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dual sport motorcycle

Welcome to Cud for the Mind

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 RIDING Comments Off on Welcome to Cud for the Mind

“I do some of my best thinking in my DRZ saddle.  Actually, the bigger thoughts get chewed over and over in my mind in between concentration on the trail. That’s the beauty about dual sporting…the freedom on the bike and the connection with nature gets you out of the mundane thought. So, toss out those cells, cubicle demands and grocery lists and hop on that bike, or at least join me in some dual sport thought chew.”

-Nicole Espinosa is the founder and blogger of Rugged Rider.

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The Bigger Picture Journey

Monday, January 24th, 2011 RIDING Comments Off on The Bigger Picture Journey


What happens when a ride turns into something bigger? Like my last adventure ride around Oregon. What’s funny is I felt in my gut before leaving that this ride would open doors. These weren’t ordinary doors like connections for work or leads to material gains.

These were the doors to my soul.

It’s no surprise that the world at large is feeling something bubbling up from beneath. Chaos and the crumbling of archaic systems are visible all around us. The time has come for change in the dawning of this new age. It was this change that brought me to my knees three years ago after my divorce and the loss of my home. But, it took me being shaken that traumatically from the world that I knew to
force me to search for answers within. This search would ultimately lead me to the brightest climb of my life…my inner journey of coming home.

It wasn’t until I threw a leg over my bike, Jack, this last October for a loop around Oregon on an eight day solo journey that I realized my calling. This ride was centered around learning a healing technique called muscle testing from an
acupuncturist in Portland. This technique is based upon tapping into intuitive
answers to yes and no questions, which can include health, life, truth, you
name it. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye, and it eventually led me
down the path of trusting my own stronger intuition in the end. But, all in
all, it was an inner journey to beat all others.

Throughout my Oregon ride, my people connections proved to be magical in many ways. When individuals
would approach me on my bike after realizing I was a woman on a solo motorcycle
ride our conversations would always drift to the lure of living life in a big
way. Invariably, we would all agree that there was some kind of excitement in
the air. That something bigger was happening. Often times, we would walk away
feeling the charge of electricity between two people excited about life.

Since October, my intuition has gotten stronger and I have begun to feel buzzing in
my feet, legs and sometimes my hands. When something rings true to my heart and
soul I get goosebumps and sometimes tears in my eyes. These telltale signs of
connection keep me on the path that is meant for me at this time. I am deeply
feeling the energy and electricity of others all around me, and am repelled by
negativity in people and situations and avoid them at all costs. One of the
biggest draws in this feeling of coming home is the feeling of a very deep
connection within the amazing community of adventure riders, and those who have
responded to my ride reports. This family that I have built around me gives me
this feeling of security, warmth and the love of life that draws me in.

An additional byproduct of this bigger picture journey is my pull to living a healthier
lifestyle, which includes eating fresh, organic fare, exercise that feeds my
body and soul, and meditation that helps me find the answers within.
Synchronicity and coincidences that aren’t really coincidences are happening at
a higher daily rate, as well. Opportunities and people to help me along my path
are being placed before me. This gives me such hope that all will fall into
place the way it should for an exciting future that is right around the corner.

What really hits home from this journey, though, is the realization of my calling or
purpose. I feel so drawn to healing in some way. I’m not sure if I will become
a healer or will inspire others through my adventurous living and loving. But
either way, I have walked away from this ride knowing that I am doing exactly
what I should be doing for my soul’s journey…riding, writing, creating through
photography and product design, and letting everyone know that something big
and wonderful is here.

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My Motorcycle is My Home

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 RIDING Comments Off on My Motorcycle is My Home

"You can take my home, but you can't take my bike!"

"You can take my home, but you can't take my bike!"

I can make any place with four walls and a roof my sanctuary to nurture my family and work life. But, it’s my bike that I need for my sanity. That’s my connection to the glorious world of nature and adventure where I become one with my core and the earth. All it takes for me to recharge my batteries is the sight of my bike, Jack B. Nimble, packed for an adventure ride and then…

I know I’m home.

Who cares what this economy has heaped on me. It can’t take away what I hold most dear…my freedom and the ability to instill in my kids a lust for life. It’s that passion for life that really surfaces in me when I’m on my solo rides and pondering some of the deeper questions of existence. Specifically, have I learned some of the biggest lessons of my life? I actually think that my most recent lesson of letting go is my biggest one. Graduation from the schooling of that one seems to be knocking on my door. Not soon enough, or so it seems. But, then again I realize that it’s all playing out the way it is meant to for me to climb to the next level.

When contemplating the “climb” the other day, I had a revelation about how I am going to be successful in both work and daily life. It is going to be through my personal connections with people. It’s funny how I crave that, especially on my solo rides where the interpersonal stories or strangers living their own journeys is what’s most intriguing to me. Here we are thrown together on this Earth in various cultures and communities, and through international adventure rides or everyday interactions we can find that we are all one.

There are commonalities that just can’t tear us apart, no matter what wars are being projected on the news. Have you ever been a rider on one of those adventure rides out in the middle of nowhere and your bike breaks down? Ever needed any help beyond what your tools or mechanical expertise can reach? Isn’t it amazing how a stranger in a foreign land or a fellow ADV rider appears out of nowhere to lend a helping hand? How about the exchange of love and laughter between a rider and children in a third world country? It’s those priceless moments on the road that demonstrate that home is really where the bike goes in the journey of life. So the next time the bank says, “foreclosure”, I’ll answer, “You can take my home, but you just can’t take my bike!”

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Dual Sport Tool Kit Magic

Friday, April 24th, 2009 GEAR Comments Off on Dual Sport Tool Kit Magic

"Watch me pull a tire iron out of a hat."

"Watch me pull a tire iron out of a hat."

Tool kits are like health prevention … you don’t think about it until something’s broken.

Sometimes, when you’re a newbie and just getting started on rides you might be lucky enough to hook up with a group of riders with at least one guy or gal who’s been around the block, make that trail, when it comes to changing tires.

While watching him work his magic on the flat, you will probably find a well-rounded tool kit in this magician’s bag of tricks lying on the ground next to him.

A fine-tuned tool kit may take years to develop, especially for the singular needs of your bike. But, if you take some advice from the riders who have been servicing their own bikes in the field for a long time then you’re one step ahead of the game. › Continue reading

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Beating this Economy with Dual Sports

Sunday, April 12th, 2009 RIDING Comments Off on Beating this Economy with Dual Sports

Man with pink slip on KTM

"Pink slip, shmink slip."

Pink slip just hit your desk? Can’t qualify for a loan modification on your house? Your underwear so worn out even your holes have holes? Well, don’t knock your head against your Facebook wall, hop on your dual sport and hit the trails.

If there’s one thing to make you forget about your holey underwear it’s participating in nature…being one with it. When you’re out there dancing on the throttle through some rocky terrain you tend to forget about the economy and how it’s affecting you.

But if the daily casualties of the economy are unavoidable, then let’s equal it out by first looking at the fact that only dual sports and scooters had an increase in sales in ’08. No other bikes pulled that off according to the stats from the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Report. › Continue reading

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