Born To Be Wild

Learning to ride a motorcycle is an emotional undertaking. I don’t think that’s a chick thing, either. I think across the board if you can give yourself over to the experience then it’s going to give your confidence a kick in the rear. Especially the way the world is right now. All over-connected and socially mediated and all that jazz.

There’s really not much that gets my full attention any more. A few months ago I tried to take up knitting so I’d having something to do to quiet my mind (and my hands) when my brain felt fried from Internet Over-Exposure. I’ve been desperate for a hobby.

The thing about riding is it’s not really conducive to multi-tasking. FREE AT LAST.

I’m no stranger to motorcycles. Harley gear was basically on my baby registry thanks to Mema Emmy, Papa Barry and their bikes, and Scott’s got his license too. Still, after a run-in with a biker on the 405 last year I didn’t exactly have warm fuzzy feelings about life on two wheels. But when I found myself presented with the opportunity to go to Wisconsin c/o Harley-Davidson for what they called “Blogger Summer Camp” — which was going to include a hands-on riding experience — my gut screamed GO!!!!

There were twelve of us in Milwaukee – all ages, all stages, all varying degrees of NOT the “Harley type”. All pretty much drinking ALL THE KOOL AID. I got to know not only my fellow bloggers, but some of the ladies of Harley as well (gentlemen too — but H-D went above and beyond by making sure we were surrounded by crazy experienced female riders at every turn, all of whom could not have been more supportive of us learning to ride.) It really did feel like summer camp. In that “time of my life” “kumbaya” “I wanna make a scrapbook” kind of way. Only hard core and with much, much better food.

Recently, I met a new friend who shared a philosophy that really hit home for me. “Beginners never fail,” she says. In the last two years she’s learned to play guitar and paint and all because she’s not embarrassed to suck at it. I couldn’t help but think of Emily’s philosophy as I tried to envision myself riding a motorcycle. I was a bona fide beginner at this. Therefore, no real reason to fear.

Empowering became like the buzz word of my week, but I couldn’t help myself. Every time I heard an engine rev {“potato potato potato” my new friend Amanda called it} I felt myself standing a little taller. It’s almost too cheesy to type, but it’s true. Cheese and potatoes. I knew I liked you, motorcycles.

So now I start saving for my Sportster and enroll in Rider’s Edge so I can get my official big-girl motorcycle license. And then you guys should all go and learn to ride too, so we can go on a big cross-country motorcycle ride together. How awesome would that be? We should totally do it.

Clockwise from left: Heather, Michelle, Carmen, Missy, Mona, Deb (our teacher!) Sugar, Jillee, My Neck, Me, Susan, Karen, Stephanie, and right there in the middle, the lovely Kelly.

Want to learn to ride? Find a Rider’s Edge course near you.

Need more convincing? Go to a Garage Party and get on Jumpstart — it’s like a motorcycle on a treadmill (and it’s AWESOME.)

Need more convincing just to get off your couch? Watch this webisode, weep, and THEN go to a Garage Party.

{This post is sponsored by Harley-Davidson and BlogHer. I was both treated to an awesome trip and compensated for my time, but that has not swayed my opinion AT ALL. Also, I swear I’m not bragging, this is all a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo.}

Tell me what life with “no cages” means to you for a chance to win a Harley-Davidson Women’s Pink Label Embellished Nylon Jacket.

Sweepstakes Rules:

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a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the
following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from July 31, 2012 to August 27, 2012

V isit the Harley-Davidson No Cages brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!

19 Responses to Born To Be Wild

  1. Pingback: Today’s Menu: Mush of Mind | the818.com

  2. Alena29 says:

    Life with no cages would mean that I stop letting my fear make my choices. That I stop letting all the things I’m afraid of decide what is best for me and mine.

  3. Brie says:

    I need it!,!!! Biker bitch to the death!

  4. no cages is simply doing things your way, without restrictions. pretty awesome!

  5. laurie says:

    It meant quitting my job with very little safety net, because I didn’t want to compromise my health or my chance at happiness for one more day.

    I SO want to do Rider’s Edge. I think I might try to this fall.

  6. yankeedrawl says:

    No cages is totally just jumping on a bike and going wherever, why-ever, whenever. (Man, I miss my bike.)

  7. Courtenay says:

    Life with no cages…Freedom to speak your mind without the ridicule that sometimes holds you back.
    Life with no cages…Taking that dream job even though it might not pay the mortgage.
    Life with no cages…traveling the world with your family and going to places outside of your comfort zone. Helping and learning about others along the way.
    If only we were truly able to live without these damn cages:-)

  8. Sarah says:

    You earn kisses from your Canadian-American reader for being rad and saving up for a Harley! I took a motorcycle course when I was 5 months pregnant, am currently in the process of saving up for a Dyna to add to our “stable” that already includes an Electra-Glide and V-Rod. No cages is really experiencing the road: the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the sensations. The hokey bull-shit-sounding “being one with the road”, totally true on a motorcycle!

  9. maria cantu says:

    It means to do what I want when I want.

  10. Kersten says:

    Focusing my energy on that which I love.

  11. R. ALLen says:

    Life with no cages meant crawling out from the nightmare of an underwater home (& not the cool underwater homes like on “Sealab 2021″) & leaving the city of my birth to find a new life for my wife & children several hundred miles away-& i can’t tell you why it was so important, but obtaining my motorcycle license was a big part in breaking free of what they ironically call “motor city”

  12. erica best says:

    it means lift riding out in the open air

  13. Manda G says:

    No cages for me means living, I mean really enjoying life and not just going through the motions.

  14. Kathy says:

    Life with no cages would be taking chances and not living with restrictions put on me by myself or others.

  15. Donna K says:

    To me it means no restictions based on age or gender.

  16. anash says:

    no cages means fearlessly and consistenly pursuing your goals! Thanks for a super giveaway!

  17. anash says:

    Tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/anashct3/status/240274582903324674
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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