Yes, it’s true. Today I took my motorcycle to the State Inspection Station for the annual mandatory vehicle inspection. The temp this afternoon was already over 70, so I decided it was a good time even though the sticker is good until the end of the month. The guy asked me if I’ve been riding much, and I told him, not really, that today was the first time in “I can’t remember when.” He wrote down the mileage for the inspection report: 13,777.
I had to wait a few minutes while he checked brakes, lights, horns, etc. And very shortly he was done. I received a copy of the report, and as I was putting it away with my other registration and insurance paperwork, I pulled out last year’s report to toss. I glanced at it and noticed the mileage from one year ago (admittedly, it was on the 16th, and today is only the 8th). Mileage 13,699. Wait – what?!?? Yes, that’s right, I had driven only 78 miles since last year!!!!!!
I remember when I got her, Valentine’s Day 2011, a gift to myself. Kevin and I were in South Dakota, and I had two somewhat silly goals. (1) Drive “year round” by getting her out of the driveway at least once every month. That first year I was chopping ice at the end of the driveway so I could get out and then go up and down the street, because the road itself was dry and it was almost +40 degrees out. And I did it; I rode at least once every month that first year. (2) In this first year, by February 14, 2012, I wanted to have driven her 5,000 miles. I had a friend who drove 10,000 miles annually on her bike, but I was a newbie. The Sunday before this magic day was up, I was still short. It was COLD outside, and windy, but the roads were dry. So Kevin bundled up with me and we drove around the countryside for a hundred or so miles until I turned the magic 5,000. It was a proud moment.
And then today…78 annual miles … the proof stared up at me. Uff-da! My first thought was, clearly, it’s time to sell her. My second thought was, I’m glad she’s paid for because if I was making payments on her while she just sat in the garage taking up space, I would not be happy. Then I thought, it’s time to go riding.
So I did. After what seemed like an hour-long ride, I stopped at Au Bon Pain for an afternoon coffee and a croissant. My hands were a little stiff from the reach between the clutch handle and handgrip, and the breeze made it somewhat cooler than 73 degrees on the back deck with my feet propped up. I looked at the odometer and was surprised to see I had gone all of 15 miles!!! Two more miles to get home, and I’m still short of 100 for the YEAR by 5 miles. But I just didn’t care to drive around so I could hit that mark. So I came home and put her away.
I don’t know if I’ll ride again….and that does make me just a little bit sad. Maybe it’s time to release her to someone else who will get more joy out of having her. Maybe I should try harder (or just try) to find a riding group. Maybe I’m just done. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I will remain grateful for the good times we had together (Beartooth Pass, Pig Trail, Nashville construction zone in the dark and rain, Sarasota, Black Hills, and more). I am especially grateful that all my rides have been safe ones. I hope yours are, too! If you don’t ride, please SEE MOTORCYCLES so they can be safe. Maybe they’re trying to hit 100…or 5,000 miles…or some other milestone.