Category Archives: motorcycle enthusiast

Two weekends of acquisition

As much as my last two weekends have been filled with torturing Thirteen as I try to help him help himself on big social studies reports, blistered palms resulting from digging holes for perennial planting in our extraordinarily rocky soil, and singlehandedly (well, I did use the washer/dryer) washing almost EVERY SINGLE piece of clothing in the house in one weekend — well. LOOK, just LOOK at what I’ve gotten over the last couple of weekends:

A new project bike! Nighthawk 450, gifted so generously from Rick and Janice to commemorate the happy occasion of our marriage. Considering that Mike already has a project bike I am so commandeering this.

The next day we hoped in our little car and trailered this lovely pedestal cast iron tub home from Tarrytown NY. For only $60!

it’s SO nice on the inside:

and once again may I say: I love our small car lifestyle!

The occasion for the tub is not so happy. Suffice it to say (for now!) that there is an awkward and annoying leak that is persistent and getting much worse and necessitates the renovation of our upstairs bathroom about 2 years before we were ready to pay someone else to do so. Family Tip Grundzilla will be performing this engaging and fruitful activity next weekend. Theoretically Fruitfully. Wish us luck.

And then this weekend I went to Rheinbeck for the NY Sheep and Wool Festival and got ALL THE THINGS:
rheinbeck party

OK, I didn’t get the sheep and the llama. But I wanted to. Badly. Think Nine and Thirteen can be swayed off of horses in 4H and onto the fiber-bearing animals?

after two years of hard use

tourmaster intake air gloves

These are the same gloves – the Tour Master Intake gloves. The one on the right has been in hard use for about 2 years. I finally retired it when the perforated leather palm looked in danger of ripping. I got them cheap at and liked them so much that I bought a 2nd pair just in case they were discontinued. The selling point was the fingers being “unusually long.” I have a slender ladies hand, but also long long long fingers. Normally gloves that fit my fingers are so wide that they bunch under my palms, or gloves that fit my hands have fingers that are short enough to press the seams against my finger tips – and these two things are at best annoying, at worst painful or blistery.

All in all these gloves are reasonable minimally protective gloves – textile mesh and foam pads, they attach firmly to the wrist above the wrist bones, and they have leather palms and inside fingers.

This is a post that I am throwing up quickly because I’m featured on the internets.

So, you know sometimes how you are kind of featured in an interview? on the internet? [[Like, over here at Helmet or Heels?]] And you realize that you haven’t put up much original content in the last few weeks? And on top of that your interview is read by a large community of motorcyclists, and the most recent posts in your blog are not about motorcycling?

Yeah, so when that happens, you know how sometimes you feel like you need to put up some new and original motorcycling content right away?

Yesterday I rode my motorcycle over to a new shop to get a spring tune-up. It’s kind of hilarious, because I’ve already put over 1,500 miles on the bike. it’s been a mild spring – just look at these bugs:


It’s really hard to quit riding your motorcycle all the time for something pesky like regular service.

But this weekend we got a lovely nor’easter (thankfully no snow in our neck of the woods) and we do plan a big motorcycle trip starting in mid-May, so I thought it would be a nice to have a good shake down. The bike is at 16,500 – which, WOW, considering I got it a couple of years ago with just about 3,000 miles on it – and it needs a pretty major service. Things like checking valve clearance. So off she goes and hopefully she’ll come back happy and purring and I won’t have any problems with this new shop at all.

Bake sale on a motorcycle

We had a bake sale today to raise money for hungry kids and I rode in with a loaf if banana bread in my hat box and a dozen cupcakes strapped behind me:


The cupcakes had a little room to slide around in there, but only 2 were damaged and I marked them as “smashcakes” with a 75% discount. I mean, I say “only two” but that’s 16% damaged.  Not a great loss rate but I could reduce it with more careful packing of cupcakes into the box, for sure.

See, you can do ANYTHING on a motorcycle!

International Woman’s Day

In honor of international woman’s day, I rode my motorcycle to work.

Ok, so, not at all in honor of that. It was gorgeous out, and I rode to work. And then I worked super late – potentially earning 80 cents to the dollar compared to men (though at my firm I am doing pretty well, honestly) – and when I left the parking lot was pitch black and the wind was just kicking up.


But in honor of international women’s day, let me say: read this. If you are a lady on a motorcycle, you probably know what it’s like to strive for equality – be it on the showroom floor as sales dudes try to sell to the man you’re with, at the shop when a mechanic talks down to you, or when you try to find well fitting and safe gear. And those are just small ways. Around the world there are many many ways women are unequal. Its harmful for everyone, too, not just the women themselves. Let’s ALL work towards equality – both men and women.

My sorta-cold weather gear


After getting to ride in to work last week in high-30s/low-40s, I thought maybe a post about my sorta-cold weather gear would be interesting. This is a terrible photo, but it shows my Fieldsheer Lena jacket and my Tourmaster Quest pants.

The jacket is water resistant and has a quilted liner, and it cinches nicely around the arms and the waist. I got it particularly because the arms are super long – and I am super tall. I have an inch or so at the bottom of the sleeves in extra fabric, which is such huge luxury on a motorcycle. However, last week I realized that perhaps as a function of me being so tall: the bottom of the jacket lets in a draft that hits me right on the belly button. I think I need an insulating cummerbund to keep my stomach warm.

The Quest pants were a deep discount purchase when I needed a pair of new pants last spring (after the bottom of my previous pants split. Embarrassing!). They have an integrated waterproof liner,  so they are generally too warm in any kind of heat. If I wear them at work any longer than necessary once I get to the office, my legs get sweaty and clammy. They work fairly well in the cold to keep the wind off of my legs.

Under these two things I generally wear wool long underwear. I have Icebreaker leggings and some other wool gear from sierra trading post. I wear a long sleeved light weight wool shirt and a thin-but-warm Icebreaker sweater on top.

I also wear a turtle fur neckwarmer (which I’ve had since middle school – over 12 years ago!), and have a wool balaclava but haven’t worn it yet.


Hands are the hard part. I have a pair of Rev-It Unix H2O gloves which are more warm than any other gloves I own, but still not warm enough. After about 25 or 30 minutes my fingers get cold and tingly, and my commute is 1 hour long. These gloves are womens’ sized, too, and they’re awfully tight – I’m not sure if I’d be able to get a liner in with my hands.

Tomorrow it’s going to be a beautiful day, but about 27 degF when I leave for work and I have a meeting late at night, so I wouldn’t be heading back home until long after dark. I just don’t think I’ve got the ability to do this on the motorcycle. Sadly! Long term, I plan to get some hippo hands and heated grips – but that just wasn’t in the cards for us this month.

What’s your cold weather kit? do you have a temperature threshold?

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Riding to work in February!

Guess what: I rode into work today!


Doesn’t it look like my sweet DRZ-400 is descending from heaven to take me to work? What a lovely chariot. I wasn’t sure that it would start, actually – I haven’t drained the gas or put in stabil or put the battery on a trickle charger, but it was a new battery last year and it stayed strong enough for the minute and a half of cranking the ignition that was require before the engine blew out the varnish from the carb jet (what I assume it’s doing) and started with a bang and a backfire. Yay!

It WAS pretty cold – the temperature when I left the house at 7:30 was 38 degF but when I arrived home at 7PM it was a balmy 45 degF. (I’m planning another post where I talk about what I wear when I ride in sub-40 degF temps.)During the day it got up to 54 deg F! Sadly I was sitting at my desk and not riding in circles over hill and dale. My fingers got tingly on the way in and on the way home I stopped for gas and warmed up while picking an engine treatment to add to the tank – I’m not sure if it will work, but I got a fuel injector and carb cleaner and chugged the whole bottle (treats up to a 21-gallon tank!) into my little 4-gallon motorcycle and merrily rode home.

(NOTE TO SELF: don’t leave your fancy cold weather gloves out in the motorcycle hat box during the day when it’s cold. They will be cold when you put them on. Cold Cold Cold.)

I figure – I haven’t ridden since… oh shoot, December? November even? and the motorcycle started up. So if it can manage to last for 3 months and still start I should be fine until early April. IF I MUST. fingers crossed for some warm days and dry roads in the future!

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29


What I’m reading right now – ride reports

I just discovered this great ride report on ADVRider. I really love the way he’s tracking all the information. So far I’ve reached nearly the end of Africa

On our journey so far we have covered nearly 11,000 miles, 18 US states, and 9 countries. Not too shabby for two little Taiwanese underbones. After 93 days on the road, our average daily cost is 62 USD total (not per person). This does not include air freight, air fares to Africa, and health insurance, but it does include every other expense incurred on the trip.

And then after staying in one place for a few days trying to arrange shipping, the Africa stats:

Africa: 7 countries in 57 days. 4843 USD in daily expenses = 85 USD per day. 485 liters (128 gallons) of petrol for 5600 miles = 88 mpg

I really love finding all this information. It’s a good baseline when I start my own dreaming. Transportation from Africa to India:

Transportation wrapup. Our flights on Oman Air from Dar Es Salaam to Mumbai were 455 USD each. The air freight cost for our 320kg was 3.96 USD per kilo, for a total of 1367 USD (including 10 USD air waybill prep and 80 USD in dangerous goods fees). We also paid 300 USD for our “deluxe” crate and freight forwarder fee.

So what’s the photo about? That’s my hat box, which has revolutionized my motorcycle commuting. Highly recommended, if you’ve got places to go, people to see, and weather to ride through.



I’ve been acquiring a lot of boots lately. The thing that really strikes me is the different uses that people think boots should have – and that the companies that sell them want to make you think they’re good for.

For example – the boots on the left are MIA “motorcycle” boots. The leather is so soft and distressed, and I’ve worn holes in the heels after just a year of wearing them to walk around – think of how they would hold up at stops on a motorcycle! The boots in the middle are Frye  Engineer boots, graciously gifted to me by a friend who didn’t quite fit into them – they are great, and I would be tempted to wear them on the motorcycle. Except! The ones on the right are actual motorcycle boots (the Tourmaster Solutions), and they have ankle protection and a  shifting pad on the left toe so the tops don’t get hopelessly scuffed up. Plus they’re honest-to-goodness waterproof. After riding around in boots that really do protect your whole foot and ankle it’s hard to go back a reduced level of protection – no matter how goofy your feet look in the motorcycle boots.

Of the three boots the REAL motorcycle boots were also the most inexpensive, hilariously. Who knew it was so expensive to look like a motorcyclist, and still be so poorly protected?

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

The sheds

We don’t have a garage at our house, but we do have a pretty big driveway. We’ve tried to solve the motorcycle parking issue with these plastic tarp sheds – each is about 8’x10′.

The one on the left is three years old, and holds my partners bikes: a 2006 SV650 and a 2007 Vulcan. The one on the right is just two years old and holds my DRZ-400 SM as well as my partners project bike, a 1976 Triumph.

(I am crawling Craigslist for a late-80s/early-90s sports bike to make into my own project bike! Searches for mororcycles for sale between $300-$500 are so much fun.)

The older shed isn’t doing well. Last winter the snow load was a little too much for the aging tarp and it began to shred. We have a newer tarp stretched over the frame of the shed for now like a silver toupee, picturesquely held on with milk jugs filled with water – but we should really find a better solution for next year.
I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Things I’ve started to do because of motorcycling


  • Paint my fingernails: it hides the inevitable dirty nails that comes from riding in mesh gloves in the summer.
  • Learning more about mechanics. Cars are pretty intimidating but motorcycles are much smaller and accessible. I’m not scared to get my hands dirty on one.
  • Exercise! Nothing makes a sports bike more comfortable than a zillion sit-ups. Nothing makes an 8 hour day in the saddle possible (for more than one day at a time) than a general level of fitness.
  • Make sure things are done safely. Even though my job as an environmental engineer requires attention to health and safety, I don’t think I felt as empowered to speak up as I do now – now that I’m accustomed to having a hands-on responsibility to safety as I ride my motorcycle around.
  • Be a better driver! I am much more present when I’m behind the wheel of my car. It makes me safer for myself and those around me.
  • Pack a hairbrush. Because it’s so necessary for helmet hair.
  • Take better care of my body and it’s basic needs. When you’re riding a motorcycle it’s important to get enough sleep, to make sure you eat at the right times, to avoid dehydration, and to wear sunblock. If you lose focus because you haven’t had enough protein for breakfast it can ruin your ride.
  • Gained an appreciation for the journey rather than the destination. I’ve always had an affinity for roads less traveled, but now I’m almost happier not getting to my destination… there’s just something lovely about shifting from goal based thinking to process based thinking. I love the ride.

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

The Rainmakers

The group that I normally ride long distances with is one of the best groups ever, I’m sure. We are trusting and respectful in a way that makes everything more fun and more exciting – there is zero drama, because I trust my friends to say what they need, I trust them to respect my needs as well. So when we are out riding, if one if us needs to go off for a while it’s no big deal: we just meet up later. If someone does something what makes another person uncomfortable, we tell each other. It’s pretty awesome.

Two years ago we ride 11 states in 11 days (and avoided highways as much as possible). I blogged it here. We’ve been using a group tumblr blog to track our trips as we ride them.

Tonight we all met for dinner and it was so super fun. What a great group of friends! This year we will ride down to Helen GA and ride in circles around it. I can’t wait.

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Guess what happened on my ride to work today?

Hey look, I rolled over 15,000 miles today!


Of course it’s probably going to rain all the way home, but TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I bought this motorcycle with 3,111 miles on it – it’s a good sport.

Ride to work week

I’ve had a really good run this week – I’ve ridden in to the office every day. There’s been huge thunderstorms but I’ve lucked out and only gotten wet on Monday (the day I forgot my rain jacket). You may have noticed some tweets republished in this space regarding my  huge stinkiness because of a gas spill. That was Tuesday. The latch on the gas nozzle got stuck and I sprayed gasoline all over before I could get it shut off. And that inclues all over ME. ugh. I had to hang my clothes in the back room to avoid off-gassing myself (and my poor colleagues) to death.

Tuesday, though, I was sure it was going to pour and storm on me all the way home – my big dilemma was: do I put on the rain jacket over my nasty stinky gas laden clothes? Or rub dish soap all over my motorcycle jacket and *hope* for rain? I lucked out then, too. The storms passed by and I was able to ride home on nearly dry roads. And then I swapped into my 2nd motorcycle jacket for the rest of the week while the gas slowly evaporated.

and I did find a butterfly on my bike as I was leaving.



Of course today when I walked into the office with my dress hanging out below my motorcycle jacket I was a huge hit. Everyone laughed. I made the hardest laugher take my picture:

When I ride the skirt flaps in the wind behind me. I think I should get a tulle tutu. Adorabs!

Tomorrow I’m working from home, so I won’t hit 5 days on my commute, but you know, I’m pretty happy to work from home, so that’s ok.

New motorcycle gear

Got a crazy new bandana filled with water absorbing microbeads – it cools you off as the beads slowly release the water. I’m trying it out and giving the health and safety supply buyer at Day Job feedback. There are so many perks to environmental consulting, you know?

It kept me really cool on my ride home through upper-90 deg temps last night. AND it matches my jacket. Awesomepants.


Pro-Tips for Commuters

This post is nudged by the inestimable IronDad, who has a great post up about ride-to-work day and the thrills, challenges, and misconceptions of making a motorcycle your regular commuter.  Ride to Work Day is traditionally the 3rd Monday in June, but this year I wasn’t able to ride in to work at all. I believe it had something to do with running-out-of-time-having-to-get-little-dudes-after-work-business-meeting-blah.

Which is to say, those strung together excuses are some common reasons why people don’t ride to work.

Wear gear. Pick something, and wear it. Wear it every day. Have some flexibility in your outfits. be safe. When my coworkers ask me about those dudes who are going 120 mpg on the Garden State Parkway in shorts and t-shirts I tell them it’s because they’re so physically uncomfortable that they go faster to get home sooner. Don’t be that guy!

Honestly, I lean towards what is commonly called the POWER RANGER edge of the gear spectrum. I wear an armored textile jacket and pants, reinforced boots, a full face helmet and gloves every time I get on the bike. I have a longish commute, too – it’s about an hour by bike. My home locale is generally 10 degrees cooler than my place of work. I leave at or before 7AM, so it can be quite cold in the spring or fall, and it’s really warm on the way home in the summer. I know that there are lots of people with really short commutes – I don’t know what to tell you, it’s too crazy for me. I might be tempted to just ride in jeans if I had a short commute too! But that is so far from my experience. I need to dress for a range of weather, a range of temperatures, and crazy NJ drivers when I hit Rt. 17 on my way to work. And I find that in heat, wind, and sun, wearing full textile gear leaves me more comfortable and protected from dehydration and sunburn than anything else.


(also I like to go up next to people texting and wag my finger at them. It’s surprisingly hilarious to see the reactions you get when someone realizes they’ve just been totally busted by a power ranger.)

As it is, I pack my work clothes every day and when I get to work, I hop off the bike, grab my bag out of the hat box (see next pro-tip!), shove my helmet into the box, and strut into the office like an astronaut. I go straight to my desk and turn on my computer, and then I go to the bathroom and change. It takes me 2 extra minutes every day to swap clothes. During that time my computer gets warmed up and booted and I have a minute to rewrite my daily to-do list. Reverse and repeat at the end of the day.

Get a hat box. Seriously. OK, so many people think it’s totally lame and way too euro-metro to ride around with a top case, but I have been hopelessly spoiled by my waterproof stash box on the back of the bike. It’s more expensive to get a rack and hard case for a sports bike or cruiser than a scrappy DRZ, though, so find one of the  many strap-on soft cases that are available that you can put onto your pillion seat. Seriously: in the summer, backpacks suck. In the rain, backpacks suck.

This is my modestly sized hat box:

These are the things you may want to carry with you to work:

  • Your office shoes.
  • A change of clothes.
  • Your rain gear.
  • Maybe your work laptop.
  • Your lunch.
  • That awesome book you like to read at lunch.
  • Sunglasses/Clear Glasses.
  • Different gloves for those days you ride to work in the 50s and head home in the 80s.
  • Your sealable travel mug full of your favorite hot beverage.
  • Sunblock just in case.

Having all of these in a hard top case that is waterproof is a huge luxury that has spoiled me for ever. Other people have saddlebags, hard side cases, or even canvas tail bags, and these all work for their purposes. As for me, I am filled with love for my hat box.

Pick your best route. I have two fairly direct routes to work – both are about 45 miles, but one is all highway and highway speeds, and the other is two-lane highways and a nice trip over a mountain with some sweet twisties and sweepers. The nicer route takes me a full hour to ride, while the highway is only 45-50 min. Clearly, I choose the hour long ride. It’s way more fun. I can afford that 15 extra minutes.

Can you off-set your work day so you miss the worst of the traffic? Is riding to work important enough to you that you are OK with taking a slightly longer route to get in so you can avoid crowded highways filled with impatient rush hour zombies?

Which leads me to my next point:

Be a little flexible. Whenever I have to not ride to work on a gorgeous day, it’s because I’m strapped for time. For example, on the days I pick up the little dudes after school, I need to be there before 6PM. so if I back-calculate it will take me an hour to get home on the bike, and then 30 min. to swap clothes, hop in the car, and go pick up the boys. Leaving a little buffer for various potential set-backs, this means I really need to leave work at 4PM. Which is really hard for me to do!

Of course, I could go to work an hour earlier and then I’d be able to leave at 4PM to ride around. It’s hard, though, to leave work earlier than everyone else – I totally get that – even with the flexibility my office provides it’s still hard for me. And leaving an hour earlier in the morning cuts into the exercise block I have scheduled for myself.

So if you can be flexible, you will be able to ride to work more. I have just shown you how inflexible I am. However – I’m thinking about it, and I bet one day I’ll just suck it up and do it, and then I’ll be shocked at how easy it was to make it work, and I will probably write a post here or here about how foolish I’ve been this whole time, and how easy it was after all.

So why go to all this trouble?

I love to ride to work because it provides a bracket to my day. Motorcycling is a form of active meditation, after all – you have to concentrate so much on not getting offed that you don’t have time to worry about what you did (or didn’t do) at work or at home that day. I am entirely present on my motorcycle in a way that I didn’t expect when I first learned. It’s amazing.

And I confess! I love that everyone at work thinks I’m a tough guy because I ride to work. I love that I am challenging their expectations of a young woman engineer. I love that I present a challenge to the typical “biker” prototype in my (hopefully) thoughtful and careful commute.

There are three great profiles in the July 2011 AMA (available partially for free on their website – go to page 34 for the feature start!) of full- or near-full time motorcycle commuters. it’s aways fun to see how others manage the continual negotiation between motorcycling, weather, time commitments, and convenience. (via IronDad. thanks!)

And at the root of it, riding my motorcycle to work gets me excited about going to work. It gives me a stellar reason to leave my desk at the end of the work day and head home at a reasonable time, instead of just doing “one more thing” on my list. It allows me to stretch out my cars lifespan by minimizing the mileage I’m putting on it.

Best of all, though, I love riding my motorcycle to work because it means I’ve evaluated the status quo of driving a car and determined a new way to get around it. Anything that challenges the normalized lifestyle we so often unconsciously lead is good for me. I think it is so importantly to critically evaluate the choices you make in your daily life and to actively participate in the type of life you are leading. Choosing to motorcycle is a way for me to show that I have fully evaluated the type of lifestyle that I am leading, and I’ve done my part to take control of my life in some small way.

Do you ride to work, and if so, why do you do it?

Vehicles who have tried to “off” me.

This isn’t something I like to talk about, because, well, I don’t want my parents to freak out about my very dangerous motorcycling habit, or my sweetheart to worry when I’m a few minutes later than he expects on my commute home. But after a lovely two years of scott-free motorcycling, so far this season at least THREE vehicles have tried to off me. (I say at least because these are just the ones I noticed! there could have been more-subtle vehicles out there!)

  • 4/19/11. A lady in some kind of fancy cross-over SUV during the morning commute who tried to merge directly into me as I rode in the left-most lane of the I-87/I-287 merge on my way to work. My response: lean on the horn until the apparatus swiveled around the handlebars. Hers: TOTAL chagrin and remorse. WAKE UP.
  • 6/2/11. Someone (gender undetermined) in a small older-model sedan who tried to merge into me as I rode in the left lane of the fly-over ramp between NJ Rt 17 and I-87.  My response: horn, but it’s still kind of loose so not effective. Theirs: not sure, it was dark out.
  • 6/6/11. A huge jerk of a dude ON THE PHONE in an older minivan who tried to merge into me as I rode in the left-most lane of NJ Rt-17. ON THE PHONE.  ON THE PHONE!!! My response: evasive maneuvers and, for the first time EVER, a sincere flipping of the bird. His response: to give me a 4-car length lead.  (For the record this is the first time I have genuinely wondered if kicking a drivers side mirror would cause me to be flung from the motorcycle.)

View VehiclesVSKari in a larger map

There is an interesting trend – note the vicinity in which I have had these problems – they’re all within 3 miles of each other. Granted, these are tricky roads and I do try to ride aggressively and pay attention to my position in my lane to avoid being squashed (and to give me a little room to run away and evasively maneuver) but there also may be a heightened level of jerkitude and hurry-up-ed-ness in this general area as well that makes people less likely to drive safely.

So I thought maybe I’d better keep track of it. with GRAPHS. Because I’m a huge nerd.

(If I were a better nerd I could figure out how to make google documents plot with two y-axes.)

Hopefully this will mean I never again need to worry about being offed – just like I never documented any more fish sandwiches or sardines once I set up those categories. Hopefully!

Dirt in my bars

I pulled the bike out this morning to rode to work and as the thumper shook the spiders out if their hiding places (and I carefully picked them out and placed them on nearby trees) I noticed something:


Hey, is that DIRT in my bars?!

And then I remembered how we got home so late from our trip a week ago, and I slowly pulled into our driveway, and then stopped short, and then tipped over. I landed on the grass next to the driveway and was totally fine, and for some reason I never thought to check the bike.

Motorcycling western VA

We’re staying for a week with Rick and0 Janice near Harrisonburg VA and riding in circles around the mountainsides. It’s lovely – wish you were here!

Motorcycling with Seven

Mike and I took Seven out for a ride on Saturday! We had a few firsts –

  • First time I had a passenger on my bike;
  • First time Seven got to ride on the DRZ;
  • First time Seven tried out his awesome new motorcycle jacket (which is still way too big for him);
  • First time Mike tried out his new helmet;
  • First time Seven got on the bike, rode for a little, signaled for me to stop, and peed by the side of the road; and
  • First time of the year we rode to ice cream!

note: I hate this photo, because the cheek pads are still too tight and I have dramatic chubby face syndrome. thinner pads are on the way.

It was really so fun. I was worried about passengering someone – especially sweet little Seven! but he is so light and sits so still that it wasn’t a problem. He liked that he can touch the pegs AND lean against my top case – on Mike’s kawi he can’t reach the passenger back rest and hang on to Mike at the same time.


also of note: we strapped him into boots that may be 2 sizes too large, but we tied them up REALLY TIGHT so they wouldn't come off. he walked like a diver.

We still need to get real pants for the boys, and we especially need to get them some more seat time so they can build butt endurance and we can start to go on longer trips together. Twelve (he’s twelve now! not Eleven!) hasn’t been out since last year either, and now that he’s so aged he is victim to that horrible tweenish falling-asleep-all-the-time thing now – so we have to make sure he doesn’t conk out on us while on the bike.

We also had an interesting conversation with the boys yesterday when Seven asked why he had to wear boots on the motorcycle and of course being safety kid I said “so if you fall off your ankle bones don’t shatter into a million pieces.” I told them about people I know who’ve shattered ankles and have metal plates in their legs now to hold everything together. And then we played “spot the squid” on the way home from visiting my parents. (If this conversation was on twitter I would hashtag it with #protectingchildrenwithuglyscarytruths.)