We have the pleasure this month to have Patty writing a little bit of her life. Thanks Patty for sharing this with us and the love for motorcycle !
NY Classic Riders Blog Dec. 2020
When my husband and I first married, we only had one car. We thought purchasing a Yamaha Radian as our 'second car' made sense. It was affordable, easy to park, made getting to and from work a whole lot more fun, and also showed me first hand that people who only drive cars, trucks, buses, etc, do not see, are not looking for, nor are familiar with how a motorcycle operates. Sad to say, many just don't care.
Thus cutting you off, easing over without looking into the lane you are using, or as we experienced one day on Central Avenue in Yonkers NY while stopped at a red light - are not even aware of how long the front of their own vehicles is - so when they bump the back of your bike - they will get embarrassed first, then angry that you apparently made them 'bump' you with the excuse of, "Well, I didn't see you so I thought I had more room!" Really?? That's what you thought? Ugh.
At that time, I was the passenger, and to be perfectly honest, it scared me to death. Fast forward 34 years, okay, so it wasn't particularly fast, but life has a way of filling up and taking off in several directions, all of which have everything to do with what you are required to do, have to do, need to do, are responsibly doing and less and less time for you. Or so I thought. Maybe, just maybe if I had carved out more time for a little self-care, the balance would have entered my life sooner.
After years of putting everything else first, in 2019 I found myself outside the Motorcycle Museum in Newburgh NY for a three-day class. At 57 years of age, with my husband's encouragement, I was given the gift of a weekend CanAm riders course. I LOVED it!
Besides the rules of the road and basic safety instructions, I have a better understanding of not just how completely vulnerable a rider is. How exhausting it is that you must be aware of your surroundings ALL the time. To consciously see where my escape routes are, to maneuver while staying in control, but a much better understanding of how important it is to keep calm while executing the techniques allowing the machine to do what it was designed to do while appreciating and respecting what it can and cannot do.
My first year riding not only awakened me to how different it is to ride through the countryside on a bike, experience how smell fills your helmet, to really see small towns and wave to little kids, to take the time to stop and drink in the scenic overlooks and that some bugs have a surprising abundance of guts! It was more than that, it has been so interesting to talk to other enthusiasts of all ages and hear their stories. What has been the biggest surprise was the acceptance. I wasn't judged or felt age discrimination like I have these past few years. My bike is different than others - but it became a conversation starter. It connected me to a larger community and it allowed me to promote an awareness of sharing the road.
Since beginning this unexpected journey, I am amazed at who I've met and talked to so far along the way. From sitting in the rain talking with Keith Code beside a racetrack in southern NJ, chatting with Emilio Rivera about modifications on his Harley (how does he make turns without damaging his fishtails lol!) to one of my favorites - talking with a young man who lost a leg in Afghanistan and how relearning how to ride his bike saved his life. I don't think he realized how much he touched me and how much I learned from him.
In the year of riding during Covid, it has also made me appreciate just how lucky we, who ride, are. We could still enjoy our solitude on the road or with friends and remain socially distanced. It has been different, and you know what? That's okay. It's just another chapter to add to our stories. Yet I remember at the beginning being scolded for going out during a pandemic (Do you remember Mr. Dutronc?) and he was right. I had not given enough thought to the fact IF something had happened to me or my husband and we required an EMT and a trip to the hospital - it would have been an avoidable, purely selfish act because we chose to go out on the road and those people suffering from the virus did not choose to get sick. My act could have taken help away from someone who desperately needed it. Lesson learned.
I am grateful to Dominique to accept me into NY Classic Riders, and to now open this venue to blog, express, share, show, and support the people who enjoy everything motorcycle is another layer in the experience. Everyone has a story to tell, I'm looking forward to reading yours.
Breathe Deep, Think Peace
My ride: 2019 CanAm Spyder