My Backpack Booger

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My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

So this is where we started.
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This is around Oct of 2021 when I first got the bike. I had it in the lot more then I rode it as I knew I needed to go through the entire thing and make sure it wasn't going to blow up or destroy itself. Around the same time I was pouring over all the threads in various forums created by BMW owners about the dreaded "ticker" FJR bikes created out of their own propaganda farm and dismay for motorcycles that actually worked. I didn't want it to blow up and I certainly did not want to take my child on a bike I did not know was sound.

I came up with an idea and a way to feign off her relentless desire to ride with me by purchasing a small electric dirtbike.The idea being if she could learn to ride that and learn to lean and be respectful of the bike I would consider getting a "safer" bike and bringing her for rides. The little bike, a 350, while well above her age range for a 6yr old, my kid is unlike yours. Yes, all kids are different but I assure you mine would win in an age-limited gladiatorial fight, she is for lack of a better phrase, an absolute savage. Boy or girl, big boned and corn fed or fast as a ninja, this little shit is relentless and a menace to society in physical form. Humans like her are the reason we aren't gifted super powers and the days of magic are over, humans like her are why we cannot be trusted with such power. I felt confident she could figure the bike out. She did first try.

She was on training wheels on her pedal bike but she took to the E-Bike like it was second nature. I would give her pointers and step up the ante but every step along the way she told me how she was going to ride it and ride the F out of it she did. Well into winter and well into the snow. She would opt for her E-Bike over her sled.

"It's too slippery out for the bike lets just go sledding in the park."
"How about I ride the dirtbike to the park and carry my sled! Then we can do both?!?!"

We have run through every battery setup on Amazon and even the nasty fast ones. Burned two sets of brakes. She snapped the rear frame and we had to weld it "doing rough stuff". This is all before the spring of this year and well before I had to change the rules to "when your feet touch the pegs."

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She learned to ride with a throttle before she learned to ride a pedal bicycle without training wheels. So-be-it.

Before the bullshit about "taming" behavior and curtailing childish impulses comes in let me please preface. My child is incredibly well mannered, respectful and moral. She is God loving, has impeccable manners and would get your grandma a drink of water while petting the cat gently without being asked or told to do so. Please and thank you are never asked for, she looks out for her fellow kiddo and is a Manitou on the playground against bullies. She is being raised the best she can be, 50% of the time. She is an amazing kid but if you give her a chainsaw, she gonna cut some trees down.

So, back on track, this little chick wanted to ride and the next spring arose. I formulated a plan that included a full set of gear for her birthday (early June) and to the dismay of my much alive Mother and sister, of whom had tried motorcycling with my late father and just found it tedious but enjoyed riding with him, had a large birthday that was focused on making her acceptance into riding motorcycles as "safe" as could be. Every present was **geared** for her to be able to get on the FJR. One thing in particular was the hardest unobtaniom in existence to acquire. My mother was adamant that she needed a backrest to keep her from falling off. As if I was going to drop a gear and have my daughter disappear?!?!?! I abided by her wishes and began to explore options. If I let my own mother down then what type of example am I setting, right? The options became very clear, spend a K and a half on some over priced seat combo from a factory that used to make custom seats or look for someone that had a remnant from the past. I wanted the Gerauld backrest but he wasn't making them and every forum I was on was bereft of even an inkling of his mastery.

Three days before her birthday one came for sale on EBay. I bought-it-now and messaged the seller to have it next day. It actually was kismet.
I am slightly religious but even more so I am a man that believes in the hive mind and things happening when they need to. Shit may roll downhill and cream rises to the top but if you can step out of the way shit passes you and if you don't want to get creamed on then don't try to be the top-guy. This fell into our laps and it was meant to be.

We drove the 158 miles home after that weekend in the F150 XLT but in her mind we were already on the bike. She wore her armor for the ride and wanted to eat Tabasco Slim Jims with her gloves on. Sadly, it was her mom's turn the next morning after getting home and the weather was awful the next week. Booger would get her chance though, she was sure of it.
I picked her up on Tuesday as usual in the pouring rain and talked to her like I always do about school and what she did.....she wasn't having it.
"I didn't tell Mommy about my birthday stuff. Are we going for a ride on the motorcycle today?"
Booger it's cool if you tell your mom. We can't go riding now its pouring rain!
"Can we go tomorrow?"
If its not raining then absolutely.
"Even if it's raining can we go?"
I then decide to describe physics and the Mu coefficient to a 7yr old for what reason I do not know.

Long story long
We had an opportunity.
The Thursday (I have her from Tues-Fri) of that week cleared up for a few hours and the pavement dried and I had the confidence IN THE ROAD CONDITIONS to bring her out for a test run. I use caps because I still had to muster the confidence in myself to plop the only thing Ir give a f@$k about in this life on the back of a bike that I had done 99% of the work to and roll around in NY traffic. <<deep breath>>

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We made it.

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The State Office Complex in the capitol of Albany is a vast array of 45mph well-kept roads and many ramps and turns that you can navigate to practice a great many things. A perfect place for someone learning to motorcycle for their first time as there are HUGE parking lots and exits to streets and, as I often do, teach people to use manual shifting cars/trucks because of the many obstacles and things you would experience on a regular basis. This entire place is vacant after 6pm. Not a soul in sight and what better place to see if my kiddo can handle riding for 15 mins let alone an hour with leans and turns, stops and pauses... A great place to be able to teach a regular pillion what to do when on the back of a bike.
"Don't f@$king wiggle when we are stopped or not moving!"
"Get your boots out of the way my foot goes there."
"We are about to take off fast hold on."
All these instances available in the safety of a vacated dystopian 1980's office complex.
Priceless.
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

More to come if people are interested.
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by BkerChuck »

StreamRider wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 2:30 am More to come if people are interested.
What's the hold up here? Anxiously awaiting part 2....... :stickpoke:
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by Intech »

Awesome story!
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by Hppants »

StreamRider wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 2:30 am More to come if people are interested.
Interested? Sitting on the edge of my seat!
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by FastPappy »

Hey Stream, good to see you here also. :)
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by blind squirrel »

Make sure to add more pictures as you tell us your tale!
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

Our training session could not have gone better. While I was shaking off the jitters of bringing my child on the back of a "death machine" (liberal speak for a sport bike) and becoming more confident in my ability to do what I already knew I could do and have been doing for the past 30 years, she was taking to direction and listening to every word I was telling her. Anyone that has kids or has babysat children of that age knows that there are instances when they listen and follow direction. The other 85% of the time they are a literal mess of imagination fueled by plutonium and cannot be bothered to even recognize imminent danger or the commands of their parent. This was my biggest fear placing her on the back of the bike, would she listen to me and realize the severity of the actions we are engaging in? Would she do like she does with simple commands and requests throughout our regularly scheduled programming and test my patience or play little mind games to see how far the envelope will go before a time-out is issued?

Would she fall asleep like she does in the truck?

This happened to be just the activity that her twin-supercharged, ethanol fueled, little engine of an attention span needed. She was alive and alert responding to every detail, command and instruction. She cared and was focused on what she was doing, this was unlike homework or cleaning her room, far from getting dressed and ready for school or simply going the bathroom or taking a shower. Those things get stretched out and can take far longer then needed because of the lack of focus and the need to turn what is simple to any adult into a maelstrom of more interesting "quirks and features", hurdles and issues simply to make the most menial task exciting in the child mind. She was flying face first at a task where everything is new and exciting, both literally and figuratively flying rapidly at her face.


I bought shit comms. The cheap China garbage for $90 that only link with themselves. I don't ride with other people hardly ever and when I do the last thing I want to listen to is the millennial video-game-party-chat-banter that goes on in your average Cardo/Sena group chat. I needed to speak to her, have here hear me and be able to hear her and know when she has an issue or needs a break. About 326 adjustments later and we could do just that. The office complex ride was a wonderful chance to also do much like a shake down ride before a trip or after a bit of work. We figured out some issues with all the new equipment and made things work. I had purchased a mobility belt (see image below) to give her more options to hold on to things so it was more fool-proof. In the even of a loss of balance or need to grab the "oh shit" handle she would have plenty of options and not have to know where the rear rack grips are or be trying to grab my jacket in panic.
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This was an amazing tool to have for the beginning. Not only did it give her confidence that she had a life line to me and a "safe" place for her to hold on that was plain and simple but it also let me have feedback and the ability to know and feel when she was hanging on. Even with the large handles you can feel when someone simply has their hands on it and that added to my confidence knowing she was both paying attention and hanging-on-for-dear-life. The other options available did not instill any feeling of safety, neither strapping my kid to me and forcing her to be nuts-to-butts like the many options or the Canadian unobtanium that is called the "Back-Rider" was far out of reach and every avenue to get one led me down a quest path that my wallet and character were not high enough level to justify. This option was well built and worked perfectly.

Within the next week we had put down 3 days of solid riding. I brought her all around the area and to all of the close but fun spots where there were cool points of interest and fun things to see. Places that I always see HD riders go to on their once a week 22 mile "ride" before applying three coats of wax and 10 Bud heavies at The Mill on Round Lake. Those type of spots. I didn't want to overwhelm her with too much time riding in one sitting and I also wanted to gently push the envelope to see where her breaking point was so I could establish a baseline.

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The entire time I would try to engage her in conversations revolving around the experience and trying to understand what aspect's of the rides she was most interested in. I wanted to know what was making her brain and heart tick so that I could keep the excitement up and solidify that riding was fun. I didn't want to be the parent that forces my child to play piano or ballet and then have them hate the activity as soon as they are old enough to make their own decisions. That was my nightmare, well that and her just not liking being on the bike but that trench was already stormed and the enemy was vacant. I had to focus on what parts of the ride she loved.

After riding through a good bit of twisties:
"Those corners were really fun right? Did you like when the bike leans over like that? You did really good balancing!"
~"Yeah"

When she was suspiciously quiet for longer then I am comfortable with (she talks more then I do believe-it-or-not):
"Hey! Why are you so quiet back there?!?! You aren't getting tired are you? You can't fall asleep or close your eyes!"
~"NO DAD!, I am trying to enjoy the nature, I don't want to talk right now."
Imagine being worried and checking in just to have your kid pretty much tell you in 7yr old speak to "Shut up and enjoy the ride." Humbling.

After getting a bit aggressive with the throttle on a long open straight (She's got the Garauld, where is she gonna go, she can't slide off, right?)
~"DAD DAD DAD WHAT IS THAT CALLED WHEN WE DO THAT AND GO FAST?!?!?!"
"That's called a ""pull"" booger. We just did a pull."
~"Do more of those I like those!....[6.012 seconds later]....can we do a pull right now please??"
"There's cars in front of us now Boogs, I can't do pulls right now."
~"Well, go around the cars then and do a big one."

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She did make a valid point.
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by BkerChuck »

Great follow up installment. Please continue......
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

Early on in my journey into fatherhood there was a social media trend where people were taking a picture of them selves everyday and then dumping them into a time lapse to create a 60fps "morphing" video of them aging. I loved this idea and had been doing that with her for some time. That "some time" came to a halt when her mother and I split and various electronic possessions of mine mysteriously went missing including the camera and SD card I had purchased to take all of these photo's with. Single father life and it's responsibilities got in the way and the exercise was lost in the mix but it's vacancy sparked the idea for something completely different to accompany her new found "hobby".

At the start of our riding I had reset the trip counter on the bike so I could accurately gauge when she becomes tired, not only in the time spent in the saddle but also the miles traveled and bumps/turns/braking/pulls that go along with it. By the end of the first day it became clear she was not going to get tired of it and she was thrilled the entire time and so I forgot to even check the counter. So many thoughts and concerns to think about surely one of them had to fall through the cracks. I can easily "plan" a SS1000 on a Friday and complete it on a Sunday as long as the oil and tires are good but this type of undertaking had shown to necessitate far more attention to detail. Luckily when I realized the miles on the clock were all essentially hers I though about the picture-a-day project and decided to keep a log of her miles and what/where she has gone and seen. Almost like a riders journal to keep track of her travels but starting from the beginning. As I am sure many of you have done the IBA rides and are familiar with tracking our miles and trips, even miles on tires and between oil changes, motorcycling always in some way-shape-or-form forces us who do it more frequently then the average Road Glide owner, to keep some form of record whether mental or physical of our travels and miles. Sure many of us have that friend that put 500k on a GW, or the Mile Eater Diamond that has been from L.A. to N.Y.C. twice or visited all 50 states but how many people know how many miles they have ridden in their lifetime? Definitely not social media trend-worthy but something I can pass on to her when she gets her own MC endorsement and bike and allow her to flip through the many pages and remember the rides and times spent with her Dad that might slip away from the mind as many things do with the transition form adolescence to adulthood. Hopefully she then would keep up her own travels and be able to share them with me when I am paralyzed from my 2025 purchase of a Kawi H2 or when I am hooked up to machines and bed ridden from our lovely chemical ridden industrial food complex. Something I can share with her and she can share back with me.

And so it began...
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I decided that in the coming few weeks we would test her resolve and see where that breaking point lay. Her rides so far had been tame but increasing in length and time spent in-saddle but her resolve and enjoyment had not waned a bit. If we weren't on the bike she wanted to sit on it, touch it, work on it. If she was at school she was drawing us riding or some landscape she had seen while on one of our daytrips. I had stayed away from the interstate/highway for the obvious reasons thus far and focused on the riding most people seek out. Backroads, two lane, "twisties", and asphalt of the like. Most people. Not me.

INTERMISSION:
I should have stated this in my re-introduction but this should do as as-good a place as any. I have to get something off my chest that has bugged me for some time and I have almost been repressing, as it is a belief that is the opposite of what is normal in motorcycling. I have felt this way for many years and nothing solidified it more to me then my recent EOM trip and the roads I got to experience that were far to the extreme of what I though existed outside of a Windows wallpaper. I assure you this is relevant so let me tie it in.
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I just don't like "twisties". There, I said it. I am not bad at them and I am assure you all, the two blokes that I rode with at EOM can attest that I am fairly skilled at riding them. I managed to keep up with two riders that were very fast and very skilled on MC tires with my darkside rear. I do my fair share of dragging pegs and can keep up if not out-ride many-if-not-most of the people I encounter on a weekly basis out in "the wild". I just do not like the faith involved. I don't trust roads, gravel, sand, trees, pets, kids, wildlife, people getting their mail. It's always in my mind. If I were on a track, sure I would love to really lean the bike over and dive into things but out in public I am not so fond of the idea and the dice-roll that comes with it. That being said, I did love my time in WV and was thrilled to have another rider doing the "scouting" ahead of me but for the speeds we were doing through the areas we were in I would never in my days alone ride that by choice in that manner. I would love the route and be happy to travel it but it would be at a much calmer pace and I would be weary of every non-visible entity that could find it's way into my path.
I also do not like going so slow or being forced to go fast-slow-fast-slow etc. I find it overly tedious and dull. I know that sounds like a contradiction and I also assure you I love navigating tight city streets, I could probably ace or come close to ace-ing a police MC course. I can do all my figure eights front and back and have practiced years in lots the MotoJitsu teachings, I am a very skilled slow speed operator even with the FJR's weight and size but to do all of that over the course of miles is just mind numbingly annoying to me. That is not an instance of a lack of a better word, "annoying" describes what I experience perfectly.

It came to it's breaking point on my ride back from EOM. I literally had to say it out loud to myself in my helmet because it was so pent up for so long.

"I love the highway. I like to go fast. I like sweepers more then twisties and that's okay."

All that bullshit people spit about how "real" motorcycling is about the turns/anybody can go fast in a straight line/real riders are fast around corners... Sure, I get it and I agree with it. The reality is that I am very adept to those situations and conditions but I enjoy, much much more might I add, 85mph bumper-to-bumper Long Island Expressway/New Jersey Turnpike-style traffic and the split-second decisions required more then I do navigating a switchback. Being fast in traffic (to me) requires not only a very high level of skill and knowledge of your machine's capabilities, impeccable perception and logical reasoning, a high level of observational judgement of fellow drivers actions, and more importantly a willingness to disobey law, rules, social norms and make decisions and/or have the willingness to do things that are teetering on the razors edge of danger, in a controlled and safe manner. I grew up doing this, I learned to drive in those conditions, I learned to ride on the highway's in rush hour NY congestion.
Some might be able to pull away from me a bit on the Tail of The Dragon but I will keep up so they never have to stop or wait. On the other hand I assure you I will be waiting at Waffle House on the other side of Atlanta for at least a couple cups of stale coffee before they make it through that jungle and even have a chance to catch their breath. Bet.

INTERMISSION END:

If we were going to get anywhere (pun intended) I had to get her on the highway. A trial-by-fire was scheduled and a jury was selected.
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by Cav47 »

When your booger gets a litle bigger, I will send you some gear. My rider is likely not going to be needing all the things. Almost all of it was bought at a "friend" discount or free. We all would be honored to pass it forward to your rider!
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

Cav47 wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 12:52 pm When your booger gets a litle bigger, I will send you some gear. My rider is likely not going to be needing all the things. Almost all of it was bought at a "friend" discount or free. We all would be honored to pass it forward to your rider!
I fully appreciate that! MC gear is very hard to find for kids her age/size. I should take a second to address that point for readers along the way.

What you see her in a few of these pictures can be deceiving. Sure the MX boots and the armor under her shirt are obvious but what can't be seen is the 2 pairs of my Kevlar pants my Mother cut and stitched under her jeans or the under the armor second layer of impact padding. These were taken in the heat of June/July and this "outfit" was a conglomeration of all of the gear we had devised to keep her as safe as possible. The thin workout shirt over the top was a women's small and used to keep all that gear firmly in place and covering the parts that need to be covered. I am not a "bruthurrr" and agree fully with the geared up lifestyle and am only guilty of jeans and a hoodie every once in a blue moon. My kiddo though I try to take every precaution short of an impact airbag as they can break smaller humans necks apparently on detonation, believe me, I looked into them initially.
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by Festus »

She's adorable! Love hearing the stories about her personality too. You're making memories with her that she'll remember for the rest of her life. A girl has a special bond with her Dad and I'm sure she loves these rides with you as well.

Thanks for telling the story. No one here is going to tell you what you should or shouldn't do with her. This forum isn't Facebook :) If it doesn't involve Bourbon, these guys don't care what you do :)
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by BkerChuck »

I'm not aware of any minimum age to get your IBA number......Saddlesore 1k could be tough as booger might be apt to fall asleep. Though it sounds tougher a Bun Burner of 1.5k in 36 hours might be more attainable if done in early summer when you have the longest daylight hours available. Ride from just before sun up until after dark, get a few hours of sleep and repeat to get your 1500 miles within 36 hours.......I'd be impressed AF if she gets her number at that age! Jealous even!
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by wheatonFJR »

Now THIS is a fantastic journey…thanks for sharing!
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

BkerChuck wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:39 pm I'm not aware of any minimum age to get your IBA number......Saddlesore 1k could be tough as booger might be apt to fall asleep. Though it sounds tougher a Bun Burner of 1.5k in 36 hours might be more attainable if done in early summer when you have the longest daylight hours available. Ride from just before sun up until after dark, get a few hours of sleep and repeat to get your 1500 miles within 36 hours.......I'd be impressed AF if she gets her number at that age! Jealous even!
It's funny you should say that... I am planning on taking her for the "Ride Around New York State" as her first attempt for a few reasons, one being the distance from home if a need arises to cut it short. Two being my mother and sister live along the route should we need to stop for a break or again, cancel mid trip, and lastly as much as we all hate the politics of the cities NY is known for the rest of the state is a beautiful shade of red and not only in the fall. I <3 NY (just not all of it)

It is also ironic because I am currently trying to find 64 more miles to augment the exact 1044 mile ride and do a BBG1500 while fulfilling the Ride Around requirement. I really dislike i90 and do not want to do a figure 8 and would like the route to solely profile NY so I am trying to figure it out... We will see

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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by N4HHE »

BkerChuck wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:39 pm I'm not aware of any minimum age to get your IBA number......Saddlesore 1k could be tough as booger might be apt to fall asleep. Though it sounds tougher a Bun Burner of 1.5k in 36 hours might be more attainable if done in early summer when you have the longest daylight hours available. Ride from just before sun up until after dark, get a few hours of sleep and repeat to get your 1500 miles within 36 hours.......I'd be impressed AF if she gets her number at that age! Jealous even!
I am told Goldwing Wives routinely nap behind their husbands. But then they not only have backrests but armrests.
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by wheatonFJR »

N4HHE wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 6:15 pm
BkerChuck wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:39 pm I'm not aware of any minimum age to get your IBA number......Saddlesore 1k could be tough as booger might be apt to fall asleep. Though it sounds tougher a Bun Burner of 1.5k in 36 hours might be more attainable if done in early summer when you have the longest daylight hours available. Ride from just before sun up until after dark, get a few hours of sleep and repeat to get your 1500 miles within 36 hours.......I'd be impressed AF if she gets her number at that age! Jealous even!
I am told Goldwing Wives routinely nap behind their husbands. But then they not only have backrests but armrests.
Late afternoon sugar buzz wearing off from the DQ...
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by StreamRider »

wheatonFJR wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 7:50 pm
N4HHE wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 6:15 pm
BkerChuck wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:39 pm I'm not aware of any minimum age to get your IBA number......Saddlesore 1k could be tough as booger might be apt to fall asleep. Though it sounds tougher a Bun Burner of 1.5k in 36 hours might be more attainable if done in early summer when you have the longest daylight hours available. Ride from just before sun up until after dark, get a few hours of sleep and repeat to get your 1500 miles within 36 hours.......I'd be impressed AF if she gets her number at that age! Jealous even!
I am told Goldwing Wives routinely nap behind their husbands. But then they not only have backrests but armrests.
Late afternoon sugar buzz wearing off from the DQ...
I just spit out my drink a bit...
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Re: My Backpack Booger

Post by N4HHE »

wheatonFJR wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 7:50 pm
N4HHE wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 6:15 pm
BkerChuck wrote: Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:39 pm I'm not aware of any minimum age to get your IBA number......Saddlesore 1k could be tough as booger might be apt to fall asleep. Though it sounds tougher a Bun Burner of 1.5k in 36 hours might be more attainable if done in early summer when you have the longest daylight hours available. Ride from just before sun up until after dark, get a few hours of sleep and repeat to get your 1500 miles within 36 hours.......I'd be impressed AF if she gets her number at that age! Jealous even!
I am told Goldwing Wives routinely nap behind their husbands. But then they not only have backrests but armrests.
Late afternoon sugar buzz wearing off from the DQ...
No, am told they immediately go to sleep on the way to and from DQ.

Almost no Goldwing ever has been ridden on a route which didn't involve a food stop in the middle.

Goldwing riders say "GWRRA" stands for "Goldwing Restaurant Reviewers Association." GWRRA says otherwise.

Young country parents can often be found cradling a toddler while riding an ATV. Rocks the baby to sleep. Guessing the same happens for Goldwing wives.

Seriously, ask one how often they and the other wives sleep in the back seat.
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