For many of you, 2016 was pretty rough, I however had a pretty good year. I started the year off with a new job that was closer to home and has great benefits. And before the year was over, I was promoted and given a raise.
On the moto-front, I started the year off on a pretty sour note. My previous bike, Bubba, bit the dust in October, and the prognosis was pretty bad. Having run out of oil, almost the entire front cylinder had been worn away, and to fix it I would need to either replace the entire engine, or rebore the front cylinder. Either one presented it’s own monetary challenge and then there was the question of figuring out how the oil had “disappeared”. After a full inspection of my bike no one could tell where oil might have leaked from, and it hadn’t been burning any, so the idea of trying to diagnose that issue was not one I was particularly excited about. I also didn’t want to buy a new bike since I had just bought a car, and wasn’t sure I could budget another payment.
Then fortune struck, my mother (who has always been staunchly against my owning a motorcycle) told me she would give me access to a stash of money she had invested for me, money that she had been holding on to for a big purchase, like a house. She had never let me touch the money before now and I was shocked when she offered. I couldn’t believe that she offered, given how much she hated the fact that I rode. I think she realized how happy motorcycles make me and how important they were to me. We bargained about how much I’d be allowed to use, or would need. With my new found wealth I was could afford a to buy a new moto.
I eventually landed on a 2015 Yamaha Bolt, brand new with 0 miles. I had always loved the way they looked; they were that perfect combination of functional and sexy. I fell in love on the first ride, that first pull back on the throttle, the way the bike responded with the slightest touch. I felt an immediate connection; I knew this was the bike. Fortunately, for a number of reasons (including the fact that it was the middle of February in Utah) I got a great deal on it and stayed well within my budget. It was an indication of the riding season to come.
Braeden and I made a great pair, and he was broken in by the end of March. He was completely different in the way he rode and handled and the first few months weren’t without a fair share of close calls. (One time, I got a little too relaxed and sort of autopiloted until I was almost thrown off when I pulled back a little too hard on the throttle).
I did more riding this year than any other season, riding 10,000 miles before the middle of November. It’s surreal to me, as I don’t feel I rode to that many places, or even really spent that much time on my bike. For most of the season it wasn’t even a conscious effort to hit 10,000 miles. It wasn’t until returned from a trip in August, and realized my odometer had hit 8,500 miles that I started to think about the “big 10,000”. It wasn’t much of a push, by the time I returned from Babes Ride Out (a 1,200 mile round trip), I was only 150 miles off. I of course made a ceremony of it and will certainly write about it at another time.
2016 was a pretty good year overall, through my success at my new job, and the numerous adventures with great friends, I really found myself again. As we cruise headlong into 2017, I am excited to see what this year holds for me. However you felt about 2016, for better or worst it’s over, and now we’re on to 2017. And just like every year, I hope it will be better than the last.