Playing the Odds, Managing the Risks

This week Motorcycle Awareness Month comes to a close here in the U.S. The timing coincides with seasonal riders surging to the roadways after a long winter’s nap. It’s an […]


Going Off-Road at the BMW U.S. Rider Academy

I’m a fan of proper training. The value of learning from qualified instructors is not lost on me, particularly when it comes to photography and motorcycling. Unlike photography, proper motorcycle […]

motorcycling california and oregon

Motorcycling Through Northern California and Southern Oregon

“Shit!… are you kidding me?!? I don’t know about this. Shit-shit-shit-shit-shit!” (Or possibly stronger oaths.) Those are the words I gasped in my headset to my riding partner as the pavement […]

Carson City Sheriff's Office Extreme Motor Officer Challenge 2016

Carson City Motor Cop Competition

Each year, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office hosts the Extreme Motor Officer Training Challenge. This year marked the 13th anniversary of the event, designed to bring motor officers together for friendly competition, […]

motorcycle safety - val in real life

A Motorcyclist Wonders… Can You See Me Now?

It’s no secret that, in spite of a lot of effort by motorcyclists to remain visible while riding, the all-too-common scenario of “I didn’t see you!” is still the predominant reason riders […]

GeigerRig 710 - Val in Real Life

Hi-Viz Hydration with GeigerRig

For the last 3,000+ miles on Nina, I’ve been testing out the GeigerRig RIG 710 hydration engine. Here’s the scoop… What’s a GeigerRig? Hydration packs are largely the domain of […]

Bikes, Blues, and BBQ - Val in Real Life

Joining Progressive for Bikes, Blues, and BBQ

A couple of weeks ago, I partnered with Progressive Insurance to ride to my first major motorcycle rally. Since my motorcycling interests skew towards adventure travel, most of my experience […]

On the Road to Bikes, Blues, & BBQ for Progressive

On the Road to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ for Progressive

Today is a big day here at Val in Real Life HQ. My Nina is loaded and ready to roll to Arkansas for the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ rally in […]

Back to the Throttle With Moto Guzzi - Val in Real Life

Back to the Throttle With Moto Guzzi…

Last time I talked about the physical and emotional process of getting back to riding after a crash. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the technical aspects […]

The Journey Back to Riding - Val in Real Life

The Journey Back to Riding

How do you make a comeback? An epic one. I don’t have a formula for you. I can only share my experience. I do know that mine has had three […]


What Motorcyclists Want You to Know… Part 2

In my previous installment of what riders need drivers to understand, I talked about the practical points of motorcycling. Those things, involving safety and etiquette, keep riders and drivers alike […]


What Motorcyclists Want You to Know… Part 1

This is a piece I’ve been noodling on for some time but the importance of it escalated for me after being taken out by a careless driver in January. I’m […]


Immersed in Motorcycle Travel at Horizons Unlimited

This past weekend I attended my first Horizons Unlimited event. This gathering of motorcycle travelers is just one of many Horizons Unlimited events that happen all over the world each […]

val in real life

The Business of Personal Impact…

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first Horizons Unlimited gathering. There was great comfort in being immersed in this motorcycling community, surrounded by people who understand […]


Moto Gear: Crash Tested

My original intent with this gear review was to highlight what I chose, why, and how these pieces have performed for me. I still get to do that, but in […]


Why I will get back on the bike…

Motorcycling is a dance. Unlike driving a car which is much more passive, riding a motorcycle is an active, engaged experience. You learn the nuances of your bike. You use […]


Keeping it Real… Again.

I thought today I would be posting about the anniversary of Snowpocalypse, what I learned, and how I changed my habits to be prepared for something like that again in […]


The New Adventures of Val…

Last week marked my 43rd birthday. And I left you hanging as to what I’ll be taking on as my travels shift towards solo. Granted, it’s not exactly a well-kept […]

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