In some ways, I’m a walking contradiction of values for the times in which I live.  I vote conservatively, dress conservatively, live conservatively, and yet I persist in doing things my children find highly dysfunctional – like riding. 

My oldest son’s wife posts photos of their ATV exploits that make me cringe to see them climbing almost vertical hills, navigating mud-holes that threaten to consume the 4-wheelers they ride, etc., yet they think I’m dysfunctional because I ride a motorcycle “on the highways”.  His comment when I bought my bike was, “I hope you have your life insurance paid up”.  Ditto.

My youngest son is ultra-conservative, even by my standards, and thinks my riding confirms his notion that senility has set in and mom is on the fast track into the retirement home.  Not. 

My parents haven’t left town in 20 years and have compared me to my spinster great aunt whom my grandmother considered a wandering gypsy because she’d pack up and hop on a Greyhound bus bound for anywhere she took a notion any time she pleased.  I thought she was the coolest person I knew. 

There are places to see, cuisine to be sampled, people to meet, antique stores to explore, and fun to be had, and you can bet the farm that as long as we’re able we intend to pursue them all so we’ve adopted the motto, “We put the FUN in Dysfunctional!”  Perhaps I should have that made into a patch or helmet sticker or cross stitch it to hang over the mantle. 

The biggest thing we need to work on in order to get the most ride time for the amount of leisure time we have is planning ahead – deciding ahead of time where we’re going and packing the day before so we’re ready to roll as soon as we’ve had enough coffee to stumble out to the bikes. 

I found the following advice in a magazine written by a member of the Motor Maids in 1955.  I’m not too sure about the ironing thing, but I love reading the exploits of those early women riders.  They were probably considered off kilter by their conservative neighbors and friends, riding motorcycles instead of filling their days with knitting and baking souffles, but I bet they were pretty comfortable with putting the Fun in “Dysfunctional” too! 

Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from their experience, or at the very least enjoy a brief glimpse into life in the 1950’s. Ride safe, my friends, Vrumblesramblingbikerblog.

If you’re planning a trip by motorcycle, there are many things to consider and lots of short-cuts are found by girls who travel a lot.  Here are a few hints to help you.

Have your motorcycle serviced the day before the trip and the saddlebags all packed.  Take a travel iron, (the kind that folds) it will really come in handy on the trip.  No need to worry about an ironing board.  A dresser drawer placed upside down on a table is the right height.  Cover the drawer with a towel and you’re in business without the worry of ruining varnished surfaces.

Roll your clothes instead of folding them.  They won’t wrinkle as easily.  If possible, wear coveralls on the trip.  In the P.M. when you stop for the day, it’s no trouble to slip out of them and your clothes underneath are nice and clean.

Take a large handkerchief or scarf along to cover your face if the weather is cold, windy, or hot.  You won’t have a burned face if you do this.

Wear your gloves and wear your boots.  Always have a heavy jacket, even in the warmer climates, it gets chilly riding after dusk.  Wear a crash helmet, if you have one, for protection against the automobiles and pavement—If you don’t have one—get one.

Source:  American Motorcyclist.  April 1955.

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