Saturday, October 19, 2013

Year of Adventures (YOA) Part 1: October

This weekend began my "Year of adventures."

Let me start by saying that I do not know what to expect before the surprise is revealed, and no one who does know, is allowed to tell me that they are even aware of what will occur.

This is what I was told:
-wear a long sleeved shirt
-and shoes that went over and protected my ankle.
-bring a water bottle

In the car was a pad and a pen.

Brian asked me to leave work a bit early, since traffic seemed to be heavier than anticipated.  We were both nervous and excited, and bit overwhelmed at the sheer number of cars on the road at 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon.

We chit-chatted.

We made small talk.

 I used every technique in my arsenal to get hints as to what I was to expect.

Not knowing what to expect, I even packed my backpack as though it were a 24-hr bugout bag replete with my throwing knives, food, fire-starting gear and some other things.  I was ready for anything.  When  I asked if I will need any of things in my bag, he simply said: "Maybe, but I can't be sure."


And so, with excitement built to an almost frenzy, we pulled up to my first adventure:


The first day was book work, so I suppose I didn't need the throwing knives.  At least I had them, right?

5 hours later, 10 videos, and an entire book, I scored a 98 on my written exam.  Only 1 of 50 wrong.

PASS, part one.

This weekend is the riding portion of the class: 2 days, 5 hours each.

This is my on my ride for the weekend:

I can wave because I was in neutral.  

I couldn't do that yesterday.

I had never been the driver of a motorcycle before, only a passenger.

Riding was intimidating at first, we began by just going through our staring procedures; getting on, starting it, turning it off and getting off.  By the end of the 1st day I was getting up to 3rd gear, weaving, stopping short, going slow in tight areas, taking turns tight, taking a 90 degree slow and tight, and more.  

The instructor asked if it was true that I had never ridden a motorcycle.  Aside from racing mountain bikes, I had honestly never ridden before.

He said I took to riding like a duck does to water.

I'm taking that as a complement.

The folks in front of me just could not go fast enough, at least I could practice downshifting more than I had expected.

Tomorrow is my driving test.  If I pass, I get my state motorcycle license!!!

A friend of mine saw what I was doing on Facebook as said that she was selling her 2010 Yamaha V-star 250cc.  How could I refuse????  Now, to pass my test, get some gear, and get through tomorrow.  

She said she'd take payments, and hold onto it until I could pay it off.


If you're feeling a bit lush this month and feel like helping with payments, email Brian:  Please put "Year of Adventure" in the topic.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!!!!


Today was harder than yesterday.  Tighter turns, figure eights, sharp curves, swerves, and stopping in a turn.

Sadly, I tipped the bike over in an attempted figure eight.  Turns out, if you brake in a turn you tip over.

After a rocky start, I kicked ass in the turns, swerves and hazards.  I tore up the higher speed skills, and maneuvered through the curves like a a .....  skilled newbie.

Testing happened throughout the day.  For every infraction of missed action, you get a point.  Getting points is bad.  If you get 20 points - you fail.  Throughout the day I accumulated 4 points.  Three for putting my foot down in the middle of the figure eight turn, and one point for my final "speed and stop."  I got a a point for stopping one foot ahead of where I was supposed to stop.

All said and done, day three, and final score:

I Passed!!!!

I now have 6 months to find a DMV, bring in my certificate, and I get a new licence with a motorcycle endorsement.

Happy trails!

A Year of Adventures

In September, I turned the big 4-0.  Now, as a stand alone birthday, it's just a number, and I neither feel nor look my age. (at least I don't think so.)  Likely, having a two, and an almost four year old has a lot to do with it.

To help ease me into my forties, my husband did what no husband in history has ever done before; he planned what would soon prove to be a series of presents no amount of hugs, kisses or other special favors could ever pay back, equal, or be bested by.

On my actual birthday, Brian got really quiet, started talking in his calm and even tone, and began introducing his presents.  He said that what was in the following  boxes was something I would have to learn to use for future use.

Intriguing, right??

I opened the heavy boxes and found a few amazing and surprising presents; throwing knives, two sets.  The first, a true, full use, high end set of two "Down Under" throwing knives.  The second,  another fabulous set of Hubbard trainers.   The last larger box was target.  A portable archery target so I would bring my bow outside of brush off the dust.

That was just the beginning.

The real present, he said, is something quite unlike anything I've ever heard about before.  He has planned an entire Year of Adventures.

Every month for this entire year, he will surprise me with a new and exciting adventure.  Amazing, right?
Not only that, he has invited anyone who is interested to join me/us in these activities.  Some will join us, some are contributing to the "adventure fund" and some are just along for the vicarious ride.

If any of these sound interesting or you would like more information, please email Brian  -  please use "Year of Adventure" in the subject line.

I'm keeping everyone else up to date here, on my blog, after each adventure.

What amazes me most, is that he had been taking extra work to help set up a fund for these adventures.  I love this man so.