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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This picture was taken at Thanksgiving about 5 years ago. We had just put our "cement pond" in, and always in for a laugh, my Mom and Dad clowned around for this shot. (something weird happen when I scanned this and it made their legs look stretched out. Oops!)

I'm in Montana for a week, seeing Papa J and the Bear for Thanksgiving. Papa J turned 70 a couple weeks ago, and I decided to present myself as his present. Being the only daughter of four children, I can get away with that! It's been too long since our last visit and he was quite happy to find out I was coming. I found out recently, that they will be moving back to our home state of Iowa this summer as well. They have been living in Montana for the last 8 years, and Papa J says it's time go home.

I put this post together before I left, so I could have something to publish while I was gone. I know it's not about motorcycles or a great ride, but I thought I would share the story of how Bear got her name.

Papa J has always been a strong figure in my life, and I am just like him in many ways. Stubborn, always right and able to take charge if need be. Fortunately, my Mom balances me out by blessing me with some of her most endearing traits. From her I learned worry, humor, duty to family and most of all, a serious addiction to the java bean. We both love our coffee. If fact, I would say this is the key most important factor to the Bear's morning waking up process, as was discovered one day, by Papa J, while on a camping trip with some friends.

Once upon a time... there were three or four other couples, that decided to join them for a weekend of canoeing and camping. My folks got into canoeing after I left home, but their stories assured me, they loved this new activity very much. One morning, Papa J, being the early bird he always was, already had coffee perked over the fire, and was passing some out to all the staggered risers. He heard some noise coming from his tent, and decided to take, his sleepy wife (my mom) some coffee, knowing she really liked her coffee very first thing. Because he had made the rounds, he only had about a half a cup of coffee when he entered their tent to present his morning gift. She took the cup in her hands only to discover the half full cup of coffee and rumbled in a low and booming voice, "What the hell is this! You think I'm going to spill it?"
"Jeepers Creepers!" Papa J was always known to say, and skeedaddled right on out of that tent! The other couples with them, heard this exchange and gave Papa J some lighthearted teasing about a bear in his tent. Within a few minutes, another pot had perked, so he was able to fill a cup up to the brim. He cautiously approached the tent with a plan to make sure he was spared the wrath of that terrifying bear for a second time that morning. He placed the full cup of coffee on the end of a canoe paddle and held it out at arm's length, enabling him to stay clear of the tent by a good 3 feet, as he presented this offering of peace. When mom stuck her head out of the tent and saw what her hijinxing husband did to pay her back, all she could do was laugh. As did everyone else!

From that moment on, my mom has been affectionately known as... "Bear".

Thank you to my parents, for making me part of who I am.

Lady R

Thursday, November 20, 2008


There is always a flip side to everything. On one hand you have this... while on the other hand you have that! Do you pick Door Number 1... or Door Number 2? I guess what I'm trying to say is, that there will always be choices, and you have to take the good with the bad.

Four weeks ago, when we found out that we were going to go to Chattanooga, TN to celebrate my MIL's birthday with all of Harley's family, my first thought was... "Woo Hoo! We can ride the motorcycles!" Harley was very much in agreement that it would be fun to ride up on Look Out Mountain and see some pretty scenery while en route to our destination. As soon as we know we are going to take any kind of a trip, we start looking at maps and tour books to see what routes are available, and to choose one that will give us the most enjoyment. This also initiates the weather watching. We realized the week before we were to leave, we were in for some rain and a serious cold front. Harley told me we should reconsider our plan to ride and just take the truck. Hmmm. I could feel the disappointment setting in as I realized our little trip might be sabotaged by Mother Nature.

I need to interject a little inside information here so you'll be able to understand where I'm coming from during the rest of this story. During the summertime, Harley and I look forward to our weekends, so we can ride for longer than our very non eventful 10 minute commute back and forth to work. If we're not running off to some rally or going to visit our pals in Florida, we usually ride on Saturday, and stay home to do our house and yard chores on Sunday. However, if I notice that Saturday is not the best of days because of rain in the forecast, and Sunday promises to be a nicer prettier day, I suggest we stay home to do our chores on Saturday, and ride on Sunday. Makes perfect sense, heh? Well, this has earned me the nickname "fair weather rider" by Harley and some of my friends. Okay, let me continue my story now.

We start daily visits to Accuweather' web site at how the weather is progressing as the weekend draws near. Now, I'm checking weather forecasts for Montgomery all the way up to Chattanooga and a few places in between. Promises of lots of rain for Friday, (the day we plan to leave) and a serious cold front coming in right behind it bringing the Sunday (the day we plan to return) temperatures into the low 30's. Harley gives me his opinion and advice on how uncomfortable it can be to ride for that long (it's about a 5 hour ride) in temps that cold. I have yet to ride in really cold weather, whereas, he has done it enough times to know, it's not that fun. He tried to warn me that I do not realize what I am getting myself into, which gave me the opportunity to ask him if he too, has become a "fair weather rider".

Friday morning came and we looked at the weather one more time on the web site. According to the radar maps, it didn't seem like rain would be a real issue considering the route we planned to take. We would probably dodge most of it and we packed enough clothes to layer if the temperature did indeed plummet on Sunday like it promised to. It was a game time decision. To ride... or not to ride?... ?... ?... WE RIDE!

Woo Hoo! I was happy we were taking the Glides and my excitement was evident. We headed north and didn't get out of Montgomery more than 20 miles when we had to pull over... to don the rain suits. Oops. Fortunately, we did not have to deal with hard rain or lightening. The temperature was about 62 degrees, so even though we had to ride the rain train, it was not cold. Mother Nature kept us in a drizzle off and on with light rain until we were nearly to the Georgia and Tennessee State lines. When we stopped to eat lunch and dry out, Harley tried hiding his smirk as he kidded with me that, "I owe him".

We proceeded into Tennessee, and the rain let up as we started over Look Out Mountain, heading into Chattanooga. All of a sudden, we entered another time... another place... another dimension... we were in the Twilight Zone! The fog was so thick, I could only see three white stripes of the center lines on the road in front of me. We had to slow to 40 mph, which still felt fast, considering how little we could see. It's pretty bad when the mailboxes along the highway startle you because you can't see them until they are literally ten feet away from you. I considered trying to get a picture to demonstrate how foggy it was, but I knew anyone coming up the road would be on us before they could see us, which would not be smart. We stayed in the fog for about 30 miles before it thinned out enough not to be scary any more. It's a good thing, because right about then, we had to slow waaayyy down when we came up on two very large brown cows that were standing right there on the side of the highway. The first one was to the right of us just three feet off the shoulder. He just stood there and did nothing. The other one was on the left, and he started moving quickly. I was afraid at first, he was going to charge, but I think he just wanted to get away from us. Luckily, we passed by without incident. It was really kind of a rush, because as I passed him I looked over again, and we looked at each other, eye to eye! At that moment, it was all about me and that cow. All that came to mind was, "How now Brown Cow?"

Without any further complications, we arrived at the Shawnee Cabin on the Tennessee River, where we would be spending the weekend with Harley's family. We enjoyed visiting with the n & n's and their parents, while we celebrated my MIL's birthday. The kiddos fished in the river, and played with the resident cabin cat. We all had a great time. I have one small niece who has never caught a fish before, and she was quite funny when one got on her line. Throughout the weekend, I endured some light hearted teasing at how crazy we were for riding the Glides, but I know they love me, in spite of it. Sunday delivered the chilling temps as promised, and after we all said our goodbyes and shared some hugs, Harley and I prepared for our chilly ride home.

Even though it was a mere 32 degrees out, the sun was shining and the pavement was dry. I knew I was going to be cold so I started with tights, then jeans, my chaps and finally the rainsuit pants. I was in two shirts and my lined leather jacket. I think wearing the rain pants cut the wind enough to keep me comfortable. Harley was layered just as much, only he didn't wear his rain pants. I put a glove liner under my winter gloves, and decided I was ready.

We took off around 11:00 and it probably started warming up a little bit already, but as soon as I hit the road at speed, it hit me. Damn, it IS cold riding out here! I was getting cold and I decided I needed to do something to distract my thoughts from that fact. I found out, if you sing out loud, at the top of your lungs, especially songs about the sunshine, you can warm yourself up a bit. That and flap your arms around every now and then. Like this...
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take, my sunshine, away!"
Oh, I came up with several more over the next few miles, and when I couldn't think of any more songs with sunshine in them, I decided to sing about fire.
"I fell in, to a burning ring of fire. I went down, down, down... and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns. The ring of fire.. the ring of fire!" This would be a good time to flap.

I stopped singing at one point, because I saw Harley riding in front of me messing around with his zipper on his chaps. It seems the wind broke his zipper and every few miles or so, they would unzip themselves. I noticed that the leather looked like it was flapping around alot, and it was because they wouldn't stay closed. (Brrrrr!) During one of our rest stops to warm up, we tried to rig them so they would stay closed, but to no avail. Again, I got that mischieveous look from him as he reminded me... "I owe him." Did I mentioned earlier that he had wanted to take the truck?

Well, before long, and after I ran out of songs to sing, we made it home. The closer we got, the warmer we became, and we were rewarded with a balmy 56 degrees in Montgomery. We parked the Glides in the garage and made our way into the warmth of our home, a nice hot shower, and the promise of a big bowl of chili for supper. Later that evening, while we were reflecting on our trip and the weekend's events, Harley posed the question to me, "So, what do you think about riding in the cold now?" I thought for a minute and said, "I really think those other gloves I saw at Sports Authority last week would have been perfect, and I'm going to ask for some 'Under Armor' for Christmas and...." I stopped in mid sentence when I noticed my husbands look of dismay. I couldn't help but smile, "What? Was this supposed to be a lesson?" He responded, "Well, I guess I had hoped it would be," pause, "but I think it backfired!"

My husband loves me, and I know he endured this trip just for me. He has ridden long enough to have experienced, and handled all these kinds of elements, and really doesn't feel the need to prove he can. We could have easily taken the truck and have been much more comfortable. For this, I do owe him. This whole experience was a challenge to myself, to see if I had what it takes to be a true biker, whether the weather is fair or not. At least now he knows what to expect from me, when we plan our next trip. To ride... or not to ride? Is that even a question?

(For my HM - I Love You)
Lady R

Monday, November 17, 2008


Brrrrrrrr! We spent the weekend in a cabin on the Tennessee River and it was cold! This pic was taken Sunday morning before we left to come back home. It was a crispy 32 degrees. Post to follow. (If I get thawed out in time!) Happy Monday! Have a nice week!

Lady R

Friday, November 14, 2008


Harley and I are heading out this morning to Chattanooga, TN for a family weekend get together. We'll be staying in a cabin on the Tennessee River, so I hope to bring back some great pics. After I bragged about our great Fall weather here, looks like we'll be riding in 50 to 60 degree temps most of the time, and maybe a little rain. Yuck! I suppose I'll be putting my riding where my mouth, is heh?

Everyone have a great weekend and ride safe!

Lady R

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The Fall season brings cooling temperatures, and beautiful foliage, which is a perfect combination for a great ride. I've been noticing lately, while reading some of my favorite motorcycle blogs, there's a common dread being shared between riders, particularly those living in the North and Midwest. Riding days will be soon over until Spring! Since living in the South, I have become acclimated to the searing summer heat and humidity, so while everyone else is grumbling about putting their scoots up for the season, it's just getting good around here! Saturday brought us beautiful sunshine and blue skies with fall temperatures of about 70 degrees! A perfect day to ride to the country and go leaf peeping.
I reveled in the fresh crisp air on my face and wondered, why does the air seem fresher when it gets colder? Even the occasional road kill doesn't disburse the usual stench during this cooler time of year. Always a plus if you ask me. Instead, the aroma of burning leaves filled my senses and that is by far a better pleasure! I was thinking how nice it was to be riding in full leathers for a change and still be comfortable. Not too hot, not too cold, it was just right. Harley bought me some chaps this summer when we went to the Smokey Mountains, and this was the first time I needed to wear them.

We made a plan to go north on Hwy. 9 toward the Talladega National Forest. Even though we have traveled these familiar highways a thousand times before, I was pleasantly surprised at the beauty we saw. It was like Mother Nature was holding a Grand Ball, and all the trees and bushes came dressed in their finest fall attire! The gauntlet of brilliant red, yellow, orange and gold lay before us as we rode through, on the gray ribbon of asphalt. We were the guests of honor, as the trees lined the road and showered us with their colorful confetti of leaves. The fallen leaves, laying in wait on the road, sprang to life, swirling and twirling around us as we passed by. Riding behind Harley provided me a spectacular show of dancing leaves.
My spirit was feeling wonderful now and I was really enjoying the pleasant respite from our hot weather. It will get cold here as the winter sets in, and you have to be cautious about black ice, but the South will reward you periodically with beautiful days of spiked temperatures that invite you to get out and ride! I'm sorry for those of you that cannot ride year round, as I am very thankful that I can continue to enjoy my therapy sessions with the Road Dr. even during these dismal winter months.
My attention comes back to the fascinating way the leaves play with us as we press our way through their playground of color. My heart and soul are soaring as I take in the spirit lifting experience. If I were to give myself a road name to describe my ride today, I think it would be... Dances With Leaves.

Ride on!

Lady R

Monday, November 10, 2008


This beautiful little swamp is only about 8 miles from our house and it borders a residential neighborhood. We pass by it just about every time we go out for a ride. I've often wondered how many pets may have mysteriously disappeared as a result of walking a little too close to the water. Hmmm. It also reminds me of that old movie "Southern Comfort" when some Louisiana National Guard members got lost and had to survive in the middle of Cajun country!

Have a nice Monday everybody!

Lady R

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The Gremlin Bell
Legend has it that a small bell attached to your motorcycle, close to the ground, catches the Evil Road Spirits. The Little Gremlins live on your motorcycle causing all kinds of mechanical problems. The cavity of the bell attracts these Evil Spirits, but the constant ringing drives them insane and they lose their grip and fall to the ground. (Have you ever wondered where pot holes come from?)

Several weeks ago, I posted a story titled "The Invasion of the Road Gremlins". My tale of woes attracted the sympathy of fellow blogger and rider named Fasthair, who thought a bell of my own was definitely in order. Fasthair blogs from my home state of Iowa and writes about great rides and cool roads with beautiful pictures to show it. You should go and check out his blog sometime, you won't be disappointed. Well, coming to my point, Fasthair graciously presented me with my first bell, via US mail! Thank you T! I most humbly accept the honor you have bestowed upon me.

Making sure to follow the Legend tradition, I attached my new "Biker Chick Gremlin Bell" to the lowest point of my newly rejuvenated sweet old girl. My thoughts were smug, as I figured those nasty little gremlins, out there in waiting, were in for a big surprise. Standing back, looking at my new farkle, my mind was happily dancing with the sound of Inoj (pronounced... I know J) singing her 1998 song, "Ring My Bell". It seemed like the perfect taunt to my evil friends.

I felt like I had the upper hand now. Nothing left to do but ride! And ride we did, through country curves and sun filled highways. Confidence soaring through my inner core, that my ride will not be interrupted today, by the tomfoolery of those mischievous munchkins! I, myself, was enjoying the familiar purring of my sweet old girl moving us smoothly on down the road, while knowing the Gremlins could heard my bell, loud and clear! Taking each new turn with vigorous anticipation and enjoying the freedom of the open road, I pressed my machine on, only to realize I was singing out loud... "You can ring by bell... el... el. Ring my bell!"

Ride on and ride safe!

Lady R

Monday, November 3, 2008


Today my dad turns 70! Even though, this pic was taken during the Thanksgiving Holidays a few years ago, it's a great way to honor him today! My dad had motorcycles as long as I could remember and would take me for rides often when I was a little girl. I was so excited and proud when that day came and I told him I was riding my own. Even though he doesn't ride any more, he still shares our enthusiasm for two wheels, and lives vicariously through his children. I love my dad very much, and to help him celebrate his 70th birthday, I will go visit him and mom during Thanksgiving this year. Woo Hoo! I can hardly wait. Happy Birthday Papa J!

Lady R

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Halloween is the kind of holiday where grown ups can be kids... and kids can be grown ups! I grew up loving Halloween. We could be as wild as we wanted to be with our imaginations for this one night and throw yourself into a world of strangeness! A few of my Panama City friends were here for our annual Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair, which is always on the first Saturday of November. We were lucky that Halloween fell on Friday this year, and they would be here, so... we decided to vamp it up and go out on the town with altered identities. Woo Hoo!
My friend Red Light Roxanne made a great "Sharon Osborne", while Earth Mother turned naughty as the "Bad Angel". Marvelous Ms. M (taking pic) was "Gypsy Woman" and I had spiders all over me, so I was just a "Creepy ol' Cobweb". LOL!

We had an interesting time passing out candy while we readied ourselves for our own night of spooky terror. We saw several great costumes on some little people, and some of the looks we got from the kids were certainly worth it. Having fun at Halloween is something I always strive to do and will continue to look forward to it. So, fair warning to all you scaredy cats out there. If your found skulking around my place on this hallowed eve, be afraid... be very afraid!

Lady R