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Shopping for Your Next GPS?

December 17, 2012

Garmin eTrex Venture HC
My friend and colleague, Rich Owings, has become quite the GPS guru during the past few years. He has just posted his “GPS Predictions for 2013” and they make for a pretty fascinating read.

Rich’s Website is loaded with information, reviews, and technical specs about nearly every conceivable GPS model. If you are in the market for a hand-held, automotive, marine or other GPS unit, this is the site to go to.

My GPS prediction for 2013? You may find me reviewing one of the top motorcycle GPS units at Stay tuned!


For the Ladies: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 6, 2012

As a graphic designer in a small community (~14,000 in our zip code), I am sometimes called upon to be the poster child for our local hospital. Why? Because they are my client, and the hospital’s PR guy apparently thinks I make a decent model with a good story (because I ride a motorcycle), and provide an even better message. The message is not that I am a cancer survivor (thankfully, thus far), but that I am a woman who believes in getting regular mammograms and other recommended health screenings.

So ladies, listen up! Get your screening mammograms. Maybe not necessarily annually, depending on your age—but get them. I have had friends die of breast cancer, and I have both family and friends who have had this form of cancer caught early enough to treat and beat it. But if you don’t get the mammogram, you may not know until it’s too late. If you believe in ATTGATT, this is just another form of keeping yourself safe. For the sake of those who love you… please… get over your nervousness, fear, whatever, and do this.

Here’s the ad, with my smiling mug and my message to all of you (photos by my sweetie, Tony Reed):

Breast Cancer Awareness ad campaign

2012 Motorcycle Cannonball Run

October 2, 2012

I had the good fortune of being in downtown Fort Bragg amongst some 40-plus pre-1930s motorcycles as they were nearing the end of the East coast to West coast 2012 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run. Although 69 riders started out from New York state on September 7, several riders had dropped out or been disqualified by the time the bikes reached Fort Bragg. The event doesn’t happen every year—only when there is enough interest and enough bikes—so this was a special treat, indeed.

Cris Sommer Simmons, who made the Cannonball ride in 2010, and recently published her experience in The American Motorcycle Girl’s Cannonball Diary, was riding along as a support staffer this year and was glad to welcome the motorcyclists to her hometown of Fort Bragg.

There were bikes in pristine condition, and bikes leaking gear oil. Some were fitted out with leather saddlebags, while others had boxes bungee-corded on. One motorcycle had the endearing sign “California or Bust” bungeed onto its handlebar.

The old machines were incredibly sweet to see up close, and I applaud their riders for enduring those machines for 16 days and 3,900 miles.

Here are a few of my photos. Perhaps you can guess that I dearly love the typography on these early bikes. Enjoy!

(A special thanks to Paul Ousey for the Team 83 t-shirt.)

Princess Scooterpie Mini Blog Challenge

July 19, 2012

I grabbed my camera and went straight to my closet when I read Princess Scooterpie’s Blog Challenge this morning.

The Challenge? Post a picture of your favorite non-riding shoe on one foot with your riding boot on the other. Done.

Here it is, one of my favorite pairs of sandals, that I don’t get to wear very often because it is usually too bloody cold for such things on the coast.

my feet

Street shoes and riding boots

What does your favorite pair of “street” shoes look like?

Spiffing Up the Bike

July 19, 2012

I recently splurged a little bit for a few replacement parts for my bike.

I now have a lovely set of new Battleax BT016 tires, which are grippy and fantastically wonderful. Not a splurge but a safety necessity. (Huge thanks to my sweetheart Tony for mounting and balancing the tires so quickly after their arrival. What would I do without you?)

new tires

Preparing to swap tires


Oooh… new tires!

And, I have now replaced the much-scraped-up right side turn signal and reflector, damaged by a previous owner dropping and, apparently, sliding the bike down the street on its side.

Parts for bike

Shiny new parts and touch-up paint

I have a few dings to touch up with the matching paint, and I may be investing in a new right side mid-fairing soon. My bike may not know the difference, but I am definitely happier to shiny things up a bit!

Cheers! LRRL

New Shoes for Big Green

July 3, 2012

Tony and I took a leisurely trip over to Lakeport, CA on Sunday, because I needed some photos for an article I’m writing for, Carla King’s new Website showcasing motorcycle rides in and around the Bay Area and northern California.

When we arrived home, Tony noticed a glint of metal shining at the back of my bike, and sure enough, my tires are showing steel. Good thing I made it home safely and that he noticed!

The new rubber is on its way from Bike Bandit, and I should have new shoes on the bike by the weekend, when yet another epic ride is planned with Tony and Cindi Servante. Stay tuned for that ride report!

I need new tires

Battleax BT016’s showing steel. Yikes!

Moto Meet-up with Everyday Riding

June 5, 2012

Friday and Saturday were spent cooking and cleaning in anticipation of our weekend guests, the moto-blogger Everyday Riding and his beloved Mrs Everyday Riding.

Everyday Riding was in his fifth week of seven, traveling from his home in Minnesota, out to the west coast  via Alaska, with an upcoming return via the southwestern U.S. He’d picked up his missus in Seattle and they were enjoying a leisurely trip down the coast to San Diego when they graced us with an overnight visit.

Saturday arrived and I tracked Everyday Riding’s progress via the Spot Satellite GPS Tracker he’d installed on his blog. That’s such a nifty piece of software. My first opportunity to use it was in spring of 2010 when the Ride for Miracles was headed our way. But I digress.

Around dinner time, I kept my ears open for the sound of a bike rolling in. Based on my calculations observing the tracker, Everyday Riding’s loaded SV650 rolled into our driveway as anticipated.

We set about unloading the bike, making tea, and getting ready for dinner.

Since Everyday Riding is also a food blogger ( and both he and his wife are vegan¹, I was a wee bit nervous about the meal I’d prepared, but soon learned I had nothing to worry about. We enjoyed our meal, then sat around into the night getting to know each other, sharing motorcycle tales, and laughing together. It was a great evening. There is nothing like shared interests to create new friendships!

Sunday was much lazier than I anticipated. We had a leisurely breakfast of tofu scramble breakfast burritos, fresh fruit salad, and Café Beaujolais Austrian Sunflower Seed Bread for our guests. (Since I’ve discovered I am healthier on a gluten-free diet, I abstained from the bread.)

It was soon time to head out on the road, as the Everyday Ridings were expected in San Francisco that afternoon to visit long-time friends.

We didn’t get far down the road when I detoured around the Mendocino Headlands State Park scenic loop, with a stop for some photos (and a snack). The weather was flirting with us, going from warm with high clouds scudding across the sky to a misty, encasing fog within minutes of our arrival.

Here are some photos from our stop:

Mendocino Headlands State Park

Here comes the fog.

Snack Break

What better spot for a snack?

Photographing Wildflowers

Mrs Everyday Riding loves the wildflowers.

Sea thrift

So do I.

We hopped back on the bikes, and a short (very short) ride later, we stopped to look at the mouth of Big River and Big River Beach.

More photos were taken:

Big River Overlook

The requisite bike shot.

M/M Everyday Riding

Mr & Mrs Everyday Riding

And then it was really time to head out to the sublimeness of Highway 128.

Everyday Riding set a good pace, given that his bike was loaded with gear and passenger, and we carved the road all the way to Boonville in the verdant Anderson Valley. Another snack for all of us, a fill-up of gas, and it was, unfortunately, time to part company. You’ll have to read about the rest of their ride to San Francisco in Everyday Riding’s blog. I had a smooth road home that afternoon, thinking about the 20 hours spent with new friends and marveling yet again at the incredible opportunities and fantastic people that motorcycling has brought into my life. Wow!

Thank you, so very much, for making time in your trip for us, Mr and Mrs Everyday Riding. You are welcome here any time, and we both look forward to riding with you in the future.²


A vegan diet means eating no animal products. Generally undertaken for health reasons, as in the case of Mr and Mrs Everyday Riding, and sometimes undertaken for spiritual reasons.

2 Tony was having tire issues and was unable to ride with us to Boonville.