Wandering Girl Ryder

Friday, February 6, 2015

February, oh my!

Well, well, well. You know it's been forever when you cannot for the life of you remember your Google password. Yes, my friends, it's been way too long. Adventures have been had, but to recount them now wouldn't do them any justice.

I can't believe it's 2015! Many exciting plans for this year. Hopefully many wonderful new adventures (and blog posts to share)!

A throwback picture from 2011... Nothing's changed, but my boots and Blue's windscreen. Oh, and the addition of a ton of kitsch. I do love kitsch.

Thanks to the wonderful person who took the picture. You know who you are!

Are you on Instagram? @wanderingsofagirlryder -That's where my lazy blogging self has been these last few months. Some new and old pictures can be found there.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Long time no update

I've officially dubbed myself a motorcycle slacker. However, in my slacking time I've been contemplating riding destinations.

Three weeks of not having my bike in my garage has me seriously jonesing. As soon as Blueberry is back home, it's game on! Got some riding to catch up on.


Yoga & coffee on the creek!

That is all...until hell breaks loose when I'm back on 2s.

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dirt Road Cruisin'

There's nothing better than a girl, her motorcycle, and a cup of coffee. Okay, so it would be nice to be able to enjoy the coffee somewhere else besides the end of my drive way, but hey, I know how to compromise...Occasionally.  

It was yet another gusty day in Oklahoma. My road the biggest mess yet, it was time to get out and away from the dust, construction, and tar. I grabbed my keys, camera, biscotti, hopped in the car and skidded out of my driveway. Luck was with me because there was still a tiny strip of gravel to coast on. Tar truck in my rear view mirror, it was time for an adventure. I pretended I was off in jolly ol' England as I drove down the wrong side of the road. Can't believe I forgot my tea.

It was a dirt road kind of day. Dirt roads are awesome. You know, as long as you don't live on one or you have some off-road tires on your bike. These last couple of weeks, my road reminded me of the gravel road that leads to Loveland, OK. My luck, they must have just dumped an extra load of gravel when I had visited Loveland. I do believe those were the longest 5 miles of my life. It's kind of funny, because just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, the county proves you wrong on your own road. My road was worse than the road to Loveland. The town not the land of love, although it would be fitting for that road would be bumpy. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Dirt Roads. Awesome...because there's usually little traffic, old farm houses, and no one can fuss at you for driving like in England or hogging the road. Not that I would do either of those.

I coasted over to Apache and turned by the abandoned dairy barn or warehouse. That's when I found out that Apache is a lot bigger than I gave it credit for. Some pretty cool houses, not like those cookie-cutter houses taking over the world (suburbia and the country side). Speaking of Apache, they now have a coffee shop, that Cache Creek Coffee. Open Mon-Sat for all you coffee junkies in the Apache/Elgin area. I don't know how I managed to bypass it yet again. After I had even remembered to pack my biscotti.

Some of the dirt and gravel roads break Oklahoma's straight road standard. Going 25 mph really puts the world into perspective. Turkey waddle by, donkeys say hi, and you run across people who wander down the road picking wild sage. When I saw the donkeys (the plural ought to be changed to donki), the brakes were slammed. I donkey-whispered it up. The donkey life is hard, yo. Since I couldn't figure out how to fit a donkey in my car, the adventure continued. Graffiti was also found. Apparently there's a graffiti battle on a bridge somewhere out there about who the real savages are. So if you're a real savage, you might want to settle that dispute. And, if you're reading this, read some books and let's see some meaningful quotes. Not that I'm encouraging vandalism, but, hell, if you're already gonna do it, make it art. Think I'll have to leave some philosophy books at the bridge...should I ever find it again.

There may not have been coffee, but I figured cruisin' down dirt roads with my windows down solicited a biscotti. It was officially a biscotti moment. For the law enforcement reading this, no I didn't blow through any small town stop signs...

Eventually I was somewhere I recognized. However, a double wide was being transported in front of me, so I just turned onto the next gravel road I found. It eventually turned into a red dirt road. Before I new it, I was sliding down a bumpy, steep, curvy hill. Half way down I saw a bunny and an awesome cactus (they're blooming by the way). With that no traffic thing, you almost don't have to look behind you when you stop on weird curvy, hilly roads. Love that red dirt found north of Lawton. It's just beautiful! But, I've always had a thing for dirt. Probably the only relationship that's ever been mutual. Don't know how I always manage to get covered in mud. Probably ought to grow up and halt the mud fights.

Main Street in Fort Cobb was buzzing. The cafe was open, there was a town sale, and my time was running out. Cruised past the double-wide transporter stopped for lunch and/or rummaging, and hitched a left (the other left!) to Nowhere. Bought my flame-retardant juice and tried to hook my road tripping buddy up with a bumper sticker. They were all out. My constantly bringing touries out there has finally caused a shortage. However, you can still look at the stop sign without a road. What an attraction, right?

So the whole point of my little adventure was to check out a theater in Carnegie I've been wanting to check out for years! Yeah, years. A while ago I heard that Carnegie was the home of the oldest running theater in Oklahoma. 
AH! Coffee flood! Thank God my computer appreciates coffee as much as I do. Anywho, this theater, the Liberty Theatre, was built in 1915! I know, I was amazed that OK had that kind of technology, too. They still have the original ticket booth, too. Even though, Main Street has some buildings which are abandoned, they still have this flare of the past, back when style was still important and metal shacks weren't considered classy. You can just see the ladies of the 40s and 50s walking down the sidewalk window shoppin' in their pencil skirts. There's this one little town I know of which consists of almost nothing but metal buildings. Taste took some weird turn for the worse over the years, I guess.
Yes, Carnegie was named after the industrialist Andrew Carnegie. I hope he was invited to the town-founding party. I've covered most of the highlights of Carnegie in Thursday's video, but just to recap: Awesome Main Street, Theater, Diner, Newspaper (printing since 1904!), Public Library, and Mural. I love seeing small towns which are still relatively self-sufficient. Where chains haven't pushed out small businesses only to close and force people to drive to the next town for groceries. I'm relatively new to all this social media...stuff. But, as I was browsing Twitter to see if Carnegie had a profile (some small towns do), the only thing I found having anything to do with Carnegie was a news story from February. I'll share it just because I thought it was amusing. Funny that you can be arrested for something in one state that's legal in another state. It's like visiting a different country. Although, this person probably would have experienced some issues elsewhere due to the place of consumption.

The story just mentioned that the police department dispatcher in Carnegie was arrested. Ironic, right? This person was arrested for allegedly smoking pot while at work. I don't know about you, but I feel safe and well informed in the case of an emergency. "Chill out" usually is pretty good advice, though. 

For those of you who loved that 90 degree corner south of Carnegie on hwy 58, I hope you really leaned into it that last time you rode it because it is no more.

I'll leave some pictures in a new Facebook Album!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

It was just a day
a little ways a way
when Blueberry made quite a fray.
I did as most would do
Made many promises so
I could have my way.
I promised love and attention
among much devotion
if only we could have
one last ride.

A sprocket set, a shock, two tires,
two brake pads, and a pulse generator
were promised for later
It still took some fork seals
to seal the deal.

Not to mention that drive chain.

Blue agreed and off we went
to leer at deer and zig zag
through the wildlife.

Our ride was done
No problem was had.
Not one single one.
I rolled down the garage door
with a tear in my eye
while promising "I'll be back, dear."

The weeks roll by,
Life gets in the way
County came by
and took my road away.

That gives me some time
another week would be fine.
A week goes by,
nothing has changed.
Two more fly by
and still everything
has remained the same.
My road is still MIA
I have yet to be back to my dear.

The guilt is just too much
I can stand it no longer.
Plus, the weather is lovely;
It would be such a great day
for a ride.

It's time to man up and go
back to my dear
Slowly I roll up the garage door
and peek in an eye.
"I'm sorry, dear."

I roll Blueberry out
into the light.
Sun shines so bright
it is quite a sight.
There's blue paint
under all that dust!

The tool box is opened
parts are hunted
repair manual dust
is set free with a puff

Sprocket, the cat, administers
advice from the corner
Another peep out of her
and she'll need a coroner
Broom posted near
should Roostzilla appear
Tom Waits is crooning
while Youtube is streaming
repair for Blueberry, my dear.

It was an easy job
or so they said.
I lay flummoxed on the
cold floor, close to tears
trying to think
frustrated and greasy
in need of a drink
when Blueberry gave
me a wink.

It serves me right
after weeks of neglect.
Who was I to think
it would be a fast
and easy fix?

My lesson was learned,
promises shouldn't be made
on a whim.

For your dear will always
know and make you pay
because it's impolite to make
promises you won't retain.

For today, the battle is won.
Dani zero, my dear one.
It's back to life
Back to my finals.
Another week of neglect,
how to gain respect?
Maybe another white lie of
"I'll be back, dear?"

Wanderings of a Girl Ryder

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Where's my road?

So it was lovely day. A day where one just had to pull out the motorcycle and go for a ride. Yup, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and Blueberry was rolled out. Gear was put on and I was ready to rock and roll.

It wasn't until I got to the end of my driveway when I realized that there would be no adventure to be had for there was no road to drive on. It done gone and left. I gazed at the rubble that was once my road with a broken heart. My driveway, and those of my neighbors, was blocked by busted pieces of road. 

Isn't the county supposed to notify you when they decide to tear up your perfectly fine road? Like a letter stating: 

"Dead Resident of the perfectly-fine road, 

Please don't have an emergency requiring hospitalization (or a life) on such and such day because you won't be able to leave until the cows come home.

Those who love to waste tax-payers' money on tearing up perfectly fine roads."

I mean, would that be too much to ask for? I now understand the incentive of a lifted pick-up truck with off-roading tires. Ah, I guess it's the world's way of telling me to get on those repairs.

Happy adventures, and send me a picture!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The closest call of them all

Okay, so that's not entirely true, but I haven't experienced something like it yet. It was a lovely, windy, dusty evening in Oklahoma. And, I took my theoretically garaged Blueberry to school. As luck would have it, my class was canceled due to our classroom having been commandeered by some pay-to-be-in-it society. All those Phi Kappa Phi's and what not. So it was a sign in and split class. Just what I love to drive 25 miles to find out. As I was leaving, someone had started some little conversation that for some odd reason I felt the need to quip in. My two cents were given and not 20 seconds later I was out the door. It was kind of nice, the wind hadn't picked up to the 45 mph wind gusts and it was still light outside. 

I made my way back to the interstate and took my spot on the inside turning lane where people, theoretically, are least likely to turn into your lane. Theoretically. I've had that happen a couple of times before. Not as often as when they're on the inside lane. Some people really need to learn how to drive. All of a sudden those hours and hours of driving school in Germany make sense, but I digress. 

I sorted in behind a little Nissan and off to the interstate we go. And, off the winds were, too. Boy, I haven't ridden in such a gusty gale in a long time. A couple miles down, the car behind me starts to pass just where the speed limit increases. I was about to pass as well. But, as he passed me and the little Nissan, I noticed the deer in my peripheral vision coming from the right.

It all happened so fast, and I have no idea how it all ended so well. I couldn't tell you all that happened other than that my focus was on reaction. That poor deer skipped in front of the Nissan and right into the car that had just passed us. 

Car parts flew everywhere thanks to the wind gusts. And the deer, poor thing!, was airborne. I just remember thinking that it felt like I was in some redneck movie where some rednecks in lifted trucks zip through a yard taking out all the lawn decorations which are rashly ejected from their location. Years of close calls have prepared me well for what happened on Thursday. I was able to monitor debris, the car that hit the deer, the Nissan. It also dawned upon me that other deer might be on their way to the road. Sometimes my multitasking skills surprise me. 

The deer (poor, poor thing) flew up at least 10 feet in the air in the left lane, and flew into my lane, over the Nissan, and into the ditch which would have been right next to me if I hadn't been paying attention.  The Nissan and I pulled over, while cars that had been just slightly behind us all passed. We ran over to the the little black car to make sure the people in there were all right. Their car looked awful, but they were all well and that's all that mattered. The passenger received a major shock; Neither of them had seen what happened since the hood of their car popped up and was basically glued to the windshield. It could have been so much worse for all of us.

Yup, it was a close call. Both the Nissan and the hit car were shocked that I was still alive and well.  Always being observant and swerving really are life savers. Luck sure was a lady. Having all your gear on really adds a little extra sense of security. I didn't have to include a worry session about skin grafting into my multitasking. And, honestly if I had been in a car, I'm not sure I would have been able to avoid everything as well. Being on a bike, when one is paying attention, gives you a whole lot of flexibility.

What shocked me and annoyed me, though, even though I have read about this phenomenon in many psychology textbooks, was that no one else pulled over to check if things were okay. And, we were passed by a whole lot of people. A whole lot. There was day light, so they saw how bad that car looked and not one iota of care was given. Sad.

I'm on the interstate at night on a regular basis, and I tend to see a lot of deer. Judging by how other drivers usually just whiz by, I'd say most people don't pay that much attention. On a similar note:

A little less cell phone and a little more driving, people.

Ah, my biggest pet peeve. Anywho...

In other Wanderings of a Girl Ryder news, as some of you know, I've started a small video series on Youtube all about Oklahoma. Working title is "Oklahoma: It's not as bad as you think it is." As, I said, it's a working title. Maybe I'll change it to something more up-beat like "Oklahoma is awesome because..." Technicalities. Pictures for this video series can be found on Facebook.

As I was stumbling through yet another small cemetery, I met yet another unhappy dog. I seem to be the common factor in dogs' unhappiness. He was big and beautiful. And, not pleased.Of course, it wasn't a big deal until he was guarding my car and I wasn't allowed to touch it.
So I resorted to low threats; I threatened to sick my cats on him.
Looking forward to some wind free days (hahaha, I know) so Project (Color) Madness can continue. Speaking of which, even Medicine Park has gotten some color! I love being inspiring ;)

For you riders, stay safe and continue to pay attention to the millions of things going on around you.

And, for you drivers, do something considerate for your fellow drivers and put down the [I won't get explicit] phone. Thanks! Have an adventurous weekend!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Just a day in March

Know thyself. I'm pretty sure that's a quote somewhere. Well, I do know myself. Knowing myself lets me know that my bike will probably be in the garage for a bit. With this bit of knowledge, I've decided that if I wait for me to get my bike fixed, it'll be a long couple of weeks. Although I have considered it, I will not be sitting in the lounge chair of my office browsing Google Earth while wearing my helmet. When life hands you motorcycle mechanical problems, take a car. Not the ideal situation, but a Plan B is better than no plan. Gotta love Plan B's. 

Figures that I would trade one mechanical problem for another. My little adventure mobile, formerly known as the geek mobile, is making the oddest noises. It wouldn't be an adventure without a little suspense, right? Will the car blow up or won't it? 

Some times life gets a little busy. Getting in an adventure of any sort these days has been a scheduling challenge. I hate having to schedule spontaneity. But, there I was scheduling my spontaneity for a Monday. There would be no work...except that it was a business trip. But, that was it. Who says business trips can't have detours? If you don't take detours, you don't see the occasional eagle chilling on a road post. Sure, some may argue it was a hawk. Who is to say that eagles can't chill on road markers? Were they there? No. So until someone hunts down that immature golden eagle and proves me wrong, it was an eagle. And, I'll swear it on someone's grave until that day. And, after that day because who is to say they found the same bird I saw. Ah, I do love a good debate - when the truth gets blurred and a poker face can get you far. Or maybe that's just when someone debates with me.

I know that probably goes without saying, but dirt roads are so much easier in a car. My dirt road freedom has invoked the pact that all adventure destinations will be found using dirt roads only. Unless there are no dirt roads and I can't convince my car to turn into Wonder Woman mobile and dart me through the sky. Some days my negotiating skills with inanimate objects are worse than others. Pessimists might point out that dirt roads will kill my tires with nails that fall out of farm trucks. But, I just tell 'em that the glass is half full and life is so much more fun when one wears pink sunglasses. Nails in tires...like that's going to happen. And, I'm not even going to let the nail that was stuck in my tire this week prove their point. I'm pretty sure I picked that up on a paved road anyhow. Until someone shows me a GPS marker of where that nail was picked up, it's joining the eagle.

I found myself coasting on the back roads around a lake. No, not the one where bodies allegedly kept popping up. I think I found something more annoying. So there I was on a road that was supposed to lead to an equestrian club and a concession stand. Classy combo, right? Neither were found, but I was tailed by a dog who had his bit down damn well. A stretch of road that would take mere seconds to travel even with the 10 mph speed limit cost me a good half an hour. He'd start at the right corner of the car and circle to the rear. Clear time to hit the gas pedal. Before the thought could be processed and the foot could respond, he'd made his round and sped in front to the right corner again. I thought it was amusing. My business partner found it less amusing. So we progressed down the road one foot at a time one frustrated person, one annoyed dog, and one hysterically laughing person. It didn't help when I thought of the idea to honk the horn. Turned out the dog didn't like that at all. It actually gave him a dose of refreshed energy. After 30 minutes, thirty foot of road, and a gazillion rounds around the car, he lost interest. Just like that. I was slightly disappointed to be dropped like a hot potato for a stupid tree. This would have never happened had he been a cat.

Another plus of taking the car, I can listen to belly dancer/swing dancing singer Sparrow and pieces by Vivaldi and Haydn.Yeah, it didn't really make the whole car thing sound better in my head either.

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Small Trip Down Memory Lane

As I was scrolling through the few files saved from my hard drive...the one with seven years worth of pictures that are now all gone...I came across this picture of me on my 1st bike. Ah, the old FZR. The frustrating times we had. I do, however, fondly remember learning to ride. Zipping through my yard, dust flying. Occasionally taking a grassy turn a tad to fast and skidding through the dust and grass on my back (sometime stomach) shortly followed by my bike, dust and grass also flying. *sigh* Those were the days...before power outages while traveling on the interstate and lights constantly drooping to the ground underneath the bike. That reserve tank was pretty handy, too.
Throwback Thursday...two days late. WeverTF Throwback Thursday is...
Blueberry finally got an oil change! As I lay on the ground one foot clenched to the seat the other pushing against the rear tire while I tried prying off the baked on oil filter I realized that consistency isn't one of my mechanical strong points. Either I'm getting weaker or my bike is getting stronger.  After much pleading, begging, apologizing, and a few explicit terms, the oil filter was finally in my oily hands. When it comes to mechanical and painting hobbies, I've learned that oil and paint are magnetically drawn to me. There is no staying clean. It goes against gravity. Nice to know the universe thought of me while planning out universal laws. Somewhere in between the begging and pleading, probably during the sobbing, I noticed just how much TLC Blue needs. After a couple of rides throughout the week, Blue has been retired to the garage until things get done. *blubbering* On the bright side, I now have an excuse to buy a couple of tools I've been wanting for a while.

So after the five stages of grieving were done, Blueberry and I went to check out an old cemetery on the other side of the Wichita Mountains. I think only a few people know my fascination with old country cemeteries. Well, until now. So anywho, there I was cruising down a dirt road with bumps (those were consistent) the size of surfable waves going somewhere under 10 mph being passed by ratty old farm trucks. Okay, so it was only one ratty old farm truck, but one was enough. I probably could have pushed Blueberry faster. Hm, there's that hindsight again. I was surprised by the cobblestone gate some community members had taken the time to construct. Wind chimes were hanging in the cemetery. Next to the cemetery in Cement which houses a car cemetery right next door, this was the best country cemetery. How nice to have a resting place in such a peaceful setting with such an amazing view of the Wichitas. Speaking of cemeteries, there's one in OK somewhere that states the woman was killed by werewolves or something creepy like that. I think that one and the grave of the horse which played Mister Ed are going to be worth the trip. Moving on to less creepy things...

Lately my rides have been limited to the Wichita Mountains and to school. I'm at the point, schedule wise, that 50 miles is 50 mile no matter if there's a pesky class in between. But, when you're riding around at 10 PM and you tend to freeze to death when temps drop below 65 degrees, 50 miles feels like 50 miles. You don't realize just how airy summer gloves are until you're wearing summer gloves at 10 PM in 30 something degrees because you couldn't find your winter ones. At that point, 50 miles sure does seem like 50 miles. Thankful all my fingers and toes are still functioning. It did make me wonder just how I survived without proper riding gear all those years. Mind over matter, I'm assuming.

In other nonrelated news, I've been working on my other blog Beauty in Oklahoma. If you're interested in local type stuff and all that jazz, check that out. I'll probably be focusing on it a little more while Blueberry is grounded. You'll probably read about my DIY mechanical adventures. Not sure I'm ready for those. Wish me luck and no extra parts.
Fasching is here once again! It's already been another year! I've been offered another short belly dancing spot in the Fasching schedule. Super excited to be part of the 2nd annual Fasching event hosted at Mutti's German Restaurant. Well, I probably ought to go practice my routine considering the Fasching party is tonight.

Until next time,  keep calm and ride on!


This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014