Algona Freedom Rally | 2017

We came.

We saw.

We conquered.

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ABATE of Iowa, Algona Freedom Rally 2017 was another success.

And by success we mean drunk, tired and wet.

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Oh come on you dirty minded folks… it rained.  Daily.  Hell, we even survived a potential twister in the area.  Tent campers unite!

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But you dirty minded folks probably aren’t too far off either. 😉

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Like all motorcycle rallies; we arrived, checked-in, set up camp and immediately headed back into town for necessities:

  • Beer
  • Snacks
  • Beer
  • Liquor

before settling into some campsite day drinking, games and people watching.

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Holding up to last years promise, Tracy scored a yard game to keep us entertained for a few hours each day.   Let’s just say a few of us were big talkers and our mouths perhaps got a little ahead of our game.

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Why yes, yes that is a giant bottle of Sangria he’s holding.  We hang with manly men.  Don’t judge.  It’s a rally, remember?  In his defense, he also enjoys partaking in drinking the cheapest, most gut rot inducing beer he can find.

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Our crew prefers to camp on our own little acreage, nestled back in the trees, away from the Algona Rally hub.   We were pretty stoked when we scored our spot we stumbled upon last year and are pretty confident that two years in a row makes us official owners of said acreage.  Watch it 2018’ers.  We are coming for you if you take our spot.

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But, if you prefer to be where the action is day in and day out, then go camp with our good friends the Wiese’s and their mighty crew.

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Where might that be, you ask?  Just follow the loud rukkus coming out of this beautiful Coleman turned DJ central, aka Andy’s masterpiece.

*shirtless stud sold seperately

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Or just look out for a sea of tent canopies on the main drag.  You’ll see them if you don’t hear them first.

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Rain delays on Thursday didn’t dampen our spirits thanks to the Larson’s bonnet.  Who said anything about this contraption being made for a sunblock on the beach?  Psssh….. rain block at rallies is more like it.

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Heck, if that doesn’t work, just throw a chair carrier over your head and call it a day.

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SHUT the front door…. is that a SODA and not a beer?   Yes, sometimes a beer break, literally, is needed and welcomed.

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Many folks ask how large of a crowd the Algona Freedom rally brings in.   Allow me to let the photos tell the story.

 

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Pretty impressive, ya?

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One popular activity during the rally are the motorcycle games.   From the hotdog eating contest, to the slow ride, to the keg rolling, you are bound to see some skills.   In what skill area are we referencing specifically?  I’ll leave that for you to experience when you attend the Rally in 2018.

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Pictured above are our new friends Shelby and Brandon.   Liz and I have followed Shelby (and she us) for a few years on Instagram.  Funny how those hashtags actually work, you hashtagging fools.  When used with purpose and intention, you actually stumble upon some pretty cool shit, including people!   It was awesome to finally meet and hang out at the Rally this year!

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I am positive that this is just the start of a pretty great friendship and will bring about some fun rides in the future.   Way to go, Instagram!

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I used the rally games to actually start messing around with my DSLR settings and photoshop.  I am hellbent on figuring this out so I can try my hand at capturing some good shots of my girls on their bikes. 🙂

The photo above is my first time throwing in a sky overlay.   For my first time, I’d say I didn’t do too shabby blending it in.   Keep your judgy mcjudgerson thoughts to yourself photo police.   Perhaps lend some soft suggestions on how to use and abuse that fancy photoshop element tool, eh?

#notstaged

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The community of Algona held some dirt track racing on Saturday, so we made our way off grounds to partake in that little afternoon adventure.  It was decent but not thrilling.  I believe we all came for the action but stayed for the announcer.   Someone get that guy a gig announcing all the nonsense seen at the actual rally, stat.   Entertainment for hours.

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Algona 2017 went off without a hitch if you ask our little crew.  But, we don’t ask for much.  Steak sandwiches for the hubs, well done burgers for yours truly, prime real estate for camping,  good tunes and train wreck sight seeing galore.  I believe we checked off all those boxes.

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Even though a repeat from years prior, this guy never disappoints with his flame throwing techniques.

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But T-Rex was a new and hilarious edition this year.

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Ominous skies made for the most beautiful weather we’ve had to date!

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And evening tunes brought out the crazy.

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Heck, even a few mid-afternoon naps were welcomed by some, alcohol induced or not, the balancing act is impressive.

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BUT, word of caution, if you fall asleep while watching the afternoon parade of people, you are bound to wakeup to a bearded hug and a moonshine bottle in your face and down your throat.   Happy rallying, Heidi.

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In the end, great friends make the event a success.

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Thanks to ABATE of Iowa for yet another kick ass weekend of fun and sun.

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Algona 2017, you certainly did not disappoint.  We look forward to your next adventures in 2018.

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Cheers!

 


Special Thanks:

Photos:

  • Yours Truly
  • Tyree
  • Tracy
  • Liz
  • DeAnn
  • Algona Freedom rally facebook page

 

Weekend Recap | November 11-13, 2016

Saturday, November 12th
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I could end the post right here.

Done.  

End of Story.

But, what’s the use of a hangover without the story of how it came to be?

Let’s rewind to Friday.

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Friday, November 11th

First of all let me say Thank You to our veterans for your time served and to our current armed forces who continue to serve.

Thank You.

Second: Happy Birthday to my mama!  11/11 was also HER day! 🙂

Now, to the bane of my Saturday?  Friday night.

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We traveled north to Sioux City, IA to see the Turnpike Troubadors in concert with Jade, Kayla, Scott, Haley, Josey and Stephanie.  It was a ridiculously fun night.  Turnpike was INCREDIBLE to listen to… again, music geek in me can’t get enough of good music and TRUE musicianship that these guys exude.

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We let loose, we drank a few too many beers, we stayed our ground in the front of the venue holding steady to the gate, we flirted with the band, we sang along loudly and we made every ounce of that hangover totally worth it.

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Is it me, or is Jade channeling Alan from the movie, The Hangover?

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We even managed to hang out with both bands (opener and headliner) after the concert at a local tavern, to which I awkwardly attempted small talk about music (listen Jordan, don’t talk after 10 beers) and Kayla took endless photos with the groups.

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After hours snap chats = lame tag lines.   We love Friday’s?

Really, Jordan?

*insert giant eye roll*

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Thank GOODNESS social media didn’t exist when we were all in High School.   It’s bad enough as adults.

 

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Friday kinda rocked, and I am ready to do it again, minus the heavy amounts of beer.

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So then there is Saturday again.

It looked like this:

  • 3am – Arrive back to hotel safely thanks to kind cabi who received quite a tip after my sober mind calculated.  I’m sure she deserved every penny.
  • 3:10am – Snap Clint attempting 16 times to open the hotel door.  It was classic.  Score 1 for Jordan catching that gem on video.
  • 6am – First wake-up call, thanks due to a rager of a headache
  • 7am – Wake-up again.  Headache and all…
  • 8am – Restroom.  Oh, hey there rumbling belly.  I hear you and I am answering by laying back down.
  • 8:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text.  Commiserating.
  • 9am – Dear LORD this headache.  Curse the fact I need water but curse the fact I am not sure my stomach can handle even that.
  • 9:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text re: lobby and breakfast.
  • 10:30am – Clint wakes ready to take on the world ( his ability to NEVER have a headache nor hangover really sucks sometimes)
  • 11am – Bid farewell to the crew and head back to Omaha.   Radio off, shades on, air full blast, with minor attempts to tune my overly-chatty husband out.  Dude… headache.
  • 1pm – Homaha – drop husband off at home so he can load truck up with hunting gear and head out to Clarinda.
  • 1:30pm- Pick up race gear for Beer and Bagel run on Sunday
  • 2pm – Home.  Hallmark Christmas Movie. Nap.
  • 4pm- Grocery store for hangover worthy snacks that are always top notch on the healthy pyramid.
  • 5pm – Dinner.  Hallmark Christmas Movie.  Nap
  • 8pm –  Succumb to just letting Saturday be a total wash and go to bed.

 

Sunday, November 13th

Let’s all take a moment and rejoice in the fact that I got out of bed at 6:30am and was ready to run the Beer and Bagel 4 mile trail run at 9am.

Can I get a Hallelujah?   Can I get an Amen?

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Blair is a trail running PRO!  She recently ran a 50K.   Yes, you read that right.  50K = 31.08 miles.  So, I laughed at her for wanting to still run this with me.   It’s 4 miles.  That’s like her warm-up nowadays.  But, thankfully, she did it and we had fun and I appreciate her grace in not rubbing in the fact that this is peanuts to her distance legs.

I might consider running the 13.1 trail run next year.  Trail running is SO much better than road running.  It is so much more forgiving on the joints since you are on soft ground and uneven terrain that forces you to take it easy and watch where you are going, rather then operate as a robot and pound the pavement.  Running the 13.1 Beer and Bagel run in 2017 is a definite thought.  A consideration.

We will see. 🙂

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After the race I napped again.  DUDE!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!    I think it was a culmination of three days in a row last week of getting up by 3:10am on top of the minimal water and shenanigans on Friday night.  My body was O.V.E.R. it.

I forced myself into partial civilization on Sunday afternoon when I bundled up and went out on the HD, just her and I.   It’s that time of the year when the hubs is gone hunting on the weekends and I get my coveted solo ride time in when the weather is cooperating.

I managed to burn through a full tank of gas and it was all sortsa magical.

Solo rides = no destination.  No planned stops.   Just a direction, the roll of the throttle and a big ass smile on my face.  🙂

Although, this snap looks like I don’t even have a head, let alone a face for a smile.

But my front wheel looks B.A.

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Cheers to a GREAT weekend!

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Algona Freedom Rally | 2016

Another motorcycle rally in the books and my eyes, liver and throttle hand are all still functioning.  Rally goers know this outcome is always questionable going into rally festivities and certainly appreciated coming out.

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This year we took off one day earlier in order to pick out our prime camping spot.  We tend to gravitate towards the shaded, secluded sections so we can enjoy our beers under the trees and morning zz’s without the sun-glare.  Although, sleeping is questionable with the constant competition of who can hit their rev limiters the most.  Prime time for that activity?  Between midnight and 4:30am.   It’s a campground wide fave past time amongst the town idiots.

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Our little slice of camping heaven.

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The first crack of beer after home-base setups are complete is always the best beer of the weekend.

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So what kind of Algona festivities went down in 2016?   Well, if you followed along on snap you saw the stuff I can’t share permanently.  Hello land of the free.  And by free, we mean really free.   I never do get over the zero cares some of these folks carry around… or leave back at their campsite.

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We did find Verlene.  Do y’all remember her from our 2015 float trip?  That ol’ gal sure gets around.

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The time was well spent by lounging, drinking, walking the campgrounds, people watching, motorcycle game watching, music listening and just relaxing with friends with zero cares, obligations or schedules dictating our lives for 4 days.  It was fabulous.  Next year I’m bringing a yard game of some sort to add to the daytime festivities.

The Highlight Reel:

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Liz got off pretty easy this year on the hug game.  Clint left the shine at home, so the hugs weren’t nearly as alcohol induced, but still abundant.

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imageWhatcha reaching for their, Clint?

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When traveling through the campground, one must always have your drinks handy.  You never know where you’ll park the bike.  Liz has clearly played this game a time or two before…

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And Clint wins by just strapping on the whole cooler.  Beers for all!

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It’s still possible to be cute when camping, even when hair doesn’t get washed for days.   Bandana’s are a girls best friend for evah.

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From Clint to Steve…

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Algona 2016 went down with some great memories for the memory bank.

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Cheers to another incredible Algona Freedom Rally.

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Link Up to read Algona Freedom Rally recap 2015 here.

Follow along on Facebook at Harleys & Heels.

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Special Thanks to:

June 2016 Wrap-Up

Final two weekends of June in review starring:

Harley’s, Beers, Best Buds and the Hubs.

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Two weekends ago I parked the Jeep on a Thursday night and didn’t get back in it until the following Monday morning.   I miss those days like summers past.  Teaching + Summers Off = no 4 wheels unless I had to.  Life now doesn’t give me that luxury anymore, so when I get the opportunity, I take full advantage!

Friday, June 17th

Jeans Day Friday’s is my favorite day of the work week.  These have only been implemented in the last year and when it did, my Harley and I sent a Thank You note to our President.

No, I am definitely not kidding.

This was big time, kids.  BIG TIME!

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An invite to Testicle Festival in South Bend, NE with a group of friends had us on the road for a fun little Friday.

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An evening of cold beers and fried testicles?  How could you say no to that?  😉  After a handful of hours, four of the five couples in attendance decided to ride down to Louisville to Heron Bay, my fave little bar on the river.  Unfortunately some bike issues had Tracey and I sidelined while we waited for the boys to work their magic a few miles back.   The neighborhood dogs didn’t much appreciate our presence, however, the neighbors were eager to help out a few damsels in distress.  Even offered a beer while we waited.  Thanks small town Nebraska.

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Soon after we were rolling on home to a sweet lightening show and a few sprinkles.  A most perfect and serene Friday night ride.  Some of the best!

Saturday, June 18th

Each year Tyree and I head out on a Thelma and Louise day, without the lunatic ending.  The last few years we’ve used it as a not-so-dry run to the annual B!tch run.  I like to test out my map, check the roads, notify the bar owners of the date and use that day as my chance to make any necessary adjustments, which works out perfect.  Our day began at 10am and we were off!

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Slightly overcast in the morning but after a few of these ridiculous shots of hell, recommended by a bar patron, we were nice and warmed up.

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Many miles, new friends and laughter later, our photos always turn into nonsense.

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Certainly nothing to do with these…

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Now the question is, were these our shots of schnapps and crown … or something more yummy and a new location?

We don’t shot and tell.

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A perfectly magnificent Thelma and Louise day and have the 11th Annual B!tch Run nailed down.  Check Check to another lovely June summer day.

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Sunday, June 19th – Father’s Day

Due to an unfortunate last minute Fathers Day plan cancellation courtesy of an illness,  I found myself flying solo Father’s Day morning.

Which was a-ok with me!

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I set out mid-morning for some solo riding, of which are most often my favorite rides.  I started riding 12 years ago and when I wasn’t on a poker run (which seemed to be every single weekend back in the day), I rode on my own during the weekdays.   I’d set out in a direction and go, just me and my Sporty.   I was in a deep transition period both physically and mentally while I was closing out my life in Clarinda and making the plans for a clean slate in Omaha.  It’s those solo rides that always put everything into perspective and truly helped define who I was.  I still love those solo rides and heading out on Father’s Day Sunday was like a breath of fresh air.  I rode all the backroads leading out of NE into IA for a few hours and then soon found myself in Clarinda, crashing Clint’s fathers day plans with his dad, Kyle and the rest of the fam bam.   Ok, so I didn’t crash it, I was always welcome, but I had planned to be elsewhere, so I like to say I crashed it. 🙂

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They had just gotten in from riding the horses around the acreage when I rolled in.   How cute is this pic of Clint and Kyle?   They are alike in so many ways.

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A few hours of shooting the shit, beers and dinner on the breezeway was a perfect ending to what started out as a botched Sunday.

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And then it was time to roll!

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For my two-wheeled riders, you know how much gravel sucks.   But, I’ll do it.  Just give me time.

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Tuesday, June 21st.

Justin Bieber – Lincoln, NE.

Brooke had some extra tickets.

Jessica asked, “wanna go?”

I said, “You bet!”

Belieber?  Nope.   Life experiences?  Yep.

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Bieber was a total douche on stage, lacked enthusiasm in the worst way imaginable, rarely interacted with the audience and was so self-righteous he paused to take at least 6 water breaks during the concert and made a complete spectacle of it by pausing all music, standing center stage, spotlight on him.

While he chugged a water bottle.

Really, Biebs?  REALLY?

Get over yo’self.

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Friday, June 24th 

Date night with my hubby and my first glance at his newest bulletin board!  Walkup Woods is coming along, folks!

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Saturday, June 25th

A day of riding through Southwest Iowa with Tina, dodging rain drops and rain clouds.

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A few hours spent with Troy, Sara and their two girls in the late afternoon before heading back to Omaha for dinner with Clint, his mom and Gaylen rounded out Saturday and as for Sunday, an early afternoon INSANITY class followed by some pool and sun time with Claire and Briton.  I might have gotten schooled on Shopkins too. 🙂

 

Basically,

Summer needs to NEVER end. 

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Cheers!

 

Solitude

The last two weekends have allowed me to get on my bike and get in some solid open road miles, just me and my girl.

I cherish those rides

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When I bought my first bike I was fresh out of college having just graduated with my undergrad.  It was a gift to myself after obtaining my Big Girl job and a few paychecks.

Riding on my own was what I did.   I had a few folks to ride with those first months and I greatly appreciated the backup while I gained my riding wings.  A year into my riding career I met my bestest Biker B!tch Sara and embraced the new riding friends I gained.  But that group of riding friends lived in a neighboring town, so it was always me and my Sporty making our way to them.  And then finding our way back home at night.

It was those first few years when I learned to appreciate the solitude.

It’s also when I learned a lot about myself.

I love riding with my husband.  I love riding with my girlfriends.  I love riding with groups of people, small and large.  I wouldn’t trade those days and rides for anything, ever.

But, when given the chance to ride by myself…

 I go.

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The solitude of riding on your own opens up your senses.  It clears the mind of the all the uncertainties.  It brings a sense of empowerment and breathes life back into the body and mind.

Fear of riding alone?  Absolutely not.  You are talking to the girl who is known to intentionally wait until night fall to ride the 90 miles back to Omaha from Clarinda.

Riding alone forces a person to really understand their surroundings and be in tune with every last sound, light and movement that’s out there.

It’s intoxicating.

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I have a few rules for my solo days:

  1. Full tank of gas.
  2. Layers of gear in case of inclement weather.
  3. Cell phone charged.
  4. Decide a direction but never a destination.
  5. Take the road less traveled, even if it means it leads to a dead end.  That dead end?  It tells a story.

 

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This most recent Sunday sent me out West.  I rode out for about 50 miles before winding my way back home.   The air was brisk.  My full leathers warm.  I set out in sunshine and 55 degree weather.  I returned with an overcast sky and very cold wind.  The kind of wind that had me riding sideways at times.

It was a low 100 miles of everything I needed and wanted.

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I encourage people to get out there.  Explore the world on your own.   Find out who you are, not who you are with others.  Find out what the open road has to tell you.   You will find a piece of yourself out there that you never knew existed.    Think of it as personal development.

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I found a few quotes that seemed to describe the importance of solidarity and I combined them to fit what it was I was hoping to express, so I’ll leave you with this:

Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to the beauty of who we really are.

 

Cheers, friends. ❤