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The summer of 1997, after 15 years of being a motorcycle passenger, I took an MSF class and got my motorcycle license. My husband fixed up his first new bike, a 1980 Honda CB650 for me to ride, and we rode out to Sturgis, South Dakota for the Black Hills Classic. We took four days to get there from the flatlands of Illinois, all but six miles on two-lane highways, and two and a half days to get back (a lot of interstate). We camped with a bunch of netscum from the Harley Digest and the r.m.h. Virtual Bar & Grill and had a terrific time.
In 1998, my new Harley Davidson Sportster 883 "Noro Lim" arrived in the dead of winter. I also acquired another bike for commuting to campus, that I could park in that hostile environment without worry of theft. "Chihuahua" is a Honda TwinStar 200. In addition to many weekend rides, Mark and I did two big road trips: MITM '98, near Saint Louis, and a reprise trip to the Black Hills Classic Rally, in Sturgis. Due to the 1000 miles of rain the trip home from Sturgis included, I am now much more comfortable with riding in the rain!

Joan on Honda CB650 somewhere in Iowa


How things can change... In 1999 I just didn't feel right at MITM and a shortly after, it was confirmed. I had a baby growing inside me! He was born in February 2000, and attended his first biker event, MITM 2000 at the grand old age of 4 months! The next year, we all went to the final incarnation of that event, MITM 2001. Just as it led to a radical change in career, motherhood also led to changes in lifestyle, not the least of which was a huge diminution in riding time... to the point that I retook the MSF course. But now that he's old enough for longer sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa's, Mark and I intend to do some touring again this next riding season.


Mark and Joan in the Badlands of South Dakota

Mark and Joan in the Badlands


My road calls me, lures me
West, east, south, and north;
Most roads lead men homewards,
My road leads me forth

To add more miles to the tally
Of grey miles left behind,
In quest of that one beauty
God put me here to find.

from John Masefield, "Roadways"




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Copyright © 1994-1999 Joan Schraith Cole.

Updated October 22, 2004

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