October 20, 2013

First Solo Long Distance Ride

Tomorrow is my first long distance solo ride. I've traveled across the country, twice, and now I'm worried about riding 250 miles alone. I wonder if riding 250 miles in one day is even considered long distance. . .

Over the last couple of weeks I've taken rides around San Diego on my own, even traveling solo to Menifee and back, about 135 miles roundtrip, just last night. But for some reason this feels really independent for me.

I love traveling with Highway. Part of traveling for me has been sharing the experiences with someone. Before I rode a motorcycle I loved taking long drives on my own. But being married to my stick-in-the-mud-then-husband certainly limited any travel. He worried about money all of the time, so even driving 30 miles needed prior authorization. After 15 years of that bullshit, I realized I had disconnected from travel completely. It was hard for me to overcome my fears of just going places after my divorce. But once the spell was broken, I've seen many miles pass under my wheels.

I miss my daughter and her husband, who live in Bakersfield, CA, so I want to ride up and see them. Highway has work to catch up on, so I decided to just ride up on my own. When I made the decision, I gave it little thought.

"I'll come and see you next week and just stay at your place a couple nights. Would that be OK?"

My daughter enthusiastically agreed, excited to see me. Visiting my one-and-only-child after being gone for so long was important to me, as well as her.

There are a few routes I could take, but I've decided to take the most direct, Interstate 5 from San Diego to Bakersfield, breaking off on State Route 99, then Highway 58, to their place. She and her new husband David were just married in April and we left for our Road Pickle right after attending their wedding. I'm thrilled to sit and giggle with my Kittenhead.

Olivia and I have always been very close, at times, much too close. But we certainly have our mother-daughter times of oil and water. So this trip fills me with anxiety on many levels. Having Gracie to turn to for a short trip to the market will give both Olivia and me some space when I get on her nerves. I tend to piss her off quicker than a liberal at a Ted Cruz Tea Party. I'm not sure if we are too much alike, or too different, but of all the people in the world, I try my best to accommodate her. I cherish my relationship with her, so I would do most anything to keep being a good Mom for her.

Even ride 250 miles alone through L.A. traffic on a Monday.

I've scrubbed Gracie down, hopefully coaxing her into performing nicely for me for the trip. Tomorrow Highway will top off the oil, check the air in the tires and fill up my gas tank for me before I take off. I'm ashamed to admit, but I have only put gas in my tank 3 times in my riding career. After struggling with a pump a couple times, I refused to gas up my own bike. Having Highway around I haven't needed to, so I simply boycotted. Last night I filled Gracie's tank on my own for the first time before riding back from Menifee.

I'll hit the asphalt trail around 9am, which should put me there early afternoon. Wish me luck.


  1. Have a great ride! Be safe and enjoy. That is a route I've ridden, the 58 being my backyard. Never had any trouble on it, long stretches of country, no city, my favorite! ;-)

  2. Tina:

    You'll be fine. You can do it. tt is only your mind that is holding you back,

    I am also not a solo rider and if I can ride across the country and back, you can do it too. You will learn a lot about yourself, how to make decisions and be more independant.

    You may also find that you will like it

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. You don't need luck - you have skill on your side. I am sure you'll do fine, but the rest of us saying that doesn't ease your butterflies I am sure.

    I think my longest solo ride is about 40 miles so I have no words of wisdom.

  4. Tina:

    Now we're worried. It's now Tuesday.

    Give us a sign that you made it there safely

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. I made it just fine Bob! Thanks for asking!

      I did end up on the wrong freeway through L.A., but eventually made it. I've just been spending time with my lovely daughter and her husband at their home.


  5. I'm late on this but hope the whole thing was uneventful. I get stressed about rides still and often can't figure out why. Sometimes I think I am really nervous about where I'm going or what I might encounter, rather than anything bike-related.

    1. Chris,

      I think it was riding alone, which I rarely do, as well as riding through L.A. traffic. I'm always thrilled to see my daughter, now that we've gotten past the stage where she hates me.

      Typical Mom/Daughter stuff. She seems to still resent the fact that I'm not who she thought I was all this time. It seems to her that the Donna Reed she grew up with has turned to Miley Cyrus. . .

  6. Tina I never had any doubts! Good on ya lady!!!


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