My 60th birthday was on March 16th. To celebrate, I planned to fix Tommy's Ducati and take it to Summit Point to ride during a Ladies Track Day. Riding on a track was something of a bucket list item, and how cool would it be to do it on my son's motorcycle, the last thing he touched. Todd took over figuring out if it was even possible to fix Tom's bike, it was just too hard for me. He came up with all sorts of ideas. A friend of his in Kansas, who used to race and worked on Malcolm Forbes motorcycles in Morocco, had a next door neighbor that needed a project. Rick would help him fix the bike at their cost, let me ride it at the track and then sell it. I was good with that. Todd called Earle, he works on Todd's Ural and specializes in restoration work. He came to our garage to look at the bike. He went over everything, Todd said it was fascinating to watch him. He made a list - the bottom line - the engine was salvageable, the frame was too bent and twisted to use. Todd called Rick and went over the list with him and he concurred. Below is a slideshow of some pictures that Tommy sent me of his bike in California, and of pictures that I took of Brian, Jon, and Jay loading the Ducati into our white truck to take to Brian's. Brian is going to salvage the engine and then we are going to make a garden sculpture out of the frame. I just can't let it go.
So, back to what to do to celebrate my 60th. I have never been bothered by any decade birthday before. Not so with this one. It felt heavy on my shoulders. I think it has something to do with my stepfather's death on Jan. 20th. He was in very good health and the major caregiver for my mother who is not in great health. He was diagnosed with Leukemia just before Thanksgiving and died just before the Blizzard named Jonas. In my mind's eye, I'm still a young woman. When I look in the mirror, I'm definitely an older woman. In my heart, I'm still a kid. My spirit is less impulsive than it used to be, and I hope a little wiser, but still yearns for adventure while simultaneously being a home body. My next thought was to ride to Baja with Rawhyde. That would be next Feb., so I would still be celebrating my 60th because I wouldn't be 61 until the next month. Yes, I know I'm already in my 61st year and yes, I know I'm a nut job - but this ride is also something on my bucket list. Remember, life is short! So that was my plan. Until I saw an ad in the February issue of BMW ON magazine; the very same issue that published my article, "My First BMW". The "Sisters Centennial Motorcycle Ride" - a ride from NY to SF - to honor the first women motorcyclists that rode across the country 100 yrs. ago - the Van Buren Sisters. I looked into it --- I could easily take a week and do the first leg? Todd and I planned to leave for Colorado the end of July for his Navy re-union. It would work. Niner and Barb were in for the first leg. Done. Until I woke up one morning about a month later, thinking to myself, why in the hell are we just doing the first leg of this ride? All the good riding will be out West. We've paid already, the extra cost will be food, fuel, lodging. If we share a room and split 3 ways - hmmmmmm. Then, Patty Duke died. Life is indeed short, I have to do this whole ride, we have to do this whole ride. Patty Duke was Lisa Niners favorite. Lisa strapped her into a helicopter at Ft. Rucker, when Patty was working on the film, "A Time To Triumph". And so, the back and forth, the re-arranging, the talking, the signs, have all led to YES! This is what I am going to do to celebrate being 60 years young. I am going to ride across our country for the 2nd summer in a row. Only this time I will be with a group, with a planned route, honoring not my son, but women motorcyclists. Lisa and Barb are still trying to work out details - fingers crossed. Would be awesome if all three of us could do this together.