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Old 11-11-2006, 08:18 PM   #1
DR. Rock OP
Part of the problem
 
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Location: NYfC, yff
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La donna è mobile!

About a year ago, my wife changed jobs. Instead of walking to work, she had a 30 min subway ride, with the ride home usually late at night. Kind of scary. She got in her head that a scooter would be fun, and cute, and not in any way scary... right. She had never even used a clutch. I used to have a motorcycle 10 years ago; got my license the hard way... not on any twist-and-go new fangled thing like the kids are riding these days. I digress.

For her last birthday, I got her MSF lessons. They're in the Bronx. That is apparently scary because we had to take a ride out there on the subway beforehand, to scope it out. It turned out to be fine. This is a repeating pattern to this story. She came home from the MSF lessons saying “F--- the scooter… I want a motorcycle.” (Yes, Helen, your daughter swears some times,) “Slow down, tiger, stick with the original plan.” I said.

“I can’t pass the test” (she passed the test). “I can’t ride a scooter with a clutch” (she bought a Stella). “I can’t ride in traffic” (she rode in Manhattan almost every day since last April) “I can’t ride over the Verrazzano, Williamsburg, Brooklyn bridges, or through the Holland, Lincoln tunnels, or in the rain, etc.” (she’s done all that and more on her little Stella.)

Meanwhile, I discovered this forum, and reconnected with my hooligan-self, bought a DR650, and started going on rides, mostly by myself. Not to make her jealous, necessarily, just for fun, you know, and adventure. (Yesterday I explored the Wawayanda State Park environs, and found some fun dirt roads/trails:). I digress again.

Well, a few weeks ago, we got a really, really sweet craigslist deal on a lowered F650GS with ABS, heated grips, and only 300 miles on it. We bought it for her, got it registered and insured, and the whole time, she’s been saying… “I can’t ride it yet, I’m not ready.” Of course.

So I’ve been schlepping it back and forth for alternate side parking, until she got comfortable just getting it up on the centerstand. All the while, I'm trying... really, really trying hard to be all cool, and no pressure, and take your time, ...And finally today she said… “Lets go for a ride, I’m ready.”

Oh yeah.

It was a beautiful fall Saturday in NYC, but I could tell she was still apprehensive as we waited for the elevator:



She ceremoniously moved the top case from the Stella to the BMW:



And we started out slowly around the block:



and around…



…and around…



Finally, after about 40 laps, she decided to try a trip to the east 60’s where she works. Up third ave,



Over to 1st ave; (the building there is where I work: the best third-world hospital in North America, bar none).



Battling taxis, even on a Saturday:



And we made it… and I could tell she was starting to relax, and have some fun. So where to next? Well, there are some nice empty streets near the east river on the Queens/Brooklyn side to practice on, what do you say? Only problem is that means a river crossing, which means a bridge, and in this case, the Queensborough, or 59th street to all you Simon and Garfunkle fans. It’s fairly steep on both ends, and one of the best views, but also exposed and windy. It’s the one bridge, (besides GWB) that she hadn’t crossed on the scooter, so of course “but, I can’t do it” and… off we went.



The view to the south:



Almost there:



Debriefing in Queens:



“That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” she said. There are times, perhaps, in every relationship when it is appropriate to say “I told you so.” I just haven’t come across one of those times yet.

Exploring deserted industrial zones. She’s still smiling. Whew.



We found a construction site with the gate open and no signs saying we couldn’t go in. It was a great place to take photos. The bridge we just crossed:



La donna:



Auto timer:



Just a funny sign to me… I wanted to cross out the stop, and write “go,” and add an exclamation point. But I left the spray paint at home.



More industrial teenage wasteland



Where to next? We decided to go to State Line Lookout on the west side of the Hudson river, near the boarder of NJ & NY. Of course, that meant crossing over the east river… we took the Williamsburg bridge (note to PowerT & Judy: we sort of did the same ride we did, only in reverse…)



Across Manhattan:



And through the Holland tunnel:



Up the Jersey side:



Nice views of Manhattan:





Then into Palisades state park,



up Henry Hudson Drive:



With nice fall colors and views of the George Washington Bridge









I love this little road:









Then we popped out onto 9W… pushing the speed envelope:



Finally a late lunch at State Line Lookout.



I had to take a phone call



While she photographed the views:







One more autotimer for posterity:



Now for the best part… La Donna was getting tired, wanted to get home quickly. I suggested we hop on the Palisades Parkway and take the GWB then down the West Side Highway. She demurred. I agreed that if she felt uncomfortable at speed with traffic, she would signal me, we’d take the first exit, and then take back roads and side streets the rest of the way home. I’m happy to report that we hauled ass the whole way home, (no pics, cause we were always moving…top speed 56mph), and even when I tried to lose her on Bleecker st….





by using all my hooligan and lane splitting skills, she fell back only one car-length. That little Stella taught her well. Total trip was 68 miles; for her, each mile was a new adventure, as has been every step along the way. It's taken her about 10 months to get here, which for this trip, averages out to only 0.0094 mph.

Sometimes it's not about speed.

So, without further ceremony, I present to you (drumroll)
La Donna Fugata, who has finally earned her ADV stickers:



She's now registered here, (but is waiting for manual activation because our email filters the confirmation, so she couldn’t post the ride report from her account). We have plans to be riding further, faster, and harder in the future, so stay tuned. I've written this one up, but we’ve agreed to alternate responsibility for posting ride reports when we’ve ridden together.

You rock, baby, I love you.

Your turn next.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:26 PM   #2
Queen
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Fantastic!!
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #3
EZ OUT
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Terrific!
What a lovely story. I am surprised to see what fun you can have in an urban riding environment. Good luck on all your future adventures together. So I guess she is loving the 650?
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:34 PM   #4
Queen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EZ OUT
... I am surprised to see what fun you can have in an urban riding environment...
Same here, I've ridden in Chicago traffic a bunch with no problems...but those bridge shots made me woozy.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:36 PM   #5
Slice
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Not bad for a couple of New Yorker noobs.

(Actually, it was awesome. You have an engaging writing style. Let's hope hers tops yours.)

Thanks for posting, and welcome to ADVrider... the pair of you!
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:40 PM   #6
Hannda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR. Rock
So, without further ceremony, I present to you (drumroll)
La Donna Fugata, who has finally earned her ADV stickers:
Perfect.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:43 PM   #7
AntWare
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These are some of my favourite threads.


...and there is absolutely nothing hotter than a girl on her own bike.

Congrats LDF, and welcome.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:47 PM   #8
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cool. wifey is a brave woman considering she can't flat foot that f650 (not to mention riding around the city is challenging itself). few years ago, i saw an afroamerican woman riding another little gs. nice view, i must say. definately nicer than a woman on jap drill.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:53 PM   #9
EZ OUT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Ware
These are some of my favourite threads.


...and there is absolutely nothing hotter than a girl on her own bike.

Congrats LDF, and welcome.
Except for one on a lawnmower...mowing my lawn, of course.

Sorry couldn't resist, carry on.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:55 PM   #10
Queen
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Hey La Donna, if you loved the Stella and ever get tired of the GS take a look at the Moto Guzzi Breva 750...a gorgeous Italian bike that can be lowered a huge amount (my SO rides one).
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:27 AM   #11
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Great report...thanks
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:33 AM   #12
Stretch67
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Learning to ride in NYC. Go, girl. You rock!
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:08 PM   #13
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Very Cool! La Donna you rock!
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:13 PM   #14
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Nice. Dood you have a hot SO. And she rides?

What else can you ask for?
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:49 PM   #15
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Fantastic, I learnt to ride in London ( I'm sure it's FA in comparison to NY, but WTH!) and the lessons you learn in serious urban traffic won't let you down during the rest of your riding life.

Great report, thanks.

-Simon
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