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, horn, 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 though 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 hand grip, 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.