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About me

Photo of Liz Petersen

I am an artist, seeker, entrepreneur, photographer, nature nerd, and a mom. Most importantly for this blog, I am passionate about motorcycling.

My first motorcycle ride was at age 14 on the back of a dirt back as we zipped up and around the hills of a new housing development that had recently broken ground. It was the most thrilling thing I’d done in my young life, other than the many times I tried to see how much faster I could get my bicycle down the hills of my Portland, OR neighborhood. As an older teen, my high school sweetheart owned a street bike, and we took many rides together. I loved the feel of being on a bike, feeling the wind in my face, and the engagement that happens with sights and smells and sounds on a motorcycle.

In my early twenties, I dated a man who raced enduro in the Oregon desert. He taught me the basics of riding, on a dirt bike along the gravel roads of his home in the Coast Range. I learned enough to borrow his one street bike, an early ’80s model Yamaha RD250 on which I aced the motorcycle driving test. I had my endorsement—wow!

Life became more complex; I went to college, did a year abroad in Australia, came home to graduate college, a move, work, then a family… and kept my secret under wraps for another twenty-three years.

In 2006, life brought motorcycling back into my life. I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course, bought a beautiful 2002 Kawasaki 500R, and started riding as often as life permitted—and then some. My riding story begins there, and this blog is a continuation of that story.

My goals are to share stories and images, provide information about multiple topics, and offer insight into the Zen I connect with in riding and life—the interior work we all go through to become better riders and more aware, cognizant, and compassionate human beings.

Comments are welcome, as long as they are G-rated and grammatically correct!

See you on the road!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Vreyens permalink
    December 23, 2009 6:49 pm

    Well, the only time I’ve been on anything even remotely a motorcycle was when my friend in junior high let me on her scooter and I immediately ran through their wooden fence and broke off the scooter mirror. I remember being completely amazed and astounded at the thing’s speed and responsiveness to my yanking and twisting the handle that I thought was the brake, but was actually the gas.

    I can only imagine the sense of freedom it must give you being on a bike, heading out on the open road, having all of nature around you to look at and feel. Maybe a part of reinventing myself in my forties will be to learn to ride!
    🙂
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig is still one of my favorite books.

    • December 23, 2009 7:09 pm

      Susan, that’s kind of a scary story about the scooter! Though it made me chuckle… there is something to be said about taking a rider’s course before ever hopping on anything with two wheels!

      I have only read the first few pages of Pirsig, but he captures the feeling of riding perfectly! Yes, it is freedom, it is energizing, and it is also grounding and centering… all at once. I encourage you to give riding a try. Thanks for sharing your words, my friend!

      • Susan Vreyens permalink
        December 27, 2009 1:20 am

        Liz,
        Being an avid literature consumer and now a Language Arts teacher, I simply must say that because you have the words Zen and Motorcycle in the title of your blog, some people, including myself, may assume that you are referring to Pirsig’s classic in some way. I read it for the first time when I travelled to Japan after graduating from college. I remember that summer reading the book while laying on cool tatami mats and being bombarded by the screeching sound of the relentless cicadas and pondering for long hours how someone could basically drive himself mad contemplating the concept of quality. Quality. What does it mean? (Obviously the scarf is an item of quality.) Take care out there on the road. Motorists look for other cars and sometimes a motorcyclist, especially one in black on a grayish day, just sort of blends into the background. Happy 2010 and I hope I can see you this year.

  2. December 27, 2009 4:34 am

    Here I am! I’m so happy to be following your blog…Although I myself would be terrified to be on a motorcycle, I find it exciting to read about it through your eyes. Looking forward to future posts…
    Tammie

  3. Barney Currer permalink
    April 20, 2010 9:04 pm

    Hi, Liz,

    I’m a guy.

    I enjoyed very much your article on bike maintenance in the April 1 Fort Bragg Advocate-News.

    I rode motorcycles for 34 years and have certainly logged well over 100,000 miles. I’ve never been down, never stopped by the cops. I always told myself, “When my motorcycle days are through, I’m going to drive it into the garage, put it up on its stand, and walk away. Never that it gets hauled off the the junkyard and I get hauled off to the Emergency Room.” And that is what happened.

    I have a home in Windsor, and a second cottage here in Fort Bragg, 100 miles apart. I’ve been up and back on Hwy 128 and Hwy 20 more times than I can count. I love so much the comraderie of seeing a rider coming in the other direction and sharing a wave. Why did I stop?

    Three things. One is the thing that happens to every biker if you’ve been riding long enough. I was coming down HWY 1 where it curves down around the mouth of where Navarro River meets the ocean. I wasn’t going so fast. If you live around here, you know what I’m talking about.

    As you should know, there’s a low bridge over the Navarro River down at the bottom connecting HWY 1 and 128. It’s a t-intersection, but it’s a stop for vehicles coming over the bridge and a non-stop for the route straight (where HWY 1 becomes HWY 128. I was following rather closely behind a station wagon, maybe 3 carlengths back. There was a car stopped at the stopsign at the end of the bridge, waiting to turn left, up towards Fort Bragg.

    When the station wagon passed, and before I did, the other car emerged from the stopsign into my path. The excuse would have been, “Why, I never even SAW him.”

    She f*king SAW me. She just didn’t recognize me as a bona fide motor vehicle.

    All I could do was veer over into the oncoming lane. If a car had been coming at that time, I would have been dead. But it wasn’t. I survived. Not my first close call.

    The thing I hate so much is that automobile manufacturers have worked so hard to make driving a car “effortless.” Which means that cage jockeys put their brains on hold. I worry about the drinkers but I worry more about the cell-phone nimbys.

    Please have a good time and be careful (I mean, WARY) out there.

    Best wishes, Barney

    • April 27, 2010 8:56 pm

      Hi Barney:
      Oh, yes, I’m very familiar with the Navarro bridge, as well as all the people who drive who don’t pay attention! I had a lady start pulling out of Starbucks in front of me, looking right at me! I laid on the horn and stared her down as I passed by. Thank you for the warnings; they never hurt.

      I appreciate your comments on the Advocate article. I have a slightly different version of the article on MotorcycleTravelAmerica, if you’re interested. Although it is geared more for the girls.

      Ride safe, and thanks for sharing your story.

  4. March 1, 2011 3:48 am

    Hey There old Friend!!

    So great to hear from you! I wasn’t sure how to respond to your post; if I leave a comment on my blog about your comment, do you get notified? Anyway, I didn’t know, so I found you here on your blog! I had no idea you were into bikes and riding. So cool! We were in Ft. Bragg over Thanksgiving, and thought of you too!! It would be great to connect again. Wow, if you can help with the question of putting mp3s on my blog, that would be great! I looked into it, but haven’t figured it out yet. I’m into enrolling MT families for spring – remember those days? And starting work on this lullaby CD, so I’m a little busy these days… Give a big squeeze to Eden for me. Keep in touch!
    Love, Ginger

  5. Steve Levine permalink
    November 4, 2011 6:47 am

    I see you’re still having fun on two wheels!

    • May 3, 2012 4:03 pm

      Steve, I ran into a friend who said she’d met you… somewhere? City? What are you up to these days? How is your family? I was excited to have you find my blog. And yes, I am having a blast riding, when I get a chance. Sending you good wishes! Liz

  6. June 3, 2019 12:46 am

    Hello!

    I’d love to connect and collaborate with you (somehow!)

    My work outlines practical and creative ideas inspired by love in the quest for wellbeing.

    In Fit for Joy, I wrote about the paradox of two realities that don’t match: physical health and mental chaos. The idea was to start a conversation about the “true” meaning of health.

    As a podcast host, I am in search of meaningful truths, ideas, and insights about mental and spiritual health that can awaken new ways of thinking, leading us toward a new way of being — Being Well.”

    Would you be interested in any or a combination of:

    – A podcast interview: A Quest for Well-Being
    – Guest blogging
    – Book review

    Or you might have other ideas!

    Looking forward to collaborating with you!

    Much Love,
    Valeria

    Email: info@fitforjoy.org
    Website: https://fitforjoy.org
    Podcast: https://fitforjoy.org/podcast

    I am a well-being coach, writer and the author of the Fit for Joy book. Daily routine: meditate, eat healthily, exercise, and show gratitude!

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