Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let's Do The Time Warp Again.....

Well, everyone seems to be posting up some pictures of themselves and/or motorcycles from way back when. I thought I'd give it a try. My first memory of being on a motorcycle was on my mom's old Honda trail bike when we lived in Princeton, British Columbia. I've posted a picture of it previously but here it is again. This is not a photo taken from the internet, this is a photo of her actual bike, sans the milk crate so often found on the back for hauling this and that. My guess is this would have been circa 1980 or so.

Sometime after that I can remember my step dad bringing home a really small starter bike for my brother. I don't remember whatever happened to the bike or if my brother continued to ride it, but I do remember my one turn on the bike. I panicked and hit the throttle instead of the brake and ran it up a wood pile. Didn't get hurt but then I didn't get on a bike after that for quite some time.

My mom had a Harley Sportster for a few years before it got stolen and I remember riding on the back of it but don't have any pictures.

I didn't really get into motorcycles until Troubadour and I met. He bought a motorcycle and i was always riding pillion with him, whether on the Honda Magna, Kawasaki KZ 900, or the Triumph Sprint ST. In 2002 he taught me to ride on the KZ 900. I took the Team Oregon Basic Motorcycle Training class that fall. After riding the small Rebels and Suzuki GZs with the forward controls and seat heights lower than a toilet seat, I couldn't get back on the KZ. It felt too big, too top heavy. So I didn't ride for several years except for pillion. House buying and renovations seemed to get in the way of that extra bike purchase.

Most of you that read this blog have heard the saga of my trying to find the right bike. Here is a recap.

In May 2009 we found a good deal on a 2007 Honda 250 Nighthawk. We purchased it and I was finally riding my own ride.

I found it a good bike to get comfortable on but at the same time it shook like crazy when trying to get up to 55 miles an hour. It almost felt like it was going to shake me off and I didn't feel comfortable. Sold the Nighthawk around Independence day and went searching for a larger bike.

Unfortunately I didn't stay practical and went for a bike I thought was gorgeous that everyone told me would be easy to ride. Late July we bought a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650r.

This picture was taken the first time I rode the Ninja. I was so happy. It was stable at highway speed and the wind was deflected nicely by the windscreen. I was worried about the fairing as I didn't really want a bike that had one and I think my mind did me in. It got to where it felt top heavy with a tank full of gas and too bulky. Even though I was fine when riding I felt I couldn't ride it. Troubadour was very patient with me and it went up for sale. Gave him a good winter commuter though before it sold in February 2010.

Late March 2010 we finally decided on the 2009 Suzuki TU 250. We read good things about them and that they didn't have the vibrations of a Honda 250 and were more stable. Prior to buying the Nighthawk we were actually thinking of a TU but didn't really want to spend the money, how ironic. They were hard to find so we ended up driving to Oregon City to purchase one and it was one of just two we could find in the State. Troubadour rode it the 90 miles home for me. This is a picture taken on the ride home from the dealer.

From the moment of the first ride I was comfortable on the TU. I still am. Not to say I don't get butterflies on the outset of a ride but with over 2000 miles under my belt I feel much better.

We rode to coffee yesterday and then took an impromptu ride to the coast for chowder. Not really any stops for pictures but Troubadour did take the camera out when we stopped at RickRick's to group together.

Notice how the TU has lost all badging. People can't figure out what it is now. It was 38 degrees when we left the house to head for coffee, but the sun was shining. We dressed accordingly. You can't tell from the picture but I had on Under Armour knee-high snowboard socks, REI fleece pants, my First Gear overpants, long sleeved shirt, t-shirt and my new Rev'it jacket. I was ready for the elements.

RickRick on his ZZR and Erik on his Scrambler were also along for the ride.

We took Highway 34 to Waldport and stopped for a minute. Heated grips went between high and low keeping my hands fairly warm. My thumbs were cold as well as my feet. North to Newport we went for a bowl of steaming chowder at the Chowder Bowl to warm us from the inside out. From there we took Highway 20 home. We fought a headwind the whole way. For some stretches I was leaned over the tank with the throttle wide open hoping to keep it at 60 mph. Wouldn't always do it in 5th gear but dropping to 4th helped.

Once again we are thinking of a bigger bike but I'll save that for another post. I hear I might enjoy a nice mild mannered Street Triple. Hmmmm? It is a Triumph. It is a naked bike. I am intrigued, but for now will ride the heck out of the TU.

Time for a time warp. Since I don't have pictures of me on any motorcycles when I was little I'll have to include some of me sans motorcycle. We don't have a scanner so these were all digital pictures taken of the original prints.

I was born in the summer of 1971 so my guess is this was taken in the summer of 1972 (where did the blonde hair go?):

This was taken at my grandparents house in Roseburg circa 1974:

We moved to British Columbia in the summer of 1976. This was my passport photo:

No motorcycles.... but here is a picture of my brother and I on bicycles when we lived in Fort St. James, B.C. in 1976-77:

Grade 1 (1977-78):

Grade 3 (1979-80):

Grade 9 (1985-86, after braces):

Grade 11 (1987-88):

While in Grade 11 (Spring 1988), I participated in the Keremeos Rodeo Queen Pageant as Miss Firemen:

Which then entailed riding on the fire truck for the parade in May (any wonder I hate crowds to this day):

Then on to Graduation - June 1989 (I was 17 when I graduated):

I was quite sick in the few years following graduation so there aren't many pictures of me. Fast forward to 1994 when I met Troubadour and we went on vacation to the Oregon Coast. Little did we know we'd be moving here.

Time for another time warp to some even older photos. Here is a photo of my maternal grandfather Steve while he was in the service, this would have been prior to 1949:

Notice the camera around his neck. He was always an avid photographer.

My mom with her maternal grandparents when she was little (circa 1952 or so):

And the last picture is one of my all-time favorites. My mom with her show horse Diablo. Taken in the late 60's:

Hope this post wasn't too long. I am sure I've shared way too much and should be mighty embarassed, but maybe it will prompt a few others to post their 'back in the day' pics. Ahem, (hint hint) I know Troubadour has a few.......

-Au Revoir

"The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it." ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


  1. What an absolute treasure of a post - thanks so much for sharing. Your photos growing up are just great - no need at all for embarrassment there! What a great Mum with a Honda and a Sportster, no way that a parent could stop you having a bike with those credentials.

    Really enjoyed the post thanks :-)

  2. Trobairitz:

    I just love looking at historic, older photos. You were a cutie back in high school. I hardly recognized Trobadour.

    and was there a seat belt on the top of that fire truck ? wouldn't want you to get injured

    Hmmm, street triple , I love those

    Wet Coast Scootin

  3. Great post and a wonderful selection of pictures. I have to agree with Bob that I would have never recognized Troubadour in that picture.


  4. A Mum with a Harley? Pretty cool, I would say. Nothing embarrassing about your pics. Lovely, you have a lot more than I gathered (most of them remained in Germany).
    And no worries about upgrading. You made the right decision to go with the lil' TU. Time will come, and you will be ready to answer the Triple's call (I would like to see that happen one day.)

  5. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos and a little history of you life. Great post! I think a street triple would make a sweet "next bike", but I'm glad the TU is getting a nice workout in the meantime.

  6. Thank you for the kind words on the pics everyone. I have one more short post with old pics in the works - something to give everyone a chuckle.

    It is nice to have a family that rides, but I wish they would have started me at an early age so it would be second nature by now. I'll get there one day. I do feel the TU is too small for the kind of riding we do or the places we go and intend to upgrade one day. However, I do not want to make the same error I made with the Ninja so I'll try to be patient. Once bitten twice shy so to speak.

  7. I agree with Geoff, this is a treasure of a post. I don't have any old pictures of myself. I suspect there are many slides in my father's custody, but he lives up in Michigan. I appreciate you sharing yours.

  8. Hi Trobairitz!

    Great post and photos. Just love the passport image! I hear tales that my mother and father used to ride quite a bit before I was born. My mother even rode her Honda 90 when she was 8 months pregnant with me. I too wish I had gotten an earlier start, as she put it away after I was born. :(

    Great photos and thanks for sharing!


  9. @ Bobskoot - no seatbelt, but they gave me a pillow to sit on. And let me tell you those ladders are wide to try and sit over like that.

    Sorry that not everyone has as many pictures from back in the day. I am lucky that my mom brought me a box of old photos to look through while she was on vacation in May. I managed to take digital pics of quite a few of them. I have a few old slides kicking around somewhere too.

    I guess that is why it is so important to take pictures now, so that in 20-30 years we have pictures from 'way back when'.