and let the bikers through. (After all, it is “Bike Night” people!) 

I had to chuckle as we made our way through the massive crowd - And it was massive, there had to be three times more people this time as compared to when we went in January. Might of had something to do with March Break...<wink> 
I heard a woman walking behind me ask her husband, “Why are the bikers riding in the middle of the people walking?” her husband just said in a bit of a sarcastic tone “To show off their bikes” BINGO! <grin>

There are all kinds of vendors setup on the street, from Biker Organizations to biker accessories and clothes. My favorite is to check out the variety of motorcycles that line both sides of the street. Love to see the custom paint jobs! My dream is to custom paint my bike... some day <smile>

The Joker...
We stopped at one booth for ‘Go For a Ride’ magazine and met a very nice women named Kati, her bubbly personality and enthusiasm for riding pulled us in as she put together a package of all the recent issues of the Go For A Ride (free) magazine for us. She explained that in each issue it includes a map for a motorcycle route. I am excited to try them out. Thanks Kati - hope to see you on the road! I should also mention that Kati writes for the magazine - Great articles by the way <smile> you can also find her on the Let’s Just Ride forum  

P.S. We are planning on going to Mugs & Jugs on Sunday March 22 for Biker Day (of course for me, weather permitting <smile>) : 12 pm - 4 pm 

Hmm, wonder if  the cover cost more than the bike
Hungry? There is no shortage of restaurants and for every taste, everywhere we went there was hordes of people jammed packed inside and out on the sidewalk patios. If a sit down restaurant isn’t for you, then there were plenty of BBQ stalls for the ‘grab and go’ types. (Not to mention all the beer you can grab to sip as you stroll) Most of the restaurants that have outdoor seating required a long wait for the table, but we found this one place, the United Café,  if the table is open, will let you grab it without the need to go inside and ask to be seated  (as long as you order) which of course that is what we intended to do <smile> The food is good with the standard Pub fare type selections and of course sitting out on the patio is the perfect spot to ‘people watch’. 

While we were enjoying the spectacle of people parading in front of us I decided to switch out my day time prescription lenses on my bike glasses for my new night time lenses. I have to say that these sunglasses were worth the investment. The sunglasses have the advantage to switch out the lenses for day or night driving. Very cool. I had just bought the night lenses before coming to Florida (specifically for this occasion) and it was the first time I tried changing the lenses on my own. It seemed easy enough when my ‘Eye Guy’ showed me at the store, but when left to my own devices it proved a little more challenging. It took me a few minutes to just remember how he showed me to switch them out, it was after all months ago. To my surprise the first one slid in perfectly, (like I actually knew what I was doing) however when it came to the other side after struggling for several minutes I eventually snapped it in place. I recommend this style for all of those who, like me, can’t see a damn!

As we finished up our meal and drinks, the street lights came on as the sun set.  (For the record: just a Pepsi for me - I don’t drink and ride <smile>) We decided it was time to go (and to finally test out my new lenses). We weaved our way through the throng to our bikes that we had parked on Hendry Street, across from the Cowboy Up Bar. We were also close to where the stage for the country band was set up. I have to admit, it was not bad for country music... said the rock’n’roller <grin> 

My first night ride was to begin. It started out good, and it helped that there are plenty of street lights along most of our route. I was impressed with how clear my new lenses were, and there was no glare from the traffic either, that is until about half way home when a few drops hit my windshield (I prayed that it was just one of those sporadic cloud bursts that tend to happen in Florida, where there is one little dark cloud that spits a bit on you and then moves on). But no such luck, before I knew it we were in a down pour. It reminded me when I first learned to ride at the motorcycle course I took. The entire weekend it poured rain - learning to ride a bike is one thing but learning while being drenched and soaked to the skin is quite another. After that, I had vowed to avoid riding a bike in the rain at all costs. (Now you might understand why I am such a ‘fair weather’ rider) So here I was again, my first time ever riding at night and what does it do... it pours rain on me! 

The most difficult was when we turned off the main road and onto the side street with no street lights. There was a line of on coming cars and the glare of their lights hitting the wet pavement was blinding me, also contributing to my limited visibility my glasses were steaming up and dripping with the multitude of water droplets that clung to the lenses. (What I wouldn’t of gave for a set of wipers) All I could do was just follow the red glow from my BF’s tail light. After the stream of cars finally past, it was a little better, not much, but at least the glare from the wet road subsided. The rain let up for about the last 5 minutes that it took to pull in the driveway. We made it! Talk about a challenging start to night driving... although doing something for the first time in not the best of conditions proved to me that I know I can handle it! At least now I am more confident about driving at night, however I still prefer driving during the day so I can actually see where I am going. <smile> 

As I wrung out my socks and hung up my jacket to drip dry, I poured the much needed drink of alcoholic nature <grin> after my harrowing ride. I flopped on the couch with drink in hand and smiled to myself feeling quite proud to have navigated in the dark on a rainy night... another little adventure, another great ride.

Just to let you know if you missed this one, there is another Bike Night on May 9, as for me, I will have to wait until next year as I will be long gone by then :(

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fort Myers ‘Beach Cruise’ (motorcycle tour)

Monday Feb 23, 2015

We finally went on our annual ‘Beach Cruise’. We like to start this motorcycle tour from Bonita Beach Road and then follow it through to Fort Myers beach. Although from past experience we know better than to do this route during March break. (A couple of years ago we made that mistake, having to waddle along on our bikes sweating profusely waiting for the traffic to move an inch at a time) But it’s a Monday today and still February, surely it would not be too bad to head out there…

Wrong!  It turned into the reminiscent stop and start, getting a cramp in your hand from working your clutch too much, busy. Maybe it had something to with the fact that this month has not been ideal sun bathing or biking weather for that matter. (As you may have noticed by the lack of entries I have)

While the rest of the country has been under mountains of snow and has traded places with the Arctic, we too have had our share of cold resulting in frosty mornings and generally crap weather. In fact it has been such a chilly February this year that today was the first really warm day in weeks. Whatever the reason, obviously, we were not the only ones who wanted to take advantage of it. 

The ride was pleasant enough until we turned onto Estero Blvd. and found ourselves at a complete stand still as the two-lane road merged to a single lane. Then there was that one hair rising moment when Mr. Wisconsin SUV who had waited until the last possible moment to merge into the bumper to bumper traffic, decided that he could fit between two motorcycles! After my ‘honey’ yelled a few choice words as we abruptly stopped to let him get in front of us instead of letting him wear us like a hood ornament and a tail fin. We then continued to crawl along at a snails pace through Bay’s and Big Hickory Island. Finally we were moving again as the traffic thinned out over Lover’s Key on our way to Fort Myers Beach. At least this gave the sweat that had started to pool in the creases of my motorcycle jacket a chance to dry up. (Mr. Wisconsin SUV finally turned off at the Lover’s Key park entrance – I suppose he was in a hurry to get the canoes that were strapped to his roof in the water before it evaporated)

Fort Myers beach was just as congested as we finally pulled into the parking lot that borders along the beach. Cars were circling around the full parking spaces like vultures waiting for their chance to dive bomb into the next opening. Heh, heh, the best thing about site seeing on a motorbike, when you stop you can always find a parking space! Not to mention that Fort Myers has a ‘Motorcycle Only’ space in the parking lot. J  We then headed over to the pier to take in the scenery (as in do a little “people watching” – what else do you do at a beach <grin>).

It sure felt like March break by the sea of beach umbrellas that littered the shoreline as far as the eye could see. However on closer inspection, instead of hordes of tiny bikini clad and shirtless young people sporting sunburns, the majority was a mass of shrivelled bronzed retirees shuffling along the walkways and laying on the beach like dead fish that have been washed ashore. 

I am not one for just lying on a beach for hours letting the sun bake me like a casserole. Instead, I prefer going for a nice walk along the shore letting the foamy water tickle my toes, however there were just too many people crowding the beach for me to even venture out onto the sand.

So we sauntered along the pier and watched a few pelicans trying to steal a free meal from the fishermen who were lazily dangling their hooks from above. 

At last our 4-hour tour (most of which was spent sitting in traffic) had come to an end. We arrived home at 3 pm which was perfect timing for our afternoon cocktail. J 

Believe it or not, I was a sweaty mess. (Even I sweat when temperatures reach 29C /84F ) So as I changed from my sticky bike clothes I happened to glance in the bathroom mirror and to my horror I realized I had gotten totally sizzled! – I am now resigned to look like a red-faced raccoon…  
hmmm, eerie resemblance don’t you think? LOL


Sunday, February 1, 2015

St. James City, Pine Island Florida

Jan 30, 2015

The weather has not been ideal lately to go cruising out on the bikes. Yes, I admit it, I am a fair weather rider and proud of it!  But finally the weather has warmed up a little - it was only going up to 23 C (73 F) today - however once we were on the road I noticed that the wind, which must have been at least around 20 km /12 mi. had a very cold raw edge to it. (In my world, the wind speed should be 10 km /6 mi. tops, even better I would not have any.  J). Anyway, I was just happy to finally be out on my bike again and persevered through the chilling wind. 
(OK, for all you snowbound Canadians, I won’t complain, (too much <grin> ) - compared to Canada, 23 C is the middle of summer)

I decided for our tour today we should go back to Pine Island and in particular, St. James City. It would make for a nice ride, not too far, yet far enough to satisfy the ‘rider urge’ J
(You might remember, last year we had went there to the Ragged Ass Salon with the Rebel Riders).  

Geo Fact:   Pine Island is 17 miles long and 2 miles wide with mostly agricultural land and is surrounded by mangroves, so there are no large beaches to lounge on. Even though it is the largest island in Florida, it still retains much of its natural landscape. The island is made from the same coral rock as the mainland and includes three aquatic preserves. Pine Island consists of five communities; Pine Island Center, St. James City, Bokeelia, and Pineland including Matlacha which is actually a small separate island.

Pine Island Road (County Rd 78) is the only road that connects Pine Island to the mainland with a two-lane bridge that leads over to the two-mile Island of Matlacha,
(FYI: pronounced "MAT-la-shay")

Matlacha is a bustling little town packed with quaint and very colourful, albeit over priced shops for the tourists, along with a few seafood restaurants nodding to its history as a fishing village. The traffic was bumper to bumper as we drove through, but that just gave me a chance to take in all the colour of the town. 

We made a brief stop (so I could at least snap a pic or two) then headed on down the road again. As the traffic thinned out it became a very pleasant cruise over the rest of the island. 

We headed towards St. James City, which is an overstatement by all accounts, at least not one that would first come to mind when you hear the word ‘city’ – you won’t find any skyscrapers here either but rather a sleepy little community with what looked like more restaurants than people. Supposedly it is the most populated part of the Island, however you would never know it. About 5 minutes past the collection of restaurants (Low Key Tiki, Ragged Ass Saloon, Woody's Waterside Island Bar & Grill and Froggy's) the road abruptly ends - surprise – at the water. 

We stopped for a few minutes and took in the view of Sanibel Island and the Sanibel Causeway. I realized that it was in fact actually a busy place after all; in the few minutes we were there, seven cars turned around…

On the way back the traffic was lighter through Matlacha, maybe it was ‘rush hour’ when we first went through. Although at one point we were at a complete stand still for a few minutes while the bridge lifted for a passing boat.

Sometimes it is what I see while I am just cruising along that is just as interesting as the places we visit. I must really invest in a helmet cam, that way I can capture the unusual things I see along the way; like on our way through Fort Myers we passed a woman on a bicycle wearing a housecoat.
(? - I have seen people wearing their PJ bottoms shopping, but this was a new one for me.

Then on our way back there was a car pulled off to the side of the road and a man was getting in the back wearing a Batman costume.   
(It is still January right? – lol - Maybe his Bat-mobile broke down and was hitching a ride…)

As always, just another great day for a cruise in paradise…

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Harley Davidson Six Bends Car Show

Sunday Jan 4-15

So it is Sunday morning, the day is turning out to be another gorgeous day that will tip the mercury towards almost 30 C. (My kind of weather J
The sun is shining and it is already getting steamy at 9 am. (However I am told that our scorching days are at least 10 degrees above seasonal and we will be getting a cold front that will drop us down to 20C, Brrrr) 

My butt recovered for our New Years day bicycle ride and now I was itching to get back to a nice padded seat with an engine to propel me. Now the dilemma begins, where the hell to go!

We have pretty much toured as much as we could within the vicinity of where we live, be it a short jaunt around the area or planning a full day trip. We have been to many of the surrounding Islands, like Sanibel, Captiva, Pine Island and even further north out to Casey Key. We have driven through Naples, Bonita Springs and over to Cape Coral and have enjoyed going to the Seafood Festival in the Everglades. (All of which I wrote about in previous posts)  We always make a cruise through Fort Myers Beach, but never on a weekend, especially a hot one to boot. 

[There are still some places that we have yet to go, but these will require some over night stays, such as Daytona, Miami and for sure Key West. One day, but for now that will have to wait – I just can’t find a babysitter, for my cats J]

Say it isn’t so! Have we run out of new places to see around here? It is one thing to cruise around on your motorbike, (anytime on a bike is a good time) but sometimes you also need a destination to go to, just to keep it interesting. 

Apparently my ‘other half’ has run out of ideas, and it has become my job to figure out where we should ride. (Déjà vu,  I had this job last year…) So I started looking on Google Map to see if there was somewhere we could go that we have not been to, but I have to admit, there really isn’t that many places if you just want to take off for a couple of hours. So I settled on heading up 29 to 832 that will bring us through the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest and then make our way back. (We apparently have been through there, but I can’t remember, besides it is somewhere to go at least…)

So we head out, then before we get to 82 it pops in my head that Harley Davidson Six Bends should have something going on today, its Sunday. I have no idea what is going on, but their website said every Sunday. At the next stop sign I catch up to my ‘other half’ (yes, even on our motorbikes he is faster than me) and tell him what I remembered and suggested we go there instead. 

To our surprise we get to Harley Six Bends and the place is packed full of people. As we pull in we realize that there is a Car Show with all kinds of unique and vintage cars. (Sometimes my brain eventually works, slowly, but it works...for now…)

Fast Cars....
Hungry? BBQ Express

"Sharky" – looks mean…               

Stop staring at me lol  


My favourite had to be the Froggy – (reminded me of my mom, and her frog collection) 


It had to be the hottest day since we have gotten here. Believe it or not, I was actually sweating! No wonder, walking around in motorcycle boots with jeans isn’t really the right kind of clothing for 30C weather. We went into the store just to cool down a bit, which was the first time I was glad to walk into air conditioning, didn’t even need my sweater! 

As soon as we got home I stripped off my clothes (of course I put on a swim suit <wink>) and jumped into the pool.

And then the legendary “Garage Beer” followed - or in my case a cocktail - followed 

[It has been a custom of ours after a bike ride, we pour a drink and then sit in the garage and admire our bikes - must be a biker thing <grin> ] J

Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year in Florida

New Years Eve
New Years eve consisted of a delivered pizza from our favourite place, Pappa Johns – (It is so cool ordering it online, almost like a video game watching the ingredients you pick fall on your pizza – I know, small things amuse small minds lol – But in my defense, there is nothing like this back home, at least not in the area we live in, let alone having the luxury of delivery!) We didn’t even watch any New Years TV specials this year, instead we watched some show called “Untold stories of the ER”… yeah, I thought that was an odd choice too… <shrug>
At 10 pm we popped our pink champagne, wished each other a Happy New Year with a kiss and dropped into bed asleep well before midnight…(emphases on sleep) I faintly heard the traditional fireworks at midnight. Instead of a Bang, my New Year slipped quietly in through the night and I awoke in 2015. At least I didn’t have a hang over….

Every new year it is custom to make a ‘New Years Resolution’ and every year I had always started out with good intentions but when it came to actually committing to them I found most of the one’s I had made usually either never came to see the light of day or they fizzled out a few months into the year. So as not to disappoint myself ever again about 20 years ago I had made a New Year’s resolution: ‘Not to make another resolution ever again’ And to my surprise this was the first and I guess the last resolution that I actually followed through on! 

New Years Day

My 'other half' decided that he wanted to try to start the New Year healthier and get exercising, (Sounds like a New Years resolution to me) So New Years Day we traded in our motor for pedal power. I know it is hard for me to believe too.

Yes, we actually have bicycles! We figured we would ride our bicycles more in Florida than back home, so six years later we finally dusted off the cobwebs and pumped up the tires. I had bought mine going on at least eight years ago, hell it could be longer… to show you how often I road the damn thing there are still those spiky little rubber things on the tires! My 'other half' bought his maybe about six years ago and rode it around the block and then it sat in our garage snuggled up next to mine until we brought them to Florida to hang together in the garage here.

There was a time when I used to ride a bicycle as my basic mode of transportation; actually it was well into my twenties before I could afford a car. Later in life I purchased a bicycle for exercise, (funny how that is – a car replaces a bicycle which then becomes a form of exercise instead of transportation) anyway when it came to the biggest reason why mine spent most of its time neglected hanging in the garage I would have to say because of my BUTT!  It just plain HURTS when I ride a bicycle.

Now that is a SEAT!
Maybe I just don’t have the right kind of bicycle; maybe I should have bought a bicycle that could accommodate my Bony Butt with a cushioned seat.  

At the time when I bought it, it never occurred to me that I should have been thinking of comfort over style… perhaps it wasn’t an issue back then…however now, it definitely is!

I have to say that this is the one time I am thankful that Florida is flat. I don’t think I would of never made it if I had to pump up any hills my first time out. Who am I kidding; I probably won’t ever be able to make it up any hills.

I also only have one speed when I do anything that requires physical exertion, S-L-O-W. So it was no surprise when my ‘other half’ was blocks ahead of me on our ride. (For the record, he has longer legs than me) Every so often he stopped and waited for me to catch up. He later admitted to me that he was not upset because it gave his butt a rest! So it’s not just me, HA!

I was starting to feel pretty good riding my bicycle again - except for the numbness and pain that was radiating through my butt cheeks that is – I thought I was keeping a steady leisurely pace (leisurely for me) when I passed a house with a man coming out of his garage and he yelled to me “Faster, faster!” as I ambled on by I yelled back “This is as good as it gets” and I heard him give a hefty laugh. 

Not a bad start to the New Year, however I have not been back on my bicycle since. I blame it on the seat. - After all, it wasn’t "my" New Years resolution anyway; I was just along for the ride! 

(Don’t worry; I won’t be selling my motorized version anytime soon J)