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 cant pass the test (she passed the test). I cant ride a scooter with a clutch (she bought a Stella). I cant ride in traffic (she rode in Manhattan almost every day since last April) I cant ride over the Verrazzano, Williamsburg, Brooklyn bridges, or through the Holland, Lincoln tunnels, or in the rain, etc. (shes 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, shes been saying I cant ride it yet, Im not ready. Of course. So Ive 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, Im 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 60s 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. Its fairly steep on both ends, and one of the best views, but also exposed and windy. Its the one bridge, (besides GWB) that she hadnt crossed on the scooter, so of course but, I cant do it and off we went. The view to the south: Almost there: Debriefing in Queens: That wasnt 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 havent come across one of those times yet. Exploring deserted industrial zones. Shes still smiling. Whew. We found a construction site with the gate open and no signs saying we couldnt 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, wed take the first exit, and then take back roads and side streets the rest of the way home. Im 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 couldnt 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 weve agreed to alternate responsibility for posting ride reports when weve ridden together. You rock, baby, I love you. Your turn next.