Generally speaking, I’m a fairly analytical person. There is nothing I like more than setting a goal and then incrementally working towards it – taking time to celebrate the baby-steps along the way. When I was involved with USPSA and Competitive Shooting, it was watching my scores improve and working my way up the classification ladder.
With motorcycles, it isn’t quite the same but there are plenty of things to celebrate along the journey. Such as the day I earned my Motorcycle Endorsement through the MSF Class. Then there was the first 100 miles ridden on my new bike, followed by my first 1000 miles, followed by my first 100 mile day. You get the idea…
In an effort to strike up some conversation on the WaltInPA YouTube Channel, I decided to pose this question to my subscribers and ask them what their Memorable Motorcycle Milestones were. The amazing thing about the Motovlogging Community is that they have the uncanny ability to take a topic and nudge it in a direction that I was not anticipating. In this case they pointed out that it isn’t necessarily those hard numbers that are important – instead it is the memories that go along with them.
In addition to being analytical, I’m also very nostalgic so this approach was right up my alley. From this angle, those figures didn’t really mean much. My first hundred miles was a series of short rides around my home. The first thousand miles was several more of those small rides. My first one hundred mile day was important to me but, to be honest, there was nothing very memorable there.
Getting my Motorcycle Endorsement though, that was memorable. It wasn’t the class or instructors, per se, but that I took the course with my Mother In-Law (before I married her daughter and started a family). It was a bonding moment that brought me one-step closer to being part of the family.
Then there are the rides without “numbers” – like my ride to the Kutz Mill Bridge and the amazing scenery through Kutztown (not to mention seeing the Amish Horse & Buggies clopping along on the road). The ride I took out to the Reading Pagoda on a clear Sunday Morning made me realize just how beautiful the skyline is. There are plenty of these little trips taken over the past several months that put a smile on my face every time I think of them.
The Motovlogging Community is right – the Memories are the Important Motorcycle Milestone, not the number on your odometer.
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Interesting subject for sure. I’ve been doing this for so long, some older milestones are forgotten. The joy of that very first ride to nowhere, I can’t remember. The joy of the first time I rode with others, gone. What I do remember, the first time I did a multi day ride solo. I remember the first camping trip from the bike. The first solo camping trip, the first time I had to do a roadside fix. The ride with Dad……I guess to me, the milestones are the memories, and there’s so many! That’s why I’m thankful for the journey…… Great job with these!!!
Boots and Jeans Riders
We like motorcycle milestones…For us the one that still take our breath away is….Our first cross country trip. We set out on our own without any input from anyone. No research from internet or advice from other riders. We just planned it on our own, jumped on the bikes and set out on the adventure. Made mistakes on that trip, but learned from it.
Great topic Walt.
I think riding long distance by myself was a huge milestone. Took 630 miles to get to my destination and I camped for a week. Just riding all the backroads of an area I’m not familiar with, although awesome, it left me with a little worry that my bike may break down or anything for that matter. Great discussion and keep them coming. Take care 😎🤘
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5 thoughts on “Weekly Motorcycle Discussion: Memorable Motorcycle Milestones”
I never had any big milestones. Lots of small ones and they tend to just pop-up, not be planned. I ride all year long if weather and road conditions allow, so perhaps the first ride of the new season starting after the first day of spring. The first organized ride/fundraiser event of the new season. Getting caught in the rain the one time of year it happens every year. Getting out with my wife, which doesn’t occur too often. The one thing I have yet to do which is more of a goal than milestone is to do an over-nite trip like up to Vermont. Spend an entire day sightseeing, and have just enough stuff with me for a one night stay (easy to do on my GoldWing) at a roadside motel. Get up and have a nice big breakfast, then hit the road for another 1/2 day touring and be home that night.
Funny you mention getting your license. I have a funny story about mine. A motorcycle license is notoriously hard to get in CT, since the inspectors seem to do their best to get you so rattled you blow the rider exam. I actually got my license by a typographical error at DMV. I had tried twice to get my license, by taking the written and getting a learners permit while having access to a bike for road practice and to take the road test. The permit was good for 60 days. I twice lost my bike access in those two 60 day periods a few years apart and never pursued it after that.
In 1992, CT finally got on board with the rest of the country with commercial drivers licenses (CDL) for truck drivers. I held a CT Class II which was trucks, but not tractor-trailers. Because I already had a Class II, I could be grand-fathered in to a CDL B with a written test and minimal fee. I was going to just let it go, but at the last minute decided to get the CDL. I foolishly thought all the professional truck drivers had taken care of their licenses already… boy was I surprised. Everyone waited until the last minute and DMV was a ZOO! The rule in CT is once you’re in the door, they have to stay open until every last person is serviced. I got there about 3:30 PM and left around 10:30 PM with my new license. It was a manila 4″ x 8″ card with the CDL info typed on manually (like with a typewriter!). That card and your existing license constituted a valid CDL. They said if you have longer than 1 year left on your license renewal, pay the duplicate license fee at a later date and have a permanent license made and ditch the card. As I walked out the door I looked at my card… shit! She messed it up. I was supposed to have a tank endorsement which was the letter “N”, but the ding-a-ling put a “T” which actually stood for “Tandems and Triples.” Please tell me how I haul a tandem or triple with a CDL B? Well, I’ll get it fixed when I go back.
When I went to a different DMV office a couple of weeks later, I explained to the woman at the counter about the errors on my card. She said to ignore the card, my real record is in the computer and she pulls it up. “She also forgot to put the “M” on the card.” she tells me. I’m trying to remember what “M” was. Manual transmission? Outside mirrors? Something to do with brakes? Whatever. I get my picture taken and go sit in the waiting area for it to print and laminate. She calls my name when it was ready and I look at it. It has the proper “N” endorsement but now it says Class BM. Arrrghh…. now what? I flip it over to read the key code and there it is… “M” for motorcycle. One year later I bought my first bike, a brand new 1993 Suzuki GSX 1100-G. I sold it after 7 seasons with only 9,300 miles on it. I was into classic cars and without a bike for 20 years until I bought my current ride, “The Beast” in 2018. Since I no longer have a home-based company vehicle, I get to commute on it putting on lots more miles.
Its great that the DMV Error worked out in your favor – errors like that don’t come too often.
I’m coming up on a year with my Honda and so far have put about 3,500 miles on it. The pandemic has created a situation where I work from home full time so I have to make the most of after work / evening rides (I’m very much looking forward to those again).
Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!
Harley Gurl here and I love milestones. I keep journals and love to mark and keep notes about each milestone in my life. I especially love clocking miles on my Harley, and joined the HOG mileage club just to continue doing that and getting a small patch and pin to mark the miles.
I really enjoyed this post and enjoy your blog.
I love the concept of working towards something and “unlocking an achievement” along the way. The closest thing I could find to that here in PA is a Passport Book for the State and National Parks. I’m looking forward to visiting some of them this spring and having my book stamped – its not as cool as a patch but it will be fun nonetheless.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!
My pleasure! I love posting in my blog also, it is a great way to share, much like Youtube and to me somewhat easier. I cannot wait to get the toy hauler out and venture out to some new spot this year. COVID permitting.
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