As it is only January in Nova Scotia I have tried not to start the countdown till spring... but today I caved... I looked. Our neighbours to the north in Newfoundland and Labrador are still digging out while in a state of emergency from the copious amounts of snow that came down last weekend, and they are calling for more for us here in NS as well. Ahhhh it is the season.. the positive part to that is that once you are through January the rest seems to go fast... Feb is a short month then spring technically starts in March..
Not that March riding is always possible... but some years.. for us die hards... it is! May the powers that be and Mother Nature decree 2020 year of the March ride!! hahah No matter.. come April.. In April I will be out!! This is know. It will be a year of having my license this April so if I can do it brand new.. I can do it now.
While we wait though.. let me tell you about the OTHER ride moment I mentioned in my previous post. I was talking about scary moments of 2019.. While the rain ride was bad.. this brief moment is likely one of the scariest so far. I don't know if I registered how scary while in the moment.. but I sure did for the 10km after..
We had been riding through Northern New Brunswick, on a road that was tarred gravel for many many KM, and finally got into Quebec. Riding slow on that sketchy, marbly road all day was a tad tiring but we made it and were well onto good roads again when we rounded a corner to see Construction ahead signs... about 10 feet before it actually started. Not much notice indeed... the first few 100 feet was bad, gravel the size of golfballs.. slow and steady and ready for anything, we made it over. The gravel then gave way to just mud... now...
For those of you who don't know.. QC takes a construction break in the summer for two weeks.. we just happened to travel during it.. so YAY to not having to wait on construction along the way.. BOOO for mud roads that have seen rain and cars for two weeks with no maintenance.
Luckily I had DC in my ear encouraging me along.. .which would have been really cool if you didn't hear the "oh shit" tone in his voice.. hahah He was in the lead so I kinda knew when something was coming our way..
For the most part it wasn't tooo bad.. follow in the "track" aka rut (the ruts didn't have the big loose gravel in them that between the ruts had.. it was really a 'pick your evil' kinda moment) that you were in and just keep it steady.. then you realized just how close to that huge bank the track was getting.. annnnd that said track now seems to have a significant slope to it... Bankside.... just focus on the track ahead of you.. keep your balance steady... ignore the other traffic and commotion around you and trust in your ride... just trust in your ride...
WHEW.. ok we made it along the bank and the track seems to have levelled out again.. keep moving....
Then we realized the road was going down a rather insanely sloped hill... I remember thinking... "REALLLY???Could they put anymore nasty into one small 5km stretch???!!!!"
OK I was soooo sorry I thought that, apparently yes.. they could..
At the bottom of said steep hill in the mud rut.. was a missing bridge.. in its place was a sharp "S" turn path constructed with concrete dividers. BUUUUT... on the other side of that... was glorious pavement.. normal, two lane road.. complete with painted lines and everything.
This whole stretch was a true test to " trusting your skills" and "don't think; just ride". Which under normal circumstances likely wouldn't be bad but let's remember I had been riding for a whopping 3 whole months at this point... WHAT DEVELOPED SKILLS?? hahaha
It is Clear to me however, that I actually was listening to my dad on alllll those rides when he would explain to me what to do in various situations as we would ride. Whenever we were out together on his goldwing, he would tell me what he was doing and why, when we came across sketchy situations... Good to know I listened to something he taught me. I think he would be proud.
The whole time somewhere in the back of my mind I was hoping that the cameras were still recording.. just one of them, sadly as this was getting into late afternoon they were all dead, so no photos...
We now reference that small section of the trip as "The Mudslide". Life happens when you are out living it.
Ride Safe and Ride On!!!
First off .. what's a Noob? Well it is a new rider.. as I just got my license last April that is definitely me. Some will argue that you are a noob for a few years.. some say it is for XX miles ridden... others will say.. "hey we are all Noobs".. whichever way you look at it.. I am a noob. Sure I got 7000+ km in this year but still so much to learn.. experience. I am ok with that! I am riding and that is what matters.. I never cared about labels anyway.
I have had some really awesome moments in year one and some that well.. just scared the crap out of me. Then.. there was the one ride.. yes..that one.. the only one .. which was miserable.
It just so happened to be my first group ride.. exactly 3 weeks after getting my license. By this time I had gotten out in town and roamed around.. I was even happy that I was cool going 80 km/h.. I may have even hit 100km/h by this point..but I wasn't ready. Not for this... I am still not ready... nor do I think I will ever choose to be. lol.. There will be times I get caught in freezing cold bitter side blowing wind and rain... but It better come out of the blue or I won't be out in the first place. HAHA..
A neighbour has a group he rides with and they do an annual fundraiser run.. "Come with us.. it will be a blast" .. so we did. All three of us.. I was already nervous about the segment that was on the highway as I hadn't done that yet.. but what could go wrong when your with a group right??... WELL we knew it may call for rain.. it was even misting on the way to the meet spot... but I was sure it wouldn't be that bad.... I just wanted to ride. HUMPH!!!!
We were going over the "mountain" to stop point one.. then through to check two.,, highway back to town for supper... this is a total of about 100km in total... maybe more... I can't remember.... I didn't do it all.. I tapped out.. openly.. willingly.. eagerly.. tapped out!
Shortly after leaving the meet spot the rain really started.. heavy.. cold... blinding rain..DC had been great and gotten RainX for the helmets.. and I Guess it worked.. I was to nervous to turn my head enough for the rain to really roll off.. and I was fogging up so I am not sure I would have known if it did clear.. lol..
L (riding two up with DC.. ) was lacking in proper rain gear.. my leathers were soaked and the COLD rain was hammering at us straight on from the left side~! I was sooo not ready... I had one thought the whole way over the mountain.. get to the first pit stop,.. go home. OHHHH and HELL NO TO HIGHWAY TODAY!!! LOL...
I wasn't ready for that wind. I was new and learning to control my machine, I hadn't gotten the hang of doing it with that much side wind or with rain.. never mind both together... I couldn't see... I also felt like I was holding up the last guy who was guard... it made me feel horrible to think I was sucking the joy out of his ride poor guy...
I can not say enough... I WAS NOT READY! I am not sure there is any way to really know if you are ready for a group ride.. for a bad weather ride... or for any challenge that you will encounter while riding until you are in the situation but one thing I can tell you... when you figure out that you are in over your head.. there is NO SHAME in tapping out... do it... Tap! tap! tap and do it at the first chance you get!
Which for me was about 3 seconds after stopping at pit stop one. I felt bad for DC but the look of relief on L's face was reinforcement. She was new to riding too... Quinn (DC's gorgeous Harley Sportster) is amazing for one.. not so much for the passenger.. especially one new to riding. She was wet.. tired and sore. Quinns seat is a bit of a struggle to stay up on anyway as it slopes back a bit but in the rain.. but in nylon pants.. it was near impossible.. I was so scared she was coming off the back.. In front of a blind me!
The crew understood and I am sure were secretly a little happy about me calling it, though they were so encouraging and caring about it....BUT.... now they could giver'er and get it done too.. no waiting on me..
The great thing was that we happened to be minutes from my Mom's house... sooo warm clothes and soup.. here we come.
We went over and begged use of the clothes dryer.. bummed a can of soup and at the first sign of a break in the rain made the dash over the mountain for home.
The wind was super strong and scary a couple of times at the top of the mountain but seemed a lot more manageable knowing I was homeward bound.
We arrived at the restaurant behind the crew but in time to eat and enjoy the festivities and remaining fundraising events. They actually seemed relieved that I made it home... like they were worried about me... SHEEEESH>.. ok yeah it was that bad.
I got a little prize too.. There was a little speech (designed to make me feel better and less loser'ish) about the first lesson in riding is to know your limits.. and follow them.
All in all... even though I was miserable... it was a great experience.. if nothing else for the lesson learned..
I look forward to the ride this season so they can see how far I have come... as long as it isn't calling for rain that day..
While I would like to say this was the scariest moment of 2019 on two wheels.. I am afraid there is just one more...
Stay tune for the next post to hear more about Mud sliding on two wheels while fully packed for camping.. LOL...
Until then... Ride Safe and Ride ON! - Noobie J
January has to be the hardest month.. I know.. Not a news flash.. we are in the post holiday lull.. the weather sucks and money is non-existent. For us here at Coastal Gypsies however, thing haven't been this exciting since Quinn moved in!!
We are taking the time to work on videos and posting on social media. DC has been sharing up a storm and I am sorry if the internet up and quits... but the shares of our posts have hit big digits and our page has more then doubled in less then two days.. Considering just last week I was on him to finally make a post.. I am quite proud.
Thanks to you all our numbers are growing and we maybe onto something!
Since we have so many new comrades of the road, I will briefly lay out the game plan again.
Coastal Gypsies was named such as DC is from the West and I am East all the way.. but we both feel the call of the open road.
It has been a dream for both of us before we were an us, to live an adventurous life on the open road. It has just been a question of how. With all but one of our 7 babes (blended family) grown and off on their own... we are almost ready to make it happen. We aim to be living out of the toy hauler in 6 years..
We would like to tour the country.. the continent.. the world.. and hopefully you will come along for the ride.
There are so many places and better yet, people to see and talk to and we want to share it all.
We are new to this though so we thank you for being understanding and supportive as we venture our way through.... learn how to make better videos and figure out just want you want to see. (so by all means suggestions please)
You can help in little ways.. liking and following our social media sites, drop a line here and there and of course share away.
You tube - Coastal Gypsies Channel
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/coastalgypsies/
Instagram - @coastalgypzies
AS I mentioned we are working on new content. I have our first review to edit, we are talking about our Sena 30K headsets.. so keep watching Youtube for that to come.. following with our Sena Cameras and of course the pro's and con's of them together.
We have some camping videos in que but may wait till we are back out in the wild again and shoot them on the fly.. be sure to let us know in the comments what you would like to see us cover...
Till then... Ride Safe but RIDE ON!
AS I sit here the eve of our first day to a new decade I am telling myself I am going to work on posting more... better... It is not a resolution.. it is not a promise.. but it is a goal.
Let this new goal start with a recap of our holidays.. none of which were spent on the bikes.. we are in Nova Scotia after all and it is (was) December...
DC did get some videos made which can be found on our Youtube channel.. (click the image to visit and subscribe)
The Holidays for us was very much a working one.. Which is good since we have our BIG TRIP *details to come* to prepare for.. L spent Christmas Eve and morning at her Dad's so we had our Christmas Eve on Christmas Night and Boxing Day became our CM... we were blessed with many friends and family over that afternoon to celebrate with us and Merriment was had by all..
DC kept the bike fever alive with a new pair of riding pants for me and he got the most expensive co0ffee cup I have ever bought... Harley. '
There was new ink in there as well .. for more info on that check out our LINKS WE LOVE section..
NYE was spent partially working and the rest with a dear friend and riding buddy.. quietly ringing the new year in then today was onsie day.. all day.
It was the perfect way to end what for us was a spectacular year.. with much love to you all for following along...Bring on the adventures of 2020!!!