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Livin’ the Dream: Grand Canyon Ride

Monday, November 2nd, 2009 RIDE REPORTS


nicole-zoom-red-rocks-fatty-crop_jeffThe load you carry at the beginning of an adventure ride is usually much bigger than the load you bring home. That’s because half the load is the stress of life that starts to melt away as soon as you make the decision to go. Yet, who influences that decision is usually significant others, family members or kids. Even if it takes permission to get out the door, It makes it that much harder to get that permission if no one understands the yearning of the adventure ride.

As a single mother, getting away for a week meant that I was going to need to pull some pretty big strings. This is why this week long solo trip looping the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles was such a big deal for me, even when my kids understood Mommy‘s yearning for adventure. I had to move heaven and Earth, so I could be plucked away from my busy daily routine that is easily likened to quicksand and the squeeze of demands from every direction.

It was time to set myself free.

So, there I was…free to yield to the whims of the road and whatever adventure rolled my way. This was me making my dream of designing aftermarket accessories come to fruition. This was me feeling independence and freedom at this point of my life. This was me feeding my soul. And, because I was feeding it on so many different levels, I began to see life and how I fit in it with a whole new perspective.

Having to rely solely upon myself for everything on this trip gave me the perspective of a new confidence that I brought back for my business and other areas of my life. That confidence gave me the belief in myself, so that I could be resourceful and have faith that I could get myself out of every tough situation that arose.

dawn-works-on-side-stand1Luckily, I didn’t have any major bike malfunctions on the road. But after realizing that my stock side stand wasn’t cutting it for the load on this trip after lowering my bike, I easily found the best man to trim off an inch and a half in the middle of my journey. Dawn Benton, owner of Desert Cycle Works located right next to Joshua Tree in Twentynine Palms, welcomed my bike and I with a huge smile as he quickly fired up his welding torch. He and his work posse were a great bunch of guys with extensive backgrounds in riding and hearts of gold ready to help out a sister adventurer at a moment’s notice. So, there I was back on the rode in no time after Dawn, the artisan, cut and re-welded my side stand to a perfect angle.

That experience alone made me realize that I was in a tight community within the dual sport industry. We bend over backwards for one another with support and encouragement, so that our passion for adventure stays alive. That, in and of itself, shows that living life to its fullest and surrounding ourselves with the same type of people is what is most important to us.

Other than sharing my love of adventure with other enthusiasts, I also felt the desire to open myself up to strangers on the road. That meant being receptive to any encounter however small. All it took was a twinkle in the eyes and an easy smile to open an exchange in conversation. Often times, it was just being a chick on an adventure bike that got the chit chat rolling. But from one person to the next, the mutual feelings were all the same. Usually, each of us would walk away from the encounter being inspired to live life more fully and present.

rocking-v-victor1In total, all of the people I met on this journey had a story to tell. Whether it was Maxwell, the 37 year old photographer, who packed up his car four months ago to capture America on camera while riding out the recession; or Victor, the retiree who created a successful restaurant with his wife and no experience in the small Utah town, Kanab; or Kathy, the recent widow living out of her RV after her husband died continuing the travels of America that they had mapped out together; or Shan, the tall, professional clown and Harley rider that gave me great camping area tips out of Jacob’s Lake outside of the north rim Grand Canyon; or Irene, the Navajo woman who made jewelry out of her home to sell at a highway side stand, we all enjoyed the connection.

front-angle-whole-drz-adv-featured-tu1My story can be told through this adventure, as well. I’m at a very exciting time in my life, because I have chosen my mid forties to reinvent myself. I am putting everything I have into creating a successful dual sport accessories business, and am thoroughly enjoying the product development and manufacturing process. The 2-in-1 Rugged Rider Sport and Adventure cargo racks that I designed for my bike, the Suzuki DRZ400S, carried a big load on this trip, and ended up making me quite proud. What also made me proud was feeling the warmth from our incredible dual sport community of fun-loving, adventuresome people enjoying my ride report on adv rider. I’m really at a point in my life where I’m thoroughly enjoying the opportunities of creativity, riding and the challenges of starting a new business.

But, if the time ever comes again where I feel like I’m scurrying nowhere in a hamster wheel, then I know it’s time to move heaven and Earth for my next week long solo ride.

Please view my ride report and photo journal of this trip to Joshua Tree, Sedona, north rim Grand Canyon, Zion and Vegas.

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