Fear This! NOT!

Aren’t you afraid? That’s a question I get asked by a lot of people, especially women when the subject of motorcycles comes up. The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no would do the question justice. But trying to explain this to someone who has never been on a motorcycle or has never raced one around a track is not easy. The answer (in its oversimplified form) is usually along the lines of “I was scared to death when I first learned and almost gave up a few times. You just have to work through it if you want to keep riding. It gets easier with time.”

I have met a lot of people on and off the bike who have told me that the only thing holding them back is their fears, that they would love to learn to ride. I tell them to buy used and go for it. And of course to take a formal beginner’s course to learn the basics and assuage their fears to a more manageable level.

Those of you who know me personally, or have known me online for some time, or have read this blog front to back know: I have an almost crippling fear of public embarrassment. Add to that, an almost intolerable case of “performance anxiety” aka stage fright. I’m alright as long as I am by myself, but add an observer with a clip board or a crowd of people for an audience and I freak the hell out, internally. I have learned to cope with these fears. Motorcycling helped me a lot to overcome the “social phobia” aspects of my fear spectrum. It’s made me more confident overall. I don’t know why. Probably because it takes a certain level of cockiness to keep one’s riding confidence up even when something bad happens or almost happens. Another thing experienced riders know: Loss of confidence leads to more mistakes and ramps up the risk; alternatively overconfidence can also garner disastrous results.

Short and simple: Fear can kill. Especially if your instincts kick in. Many of the higher skilled riders know this. And it isn’t something that is a matter of brawn or testicular fortitude or a lack of life-preservation on the individual’s part. “(S)he’s fucking nuts.” isn’t the explanation. Not really. Not for riders who consistently ride on the edge and manage to keep their machines shiny side up. The nut jobs or crazies, the “fearless”, are separated by the skilled by the wrecks-per-mile-ridden ratio, add to that equation: average speed maintained. Simplified (overly), but true in essence.

Crashing is part of the high-speed game. We are human, we will screw up; our machines may experience mechanical failures at the worst possible moment; somebody else’s crash may entangle and cause loss of control. Every time you ease the clutch out you are putting your life on the line. This risk is compounded on the street. The track, even with sometimes insane corner speeds and massive lean angles, is still the safer place to be with less risk of a wreck causing loss of life; also the severity of injuries sustained is usually less than those incurred on the street. It’s a controlled environment, everyone’s going the same direction, there are “rules of engagement”, there are people watching and informing the riders of hazards, and the entire racing surface and surrounding areas are designed and built to minimize risk to rider and machine. Yes, riders still die. Yes, riders still get severely injured. However, more often than not they walk away with nothing but a few bruises and a hurt ego. Different game on the street altogether. But that stuff really is for another blog post.

Honda CBR600RR

The CBR and I do not get along: I had an incident in a corner that made the rear step out on me and I almost lost the bike, but was able to save it. However, it robbed me of my confidence and I couldn't bring myself to trust the bike, but made myself ride it for two more sessions anyway in an effort to overcome this silly fear that was robbing me of my confidence in my riding skills and hence killing my speed and introducing more rider errors in the process.

Let’s refocus on fear. Aren’t you afraid? Yes, sometimes. When I first started learning I was so nauseous every time I put on my gear to ride, I was on the verge of vomiting. My whole body felt like it was shaking on the inside and I seemed to be slightly short of breath. But I managed. I had to work through it, because I had to get to work and the motorcycle was my ticket. I had no excuse to chicken out and take the car. Not a luxury I had at my disposal. And I’m glad for it, because I probably would have quit on several occasions had the bike been just a choice. Eventually my skills progressed through constant education and skill training that the fear became less and less until one day I noticed that I wasn’t afraid at all anymore. Riding had become like driving was for me. Nothing but a thing, until something happened, of course. And that’s where all that skill practice paid off, in emergency situations. Yes, I had to pull over after some close call and calm my after-incidence nerves and racing heart to be able to safely continue on my way a few minutes later, after my blood pressure normalized. Now, I don’t even stop anymore. I process and deal with the aftermath of close calls as I keep on going down the road. I am now usually more angry than I am afraid. Sometimes, especially when riding fast or practicing cornering, trying something new or screwing something up which I then have to correct, I still feel the bile of fear rising inside, but I suppress it. I know I can’t afford to lock up. I postpone it until later. That is something I have learned from my own crash. Instead of being more afraid to ride, I am actually more in control of my natural responses that come with fear. I can recognize it sooner and halt the process before my brain tells my body to do something stupid, like getting on the brakes hard while leaned over in a corner already close to the edges of my traction envelope; or snapping the throttle shut, or staring at the very thing that I’d like to avoid. All these are normal human reactions to the stress caused by imminent danger (perceived or real). Our survival instincts kick in and our brain wants to do what it thinks will preserve our life, running purely on instinct; but on a motorcycle all those intuitive reactions are mostly wrong.

Overcoming fear and doing the right thing to keep the motorcycle from crashing is an acquired skill. It is learned behavior. It is muscle memory and applicable knowledge overriding our fears to enable us to give the machine what it needs to do its thing to keep us out of trouble. It takes knowledge in the physics involved in the sport and it takes repetitive training to overcome our natural impulses to save our skin.

My husband once told me, after seeing me run through some twisties on my Hayabusa in northern Georgia, that I make it look so easy and that this is the very fact that scares the hell out of him. He said I looked fearless. He said that sometimes I was leaning so hard he thought I’d drag tailpipe (a sign of things to come?) He said I was so fast he couldn’t even comprehend it and he’d been riding for seven years. I laughed and told him that I almost crapped myself on several occasions when I screwed something up or thought I was going in too fast, was too hard on the brakes, going off line, or forgetting to look through the turn, or simply fixating on one of my reference markers for far too long.

Fear is inevitable in motorcycling. To one degree or another we all experience it on more or less frequent occasion. The only thing you can do to combat your fears and minimize the effect they have on the probability to get yourself out of trouble unharmed: Work through them, armed with knowledge and application of skill. There are plenty of good books on the subject and formal skill training is also available for different skill levels.

Suzuki GSX-R600

I'm a Gixxer girl. The GSX-R600 is but a baby Hayabusa. I'm used to it, I put over 17K miles on the clock riding a Hayabusa. I trust this machine, I know what it needs, know what it is telling me. I'm much more confident here, as is evident by my body position. Not as tentative, more focused on the task, rather than the machine.

Fear should not be crippling, fear should be a tool you use to gauge your progress, pinpoint your weaknesses, and let it be the governor to modulate the inherent human tendency to engage in squidly (unsafe, ill-advised but oh-so-fun) behaviors. Does “let’s see what she can do?” sound familiar? Fear can lead to a definite savings in road rash and touch-up paint if you can manage it properly and use it to your advantage.


The Dingleberry Chronicles: Today Is A Good Day To Die! NOT!!!

Good freaking GAWD! What the HELL is WRONG with you people!!!! Learn how to drive you motherhumpers! Now, with that out of the way, maybe I can calm down. ARRRGH! Ok, maybe now. SHIT! Nope, still not there. Gawd-freakin’-dammit I am not ready to be a grease spot on the expressway! FUCK! Ok. I think I got it. *inhales deeply, then exhales slowly*

I narrowly escaped being sideswiped by some fucktard in a full-sized pickup truck! I suppose the necessity of him making his exit was more important than my life. I couldn’t believe it. I was in the right lane on the 45-mph starting section of the Calhoun Expressway. I was rolling at a pretty good clip, so there’s no way I annoyed some speed demon on four wheels who is late for whatever-the-hell. I knew he was there, but didn’t expect him to speed up and cut me off to make the exit ramp that I was inconveniently blocking with my soft tissue and plastic parts. I can still see it, first the wheel caught my attention, then my vision came partially blocked by this huge front fender. I could make out the details of his headlight and turn signals. The chrome bumper with the black accent trim. Red. A nice red. Like a fire truck. My reverie (WTH woman?!?) is interrupted by the realization that if nothing happens here, our vectors will intersect very shortly, resulting in my Beemer’s nose being buried in his front wheel and me probably being high-sided into the left lane or even into the concrete divider, or worse, over it. My brain ceases all higher function. Snap! I realize that my throttle is being ripped wide open by my hand, I notice in amazement the bike quickly diving right then straightening back out as the S1000RR hurls itself forward. It’s like I’m watching myself from the inside, but using somebody else’s eyes. A discernible detachment. Like a first-person perspective, but not my own. As I realize that I have narrowly escaped (I don’t ever want to find out how close I came to certain death today) I experience snapping back into my body, I let go of the throttle, crank my torso around to my right and give the asshole, who is now making his way down the off-ramp, an enthusiastic one-fingered wave. Then I lose myself again. I faintly notice that my heart is hammering hard against my chest. I swear I can actually hear its staccato-like beats. My hand returns to its place on the throttle grip and I run. Run for my life. I can’t stop, I take the first curve of the expressway at almost knee-dragging speed. I’m not sure how fast I am going, but I’m sure it’s a little over the speed limit, which has increased to 55 mph. I think I’m going to throw up. I slowly return to myself and get my throttle hand under control and center myself back on the bike. I am surprised how quickly my systems return to normal, but my spirit is still preoccupied with the what ifs. I’m still feeling a little weak in the stomach. A few miles down the road, a wind gust picks up my front tire and sets it down slightly to the left. Holy crap! I don’t need THIS right now. I really don’t. As I make my way through a curve, another gust hits my broadside and the bike feels like it is being picked up. The suspension partially unloads on BOTH ends! How the hell is THAT possible? I’m running wide but compensate by more lean and a pinned throttle. Now I’m on the verge of having one of those girly freakouts. I’m putting as much weight over the front end as I possibly can without actually sitting on the tank and continue on. I need comfort food! Now! I decide to get back on the Interstate and hit a Mickey D’s at a nearby exit. I hate Mc Donald’s, but for some reason it is where I need to be. I need cookies, hot chocolate and some nasty fries. As I accelerate up the ramp and crest the top while merging left, another gust of wind hits me with full frontal force and causes my front end to get extremely light. I’m still on the gas, and no doubt have no contact on the front wheel. As I go over the crest of the ramp and into the traffic lanes I feel like I’m flying. Literally… I think I just caught some air, consequently I also end up in the left lane a heck of a lot quicker as anticipated. Luckily that is where I was headed anyway and there was no traffic to give me a second chance to kill myself today. I’m sick of this. I want to be off this cursed rocket and want to stuff myself with gross fast food.

It’s amazing what muscle memory can do for you to save your ass when your brain has gone bye-bye on a personal holiday. Thanks be to the God of Speed and his most faithful followers, who by printed word, formal instruction, and video tutorial have taught me well. If it wasn’t for you, I’d surely would have been on my way to transcend, to cross over with John Edward, to push up daisies, to meet my maker, to take a dirt nap, to enter the Underworld,…

Today was not a good day to die.


Philosophize This: Life is Crap.

Seriously. How can everything be looking so bright one moment and not nary a half a day later be so damned dark and foreboding. Ok, it’s not THAT bad. Give me a little artistic license here, will you? After I just went on and on about how you can’t take no for an answer in life. After saying that, no matter what, you need to just keep pushing at it. Have I already forgotten my own lesson? Ah! In the moment of weakness. Bleary and hopeless. It’s not even anything the world has done to me. Really. I am (again) frustrated by my own limitations, and depending on how severe I perceive such limitation to be, the harder my happy-go-lucky attitude falls on its ass. So I moan and groan, I mope around, feel sorry for myself, then I take a nap. The world looks different after a nap. Maybe I was just exhausted (I’m having a problem with fatigue lately) or maybe I just had one of those “moments of the female kind” (I’m having a problem with mood swings lately, too). When my brain is wide awake and ready to roll and the body says “Fuck You!” I get a little irritated. And when this happens to me in rapid succession with three different things, I get positively annoyed and am ready to make anyone in a 50-foot radius suffer the consequences. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! The Wrath of Busa. I’ve been dealing with mood swings, fatigue, and irritability since last winter (just to mention a few of the things that are plaguing my general happiness). First I thought the family drama that was going down at that time, had me singing the Blues. Eventually, I went — begrudgingly, I might add — to see my doc. After explaining what I was going through, he put me on an antidepressant, which I took myself off of not too long ago. I kept telling him, I’m not depressed. I’m fucking happy! Or I should be, but I can’t enjoy my life, because I’ve no energy, that I am so fatigued that all I can do most days is work and sleep (never mind eating). He doubled my dosage, I flushed the crap down the toilet three days later. I think this to be hormonal. Yup. My doctor told me (at an earlier visit) that this is normal for a woman my age (and the treatment is the same, hence the antidepressant) WTF? Dude, you are so not helping. That right there makes me wanna go perimenopausal on your heinie! But I digress…

My Kryptonite: Three personal failures in a row. My fragile ego can’t handle that. I get my proverbial panties in a wad, and it takes me a while to de-wedgie and find my balance and inner peace again and with that the usual can-do attitude returns as well. I’m also my own worst critic, deathly afraid of public embarrassment, and way too shy. (Quit laughing in the back, I heard that!) I make myself do stuff despite my fears and paranoid premonitions, but I also beat myself up over not being perfect. I don’t go into something unprepared. I bone up. I hate surprises and the unknown. I want to know what’s coming. Be mentally and emotionally prepared for it. Be ready. So when the time comes, my educated brain can tell my wimpy heart to go stuff it and I am then free to do what needs to be done. That’s how I roll. I also avoid doing things on my own. Hubby (and some of my friends) call this ‘avoidance strategy’ of mine by its proper name: attack of the common sense. I am frustrated by that, too. That means I have to wait. I’m a “NOW” person. When I have worked something out in my head, I need to put it into action, translate it into physical application. And practice. I’m an academic rather than a hands-on person. Manual stuff takes me forever to learn and frustrates me easily. It makes me feel stupid. I don’t like that feeling. I really don’t. Luck would have it then that motorcycling is 90% mental, huh? So here we are. I took the long way around, but now you know a little about what makes me tick (or ticks me off). Some of the reason behind why I do the things I do and why most of what I do seems backwards to other people. My husband is frustrated by the way I work. He pisses me off the way he does things. We never wrench together. It’s risk management. We’d be throwing tools at each other in no time and probably end up having a knock-down drag-out brawl in the driveway. His riding style makes me have an almost equal reaction. *Ba Dam — Ching* However, it’s a blast to wash bikes with him, especially when I’m holding the hose. =D

I will put them out there now, the three failures that derailed me and made for a shit day:

  1. 9K race starts freak me out, so do burnouts. I can do either, kinda-sorta, in a sissified version of the real thing, but  I can do neither full-on. I know how to execute, my brain knows and tells my muscles what to do. But I choke. Inhibited for some reason unbeknownst to me. This pisses me off. It’s like the wheelie thing. Not that anybody believes me, but I can’t do a wheelie on purpose. I cannot. I tried. Something inside clicks and that’s that. Muscles will not respond to synaptic input. Same with drifting around corners. Another good example. I can do these things when I’m not planning on doing them. When they happen in the matter of course, I deal to correct, enjoy, and carry on, all the while hollering and screaming inside my helmet, grinning from ear to ear, like a madwoman. I see this as a limitation. Mastery, by definition, requires execution upon demand. #FAIL
  2. I can’t change a tire. I’m not strong enough, don’t have enough ass. I know how to do it, but can’t. Again, I have to wait on somebody to help me. I hate that! Not that I mind help when I’m learning, I appreciate it and embrace any advice and instruction given. I prefer it one-on-one though. I don’t want to learn something new with a bunch of people standing around watching my every move. Goes back to the burnout/race start practice. Husband tells me to go to the track and learn it, people there don’t mind helping the fresh meat out, and nobody is going to make fun of you, if you screw up. You’re learning. Not just no, but hell no! No can-do. Won’t. Will not. It’s hard enough to do something I’ve practiced in front of an audience for the first time. I’ll be so nervous I’ll throw up in my mouth and won’t be able to keep my hands from shaking. But others won’t see that, because I’ve learned to cover it up. Probably another reason why people think stuff comes easy to me and that I’m such a daredevil. But, as always, I digress: Here I have this Metzeler RaceTec K3 rear tire, half off its rim, laughing at me. Taunting me. Sitting there as a testament to two of my most recent of personal failures. At least it has no chicken strips! There’s that. I’m hot. I’m sweaty. I’m getting tired and I must have missed a small, but important detail. However, the more YouTube videos I watch of dudes just getting that second bead started with one tire iron and then popping the whole damn thing off the rim with one swift one-armed jerk like there is nothing to it, the more pissed off I get. aRRgh! And I managed to put two nicks in my rim, even after being so careful and taking proper anti-scratch precautions. And here I was still feeling all good about myself because I had just taken one item of my “Unable To Do That Shit” list: Getting the bike on its stands by myself. That had always freaked me out and yeah, it meant a lot when I was finally able to pull it off on my own without any help whatsoever. So, I’ve wrestled with that piece of infernal rubber off and on all afternoon and the bike sits, dismantled with tools and parts laying about, on my back patio waiting on my husband to bail us out. Every once in a while I go look at it and give it the finger. The thought has occurred to me just to cut the blasted thing off with tin snips. meh. I need to go back to the gym AND get a tire iron with more leverage and a bigger curve at the end. Those rim protectors everybody who reviewed them said were shit will also be procured. See… now that I’ve had a nap, stuff is looking up already and I’m back to trying to solve my problem rather than getting jaded by it.
  3. Finances. Apparently, I suck at them. I hate paying bills, that’s why they are all set to pay themselves automatically. I don’t even want to look at my account balances. Every time I do, it depresses me. It makes me feel like I’m spinning my wheels (no pun intended, re: Fail #1), no matter how cheap we get, there’s always someone who needs to get paid who then resets the savings to zero. It hurts to see my racing fund dwindle. Because with that, I equate the possibility that my dream is not even that, but rather a definite improbability. I know it’s stupid to think that way. My intellect gets that. My heart, however, missed the memo. So, I defeat my own self by just ignoring it all, because I don’t want my mood ruined, but that makes it worse, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t make it worse, it definitely  doesn’t help, that’s for sure. In this case, I need to correct a misaligned attitude, a false sense of perception to the possibility of things. But it’s hard to let this one go. Because I know — I have what it takes (not yet obviously, but I have a damned good foundation to build upon) — but look at the lack of progress in fattening up what I dubbed “The Racing Fund” as just another piece of evidence that I really am off my rocker to even entertain the notion in the first place. The old tendency to “be happy with one’s lot in life and not to aspire beyond one’s station” and with that comes the “who cares, I’ll never make it anyway attitude”. Self-defeatist bullshit, to say the least. It’s a hard one to cope with though. Probably the hardest. As with #1 and #2, I eventually will adapt and overcome. I always do. My need for instant gratification is pretty much the reason why I get down on myself when stuff like this happens. I am a perfectionist, which doesn’t help matters either, but I’m getting better.

Way too deep on way too shallow an issue. Such is the life of a woman entering “The Years of The Bitch”. I really would hate to be my husband for the next, say, two to eight years.


Evasive Maneuvers

Miss Busa and The Fat Lady

Miss Busa & The Fat Lady: We are cute and innocent. Well, ok, innocent. Totally harmless. How can a girl in a Hello Kitty shirt possibly be dangerous? Look she's got pink stickers on her bike. Totally harmelss. We even look slow. We only take it to the limit. Right there and no further. Pinky swear. 😉


Since I have nothing better to do than write about the ride, let me recount this little marvel of a tale. Wouldn’t before, since I still had this little traffic court thing hanging over me like the Fog of War in a mismatched RPG battle; and my license tag coincidentally spells out the domain name (for the more inquisitive mind) of my blog, which in turn holds all the unforgiving evidence in digital print, photographic and videographic form of the workings of Miss Busa’s criminal mind; like a cracked, filthy bedroom wall holds the beloved pieces of the shrine erected to honor a serial killer’s next victim… so does this blog give testimony to…. WAIT A MINUTE!

<!– With my newly attained legal skills I would like to state for the record: I would like to assert, at this time, that the content of this blog. — May it please the court, the definition of a ‘blog’ is as follows: Blog is Internet jargon for web log, which is akin to an online journal or diary for exhibitionist folks like myself. — that the content of this blog is all fabrication and lies! It is strictly for entertainment purposes only, and as such, needs a proper legal disclaimer, which was added as of now. Further, I am a pathological liar even when I tell the truth. A picture is worth a thousand untrue words and a staged video is worth a thousand untrue photos. I have 2x2x2 words for you: Tabloid journalism, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Premiere. –>

I was out riding, enjoying a nice spring day in March, in full race gear (gotta stretch that damn cow hide, it’s still stiff and it’s getting on my nerves), minding my own lane space and not particularly paying attention to the instrument cluster, which is part of the reprogramming efforts of breaking my recently developed love affair between the gauges and my eyeballs. So it does not surprise me that my pleasant ride is rudely interrupted by the annoying flash of blue lights and a quick blip of a police siren. Shit! I look at my gauges. 70 indicated in a 45. Motherfrakker! Not again. And not just one cop, but two: a Sheriff and what looks like State Patrol, but I can’t be certain. What the hell is this? Somebody put out the fresh donut sign? Gawd! Not again! I instinctively slow down while I’m cussing up a storm inside my helmet and keeping track of the two units in my mirrors. Hell no! I am so not stopping! I’m not… shit! I have to! No. You should. Ah, fuck this; gawd, you’re such an idiot, shit! Stop! Get the hell out of here. Don’t stop! OMG! There’s traffic behind me and they slow, obviously looking for a place to turn around to follow me. What the hell is wrong with you? They already caught you going what? 63 in a 45? I accelerate back to my previous speed of 70 indicated. The road is sweeping curves, so I lose sight of the cops fairly quickly. My heart is entering a state of arrhythmia. I have to fight the constant impulse to speed up. My brain is going into overdrive. Holy shit! You’re fleeing. You are now risking an evasion charge on top of going something like 18 over. My anxiety rears its ugly head, so now I’m feeling shaky on the inside in addition to the pounding in my chest and the racing staccato of my brain.

I formulate a game plan… a girly one at that: “I didn’t see you, officer. I would have stopped. By the time I did see you behind me, I couldn’t find a safe place to pull over. No officer, I don’t know how fast I was going, I was practicing a riding skill I have developed problems with. What?!? OMG! You can’t be serious. {at this point I break down in sobs and then start bawling for all it’s worth}. My husband… is…. *sob* so going to….to…*sniffle*… to… oh no…*hangs head* going to be so mad…. at me. *wail*”

I round the last sweeper and am faced with a line of three cars waiting for a newly erected traffic light to change to green. Gawd! Just my luck. I briefly consider making a run for it through the gravel that will soon be a dedicated right turn lane. I dismiss the thought after the visual my logical mind is sending me of a Hayabusa laying on its side with me getting put in cuffs and stuffed into a police cruiser shortly thereafter. I envision myself sitting in a holding tank with a bunch of ugly, fat hookers… at least I’d have my knee pucks for when the jailer comes around… Not good, can’t explain that one away to leave reasonable doubt. While I wait behind the cars, I’m practically staring in my mirrors just waiting to see the coppers put in their flashy, wailing appearance. I’m so nervous, I’m tapping my foot. Oh please, oh please, change to green, I gotta get out of here. I’m starting to sweat. Bullets. The light finally turns, my erratically beating heart is still hammering the inside of my ribcage and my fingers are starting to feel numb. I can’t stand to wait any longer and squeeze by the car in front of me, while he’s waiting for cross traffic to clear. I execute my right turn, and rip it with one last look over my shoulder. No cops in sight, still. Good. My brain still racing, my eyes still searching to the rear. I can’t stay on this road, it’s five lanes, too much traffic and straight as hell, I have got to get out of here. I spot a dump truck to my left. Without so much of a thought I whip it into the suicide lane and execute a quickie left, using the dump truck as a shield. Looking over my shoulder, the rear is still devoid of my friends in gray or blue.

This concludes the evasion. I made two unobserved random turns before the chopper’s in the air. But my nerves are shot. My mental constitution borders on paranoid now and it’s not getting any better. A pickup truck pulls out in front of me and I freak out. Holy crap! Come on, man! He’s going incredibly slow, or so it seems. I got to get the hell out of Dodge! I grip it and rip it and pass him in a no-passing zone. Add one more count to the growing list of infractions. I can’t cope any more, I’m using all my remaining willpower to do the speed limit. Wouldn’t do me no good now to get noticed by some other cop on his way to that imaginary donut shop for a shot of java and a creme-filled whatchamacallit. I take the next available right. Hey, I know this road. Nine more miles of zig-zagging and I arrive at my house, fully expecting the cops to sit there waiting for me. (“Yes, Miss Busa, we know where you live. You are known, and now you are also wanted.”) More paranoia, I remind myself. I pull into my driveway, put the kickstand down, practically jump off The Fat Lady with a half-twist and yank the Bike Barn’s cover over her in one smooth motion, then sprint to my front door, punch in my code and enter in a hurry and slam the door shut. After disarming the alarm, I rip my helmet off, fall to the floor and dissolve into a mad case of the hysterious giggles and the laughter of the kind you will only hear from the insides of padded cells at the insane asylum. Haha! Take that coppers! Woooohooooo! What a rush! Way to stick it to the man! Yeeeehaaaw! Good gawd, I’m mad! Maaaaaaaaad, I tell you! After I calm down, I drag myself to bed to catch my breath and relax and promptly fall asleep in my gear. This much stress is exhausting. Being a fugitive criminal is exhausting. I sleep the sleep of the weary, a three-hour paranoia-induced coma.

Officer M. wasn’t lying about the non-pursuit policy that is in effect in the two counties that I frequent on an almost daily basis. I feel like they could have had me at the traffic light, but I have to assume they aborted as soon as it was clear to them that a.) they couldn’t turn around to follow me quickly enough, and b.) I wasn’t going to pull over.

“He who pulls over gets the ticket.”

~ Officer M. (whose wife made him sell his GSX-R1000 and is condemned to riding a Harley when on duty)


Ditching Plans Leads To A Preoccupation With Ditches

[First off: Everybody is ok, no body(work) got hurt. Nothing happened. Other than left-over pizza.]

I’m an asshole, and what follows I had coming.

Went on a ride with hubby yesterday. Was beautiful. Gorgeous weather, sunny, low 70s, awesome. Spring is in the air. FINALLY. Needless to say, on a day like this, a girl can only keep the right wrist under control for so long before she starts getting antsy. We’re cruising along, I’m in the lead. I’m sure hubby just wants to target-fixate on my ass while we’re out enjoying ourselves, for no other reason. He’s always complaining about ‘having to keep up’, that his bike just can’t, or some such thing. Should trade that Kaw in for a Zook if it’s that much of a problem, but then what am I going to do with my junk when we go on trips? After all, I can’t be bothered with it, luggage corners like crap and introduces drag. ;P Anyway, at one point I’m getting bored with the traffic and decide to pass the three-car caravan that’s hindering my progress. They’re going speed limit +5, but I hate looking at cages, I like the view of the open road better… I’d rather have them look at my ass, too; at least for the five seconds they have to make out any of the details. I bide my time, until I come upon a nice little straight stretch of road, coast is clear, no intersections, and I rip it. After overtaking the cars, I take my time slowing back down, this is way too much fun and the road is still devoid of traffic, which means no cops either. I slow back down to speed limit +10. Hubby is nowhere to be seen. Where did he go? I thought he was right behind me. Oh well, he knows where we’re going and there’s construction on the dam, so he’ll be catching up in no time. He does. We turn into the visitor’s center parking lot and take a few moments to enjoy the nice weather. Perfect, really. We sit on the wall, just hanging out when we both decide we’re starving and need to go find a place to eat. Ah, we should really eat at home, but we’re both too lazy to cook. With that, the suggestion of popping a veggie lasagna in the oven is dismissed. What’s one more time, eh? I’m slowly eating my way out of what hubby calls my ‘Turbo Fund’. After being a girl about it and changing my mind like five times we settle on the ‘Mellow Mushroom’, a groovy little chain pizza joint, with a few great vegetarian options for me, because most of the other places are on the wrong side of town and hubby doesn’t feel like practicing using the friction zone three miles down Washington Road. We pull out, I’m in the lead yet again, we end up behind a gaggle of cars, and I change the plan. I decide to go through the Sumter National Forest for a quick little detour. Of course, two of the cars in front of me have the same damn idea. Shit. Now, I’m not about to let these people ruin my run through the loop going the speed limit. No. No. No. I pass them in a no-passing zone (but the whole damn road is one ‘huge we-had-a-surplus-of-yellow-paint’ stupid no-passing zone) and get my two-wheeled groove on. I usually do 70-80 through here, since that’s a nice little compromise between going to jail and still getting enough lean angle in the curves to actually know you’re leaning. I’m taking it easy today, because I’m not wearing my leathers. I don’t feel right when I don’t wear my chest/back protector and my leathers. Kind of mellows me out, I suppose. I figure Joe knows the route and instead of waiting for him at the one turn-off the loop has, I keep going. Big mistake. But I come to that. When I get to the place where the loop hooks back up to the main highway I left earlier during my change of plans, I pull to the side, stick it in neutral and wait for hubby to put in an appearance. As the minutes tick by I’m starting to get worried. 15 minutes later I’m sending texts and am trying to call him. Nothing. Of course, that would be appropriate, since he’s on his bike. My worry deepens into a nervous fear and my initial ‘he must have missed the turn-off’ changes into visions of him crashing. I keep telling myself that this is paranoia, since he is a good rider, has years of experience (unlike me) and is safety-minded. He must have missed the turn. Now I’m torn between backtracking and staying put. Two people trying to find each other while moving around hardly ever works out. But after five more minutes of that, I can’t contain myself any longer. The paranoia is getting the better of me. I finally realize I can check on his position using my BlackBerry with Google Latitude, I get my phone back out and load it up. It puts his ‘dot’ on I-20. WTF? I keep checking, but it’s not moving. That can’t be right. Maybe it’s an accuracy thing. I check my own ‘dot’, no it’s fairly accurate for me. It puts me pretty much where I am. Now the paranoia is latching onto the fact that his position isn’t changing. Shit. He’s in a ditch somewhere! All reason overridden, I hop on the bike, make a u-turn and head back the way I came. I’m hauling ass. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down. I keep checking for signs of a wreck… I keep fighting the thought with reason, not very successfully, I might add. By the time I get to the 90-degree corner I’m in 2nd gear doing 35. Shit, girl! Get yourself under control. I make my way, at a more reasonable speed, to the aforementioned turn-off and pull over to the edge of the road. I get my phone back out to check if Joe’s responded to my messages to let me know where he’s at. Nothing. Nada. Shit! I send two more desperate messages. They don’t go through. Crap. Of course, it finally dawns on me that there wouldn’t be any coverage in a national forest; but only after paranoid visions of a trashed BlackBerry in the grass, cracked blank screen… Get it together, girl! You are NOT making any sense. My paranoia of a dead hubby is alternated with visions of him being red-hot mad at me for violating the rule of ‘you wait where you turn off’. I had fucked this up royally by assuming he knew the loop and where to turn. He’s done it once and we were going the OTHER way. I sit there contemplating whether to turn left and backtrack to ‘last known good’ or to turn right to see if he’s missed the turn, or to wait. Waiting, I’ve proven isn’t working. Turning left is paranoia. With that I put the bike in gear and turn right. I can’t keep it together any longer, I’m bawling. I’m passing people, I’m doing 90+ in a 45. For once, I’m not worried about cops. I don’t give a shit. I’m mad at myself, for causing me to be in this situation to begin with and I’m scared as hell. Bring it on, coppers! Maybe you can help me find the only person in my life who really matters to me. I’ll gladly pay for your services in the form of a speeding ticket later, but first FIND HIM! I realize my brain’s still addled, so I try to not pay any mind to my head, but then I realize my stomach is in knots and I’m on the verge of throwing up. This is not the good kind of adrenaline, either. Damn it! I’m doubling the speed limit and can’t even enjoy it. I make it to the convenience store where I hope to find my husband, mad as a hatter, but very well alive with not a scratch on his bike. I circle, but don’t see him. Fuck! I pull into a parking space and get my phone out once again. I call him. Finally, I hear his voice: “Hello there!” He doesn’t even sound pissed, I think to myself, as I come to the realization of what this means! I’m happier than I don’t know what, the stress surges from my body, and I barely suppress the urge to get off the bike and do a lunatic happy dance in front of a bunch of innocent bystanders. “Where are you” – “At the Mellow Mushroom.” I sigh in relief, and reply: “I’ll be right there.” With that I hang up, shove my phone back in its holster on my belt and peel out of there like a shot. Now I’m in a hurry to see him. Good gawd, woman. Get your hormone levels checked, the mix may be running a tad bit testosterone rich.

Once I get to the ‘Shroom, we have palaver. Hubby’s rightfully pissed, but he contains his displeasure with my latest foible. He was apparently going through a similar experience than I was. He was checking ditches, too. ☹ And also states, that with the way I ride, he’s got more reason, too. Ouch! He also is not happy, because he ended up going several clutch-hand cramp-inducing fun-miles on Washington Road to get to the joint. Then he pauses. “What the hell were you doing going 130 on a backroad?!?” I’m dumbfounded; he is obviously referring to my passing those three cars on the road to the dam. “Uh.” – He still looks at me sternly, waiting for my answer with that “and it better be good” air of anticipation. I find my spunk: “How the hell would you know how fast I was going?” He still looks at me and I think I might have overstepped it here, considering the discussion we’ve just had, which ended in me apologizing and sitting there kind of glum and guilt-ridden, sipping on my diet pop. Then he does that thing, he does… it’s in his eyes mostly, and I know we’re cool again, as he says, still stern of voice, but his game’s up. “Because I was doing 115 and you were still pulling away from me.”

Gawd, I love this man! (even tho he’s slo)

“There’s no fucking way I can keep up with you on that bike of yours! Good gawd, woman. I dropped two gears and was all the way open and thought to myself: “Ya right, forget it.” I smile at him sweetly. Then decide to add insult to injury: “I was in 5th, buddy, 5th.” =D

A lesson learned in riding etiquette. Definitely.

Within perfect trust

He gave her the gift of speed.

Now he can’t catch her.

#senryu #MissBusaHT #progression #gift @TaildManx #veritas


The First Year: 13828 Miles & A World Apart

A Taste Of The Inevitable: First Blood
The only experience I’ve had on two wheels was in 1989, when I practiced figure-eights in first gear on my boyfriend’s Kawasaki 900R, the very first generation Ninja. In retrospect, I cannot believe he actually let me ride it at all, let alone practice going around in tight little circles. His bike had this awesome midnight-blue metallic custom paint job with an airbrushed tank graphic. It was a warrior’s muscular forearm holding some sort of weapon. Also, I am surprised I didn’t lay it down. He apparently taught me clutch and throttle control and counterbalancing first. Don’t know. I rode bitch with him a lot; and boy, let me tell you, he was a giant squid with a capital S (not that I knew what a ‘squid’ was back in the day.) He rode pretty much like he drove his Mazda 929: Like a freakin’ maniac. I had nightmares about his driving. He was bad, but on the bike, I kind of enjoyed the rush (most of the time) of his obvious aggression. My dad didn’t like me riding on his bike at all, but when he found out about me trying to get my motorcycle license while I was still in driving school for the car, he told me in no uncertain terms he’d rather kill me himself than see me getting hurt on a motorcycle. That was the end of it. I wanted to learn how to ride, but I didn’t have the money to continue pursuing this particular venue. Licensing in Germany is rigorous and hugely expensive. The motorcycle license is also graduated, so I wouldn’t have been able to ride my boyfriend’s 900 anyway. I don’t know why I thought I could keep this a secret from the parental unit. Doh! I was mad at him for a while. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let me do this, since he owned and ridden motorcycles when he was younger.

GPZ900R

The first generation Ninja: The Kawasaki GPZ900R

Fast-forward 20 years…

A Lifelong Dream Fulfilled: Owning An American Legend
Today is my first riding anniversary. One year as a biker chica. Today a year ago I bought my first bike: a 2008 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Low. Hubby and I were running around town and I told him that I wanted to go back to the Harley dealership to sit on the bikes again. I didn’t dream I would be the proud owner of a motorcycle a short four hours later. Hubby rode it home for me after we sealed the deal, because I had no clue whatsoever about how to ride one of these things. There was only one thing I was certain of: having the feet stretched out before my body made me cringe. It was explained that I prefer ‘mid-controls’ and a ‘standard riding position’. Our sales person was awesome. He listened to me talk and carry on about this and that while I parked my bum on pretty much most everything they had sitting on the floor and helped me figure out what bike would be right for me. They had just gotten the 1200L Sporty in, and when I sat on it, I knew this was the one. It felt right to this clueless newbie’s body.

2008 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Low

My first bike: A 2008 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Low

Lessons Learned: To Teach A Wife
When we got home I parked the car, put on my helmet and insisted on a ride. Joe rode to a mostly empty grocery store parking lot, found a quiet, well-lit section and parked the bike. He had me sit behind the bars and explained the controls to me. Then he made me promise that I would follow his instructions to the letter, pay attention to every detail and not get mad at him, no matter what. I have a bit of a reputation of getting impatient, getting sidetracked, and taking admonitions personally. A few years ago he tried to teach me how to back in a semi-truck with a 53-foot trailer. Let’s just say, that ended in me refusing to drive backwards, stating that ‘this girl and reverse don’t get along’. I blocked four lanes of traffic for 45 minutes in downtown Chicago once all in the name of backing up.

But I digress, after I promised various behaviors to his satisfaction, he walked me through starting the bike. I did as I was told. My first lesson was focused on ‘finding neutral’. He had me pull in the clutch, push the shifter with my left foot and then lift it to put it back in neutral. No go. Couldn’t do it. I finally told hubby that I thought I was wearing the wrong kind of boots, that the chunky three-inch heels aren’t making this any easier. Defeated, I went back home. It was getting late anyway.

The next morning I couldn’t wait to go out and play. He pulled the bike alongside the curb in front of our house and parked it for me. Equipped with better footwear the lesson continued where we had left off the previous evening. By the time I could find neutral about 50% of the time my clutch hand was cramping from holding the lever so tight. I told Joe as much and we took a quick break.

The next lesson had to do with the ‘friction zone’. He instructed me to squeeze the front brake lever, put it in gear and then had me slowly release the clutch lever up to the point where I felt the engine engaging, emphasizing that I was not to let go of the brake lever under any circumstances. After playing around with the clutch for a few minutes, he said it was now time to actually start moving forward. Another round of instructions from hubby followed. Now I was getting a little nervous. I slowly released the clutch and gave it a little gas and started inching forward. OMG! I pulled the clutch back in and applied the front brake to stop, then started again. I did that a few times. Hubby told me to put my feet on the pegs. I didn’t want to. I refused, the feet refused. I tried. I couldn’t. I was scared. It took me a few minutes, but I finally took off and willed my feet up onto the pegs.

Woohoo! I’m riding! Awesome. Look Mom, no feet! My husband was walking next to me until I shifted into second gear and twisted the throttle a little more. By the time I reached the end of our street, I did 25mph. w00t! I slowly stopped the bike, turned it off and waited for a breathless hubby to catch up. Now what? He turned it around for me. I did that a few more times and then we had to take a break, because I had killed the battery with turning the bike on and off after each run down the street and he needed to jump it and let it charge. Doh!

Lesson Three: U-turns. More practice using the friction zone and trying not to give it too much throttle. Overall, my turns really stank, but at least I kept the bike rubberized side down. After a few turns that were assisted by power-walking the bike around, I finally managed to do them without putting my feet down, but there was a whole lot of wobbling going on.

Hubby decided we needed a longer road to practice on, so we went to John Deere Parkway on the edge of town, which is pretty deserted. He made me ride up and down it, practicing shifting and u-turns. By round number two I was going 55 in a 45, surely a sign of things to come; not that I knew it yet. My turns still sucked, but I was getting a little better. The only time I got nervous is when there was a car sharing the road with me, but I handled my business well enough.

The next lesson consisted on attempting a u-turn through the traffic light at the end of the street. Hubby explained that it’s nothing different from what we’ve been doing, but he wants me to get used to traffic. I flat-out refused, initially. But then my competitive side won over the argument and I told hubby that I was ready to do it. I didn’t want fear holding me back, but scared I was. I pulled up to the stop line and waited anxiously for the light to change to green. When it finally did, I already had an audience lined up on both sides of the red light. I eased out onto the road and executed my u-turn using the entire width of the intersecting road. After returning from my stint down the parkway, hubby had me do it again. This time I didn’t turn at all, for whatever reason. It’s an offset intersection, I just ended up going straight and ran off the road, cut across the dirt and grass and finally came to a nervous stop on the other side, back on the asphalt. Then I just sat there, not really understanding what just happened. Hubby came running up behind me, wondering what the hell just happened and that I was to never ever drag my feet along the ground like I did halfway through the intersection and that I am to stay on the pavement. I had had enough. We went home. Hubby later decided that I must have been fatigued and that tired hands and lack of concentration contributed to my first adventure on two wheels.

Riding Practice

Practicing u-turns and shifting on a quiet stretch of road on the edge of town.

The next day we started on my private driving range again with the same exercises. Then he told me I should go and play in traffic, that I’ll have to get used to it eventually. I flat-out refused again. And it took a lot of coaxing for me to finally get the nerve up. I made him promise that he’d follow behind me in the Prius, so I didn’t have to worry about the cars to my rear. So it was agreed and I went and played in traffic. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, but it was stressful enough. The added security of someone protecting my six definitely helped a lot. I was free to concentrate on the traffic to the front and on my take-offs, which sucked about as bad as my u-turns did, but I never stalled it. I got the hang of left turns pretty quickly. Right turns gave me more of a problem and I had a tendency to run wide at tighter residential intersections.

My heart was in my throat every time I had to come to a stop. Going slow wasn’t my bag. At every light I prayed for it to stay green until I got there or to turn green before I got there, whichever, so I wouldn’t have to stop. Intersections were potential places of public embarrassment. Stalling, falling over, looking like an ass, rolling back, all those were things that were on my brain. Surprisingly, the fear of getting run over or rear-ended never really entered the equation.

(Recommended) Lessons Learned: The MSF Basic Rider Course
There were two conditions that I had to meet for hubby to give me the OK for purchasing a motorcycle in lieu of a second car:

  1. I had to buy the best protective gear we could afford and wear it at all times, and
  2. I had to enroll in a safety course.

As luck would have it, three cancellations happened and I got bumped up progressively from a December spot to a class in mid-October. The course was awesome. Our rider coaches were knowledgeable peeps who showed their love for the ride. They were friendly, engaging and made you feel at ease. They made us think for ourselves and take charge rather than drone on about this and that and risk putting the class to sleep. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to learn how to ride. It’s invaluable and a great confidence builder.

I passed the course! I was their best student overall. I missed one question on the written exam and got docked one point on the practical test. I mention this, because I was so nervous during the hands-on, that I was shaking, was nauseous and light-headed. That stupid fear of public humiliation and embarrassment again. The bane of my existence: Stage fright with a healthy dose of performance anxiety. One of the rider coaches apparently noticed my ‘issue’ and kept me preoccupied by talking to me and joking around while I was waiting for my turn in the box. I aced the figure-eight (the first test and the most dreaded) on the verge of what felt like a panic attack. I have no problems with academics, no test anxiety whatsoever; but give me a man holding a clipboard looking over my shoulder while I’m expected to perform some manual skill, I’ll promptly turn into a quivering mass of Jell-O. My freakin’ hands go numb! Public speaking: same thing. Martial arts tournament: ditto. Dance competition: forget it. Final round in a table tennis tourney: sure to bomb.

Pushing Forward: Zen And The Art Of Working Through Fear
The first time I had to ride to work on my bike, must have been a terrifying experience. I apparently blocked it out, since I can’t even recall it. I do remember that I was scared every time I put my gear on. I was nauseated and felt like throwing up in my mouth. My nerves didn’t calm until I turned onto the main road from my street. Once I got through that, I was pretty much OK.

I remember planning my routes to avoid left turns across traffic without lights at all costs. I remember running the planned route mentally once while putting on my gear. I remember avoiding the scariest street in all of Augusta: Washington Road. I eventually braved that street due to necessity.

I remember being terrified of rain. I checked the weather report every night before I had to go to work and I got lucky for quite some time and stayed dry. When it looked like I would finally get caught out in the rain, I went online to research rain riding skills. That eased my mind but also ramped up the anxiety, if that makes sense. The first time I had the misfortune of having to ride in rain happened to be at night. I couldn’t see anything. I was scared shitless and prayed to whatever higher power chose to listen in. At one point, I think I started singing some stupid sing-along kiddie song to keep myself from freaking the hell out. Those were the scariest seven miles I ever had the displeasure of riding. Period.

There were other things that really got my heart rate up, some of which I didn’t even attempt until I was absolutely forced to. Making tight right turns from a stop, starting on a hill, riding on gravel or in sand, or backing into a parking space, just to name a few. I had a tendency to avoid situations that forced me into maneuvers I wasn’t confident of.

I spent a few sleepless nights wondering why I had done such a stupid thing as getting a motorcycle. Why in the hell had I spent over $10K, getting myself in debt for the next five years, and not have a damn car to show for it? There were plenty of nights I doubted the sanity of my decision and admonished myself: “You’ve done it now, girlfriend. More than you can handle and past the point of no return.” I never told my husband how deeply these doubts really ran. I kept most of my fears to myself.

One day, it may have been three months after buying the bike, it finally clicked. It clicked so hard it was almost audible. That’s how I refer to it, anyway. Hubby, his best friend Larry and I were out for a ride. I was bringing up the rear, as I preferred hanging out in the back (I still do, as a matter of fact.) We were sitting at a traffic light and it finally occurred to me that I hadn’t really been praying to the ‘Green Light Gods’ lately and following on the heel of that thought was another realization: I hadn’t really been feeling all that scared lately either. When the light changed to green I took off more confident than ever and that was the first time I recall that I actually enjoyed, thoroughly enjoyed, being on two wheels. The first time I felt proud of myself for being out there riding my own. The first time I really didn’t care what other people thought, because I knew I wasn’t going to do anything dramatic.

This freed up massive amounts of concentration and attention and left me able to enjoy the ride rather than being preoccupied with what-ifs and how-tos. My skills improved at an accelerated rate from that point forward. Sixteen weeks later I had my husband talked into letting me buy that Suzuki Hayabusa, which I absolutely fell in love with at the IMS (International Motorcycle Show) in Greenville, SC and been dreaming about ever since. We rode up there so I could test ride a Yamaha FJR1300 sport-tourer, which was a no-show. While I was drooling over the FJR and secretly planning an affair with a certain white Hayabusa, my husband was busy courting a red Kawaski Concours 14. The rest — as they say — is history.

The Meaning Of Life: “I Created A Monster” –Joe, ‘Busa Widower
I cannot believe how far I’ve come in the past year and how my riding has evolved into something that I honestly didn’t see coming. 13828 miles ago I was a clueless, frightened but motivated girl who wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Now I am a confident, safety-minded (yet sometimes squiddy) biker chica who is focused on mastering the ride, evolving her skill set and refuses to ever become an ‘experienced’ rider. I’m a second-year n00b. I will never stop learning. I haven’t seen the inside of a car in quite some time. I get restless when I can’t ride for a day. I ride rain or shine, year around. I commute back and forth to work. My life is centered on motorcycles. I live it. I breathe it. I’m a gear whore. I want to go to racing school and start participating in regular track days and compare my lap times to those of the pros. I want to break the land-speed record and be the fastest woman on two wheels. I want to drag knee, do wheelies and learn how to drift. I probably annoy people, because that is all I ever talk about anymore. I have a reputation.

Joe has watched me in the twisty bits, almost dragging tail pipe. He asked me if I had no fear. He said I made this stuff look easy and that this scared him. I told him that I did, but I choose to work through it and use it to my advantage rather than let it keep me from something I want. He normally doesn’t want to hear about my ‘escapades’ on two wheels, he’s a little scared. But I know he’s proud of me, he brags to his friends behind my back.

Miss Busa on MSBUSA

A Monster Created: Miss Busa on 'The Fat Lady' her 2009 Suzuki Hayabusa

Fear (in its various manifestations) has ruled my life for far too long. Through motorcycling I have conquered it. Motorcycling, much like Karate, has helped me learn about myself, who I am, what I’m capable of and made me a stronger, more confident individual who knows what she wants and goes for it. I haven’t been depressed in 365 days, not really. I am finally at peace with myself and the world around me. I have overcome adversity. I am a survivor. I don’t stress over stuff anymore. When I need to find my inner balance or clear my head, I go for a ride. I don’t keep stuff bottled up anymore. I deal. I cope. I ride. I handle my business. Not a small feat for me (as those of you, who are close to me can attest.) When I’m on my ‘Busa, I feel in control. I am in control. The Fat Lady and I are one. Woman and machine. I am the master of my circumstances: Good or bad, it is I who caused it, nobody but myself to blame. Total control. Total personal responsibility. For a perfectionistic moderately control-freaked geek with a slight tendency towards the obsessive-compulsive, this is heaven on earth. At that moment, nothing else matters.

There is nothing quite like it.

Hayabusa on I-20W

GSXR rollin' down the strip. Hayabusa Momma gonna take a little trip.

Yes. It’s that good.

We Always Cuddle

We always cuddle afterwards.

Life is good.

Miss Busa and her 'Busa

Miss Busa is not a model, but she'll race you for pinks. 😉 {but that comes later in the game}