A Motorcycling Ambassador

As a rider, I believe in continually training. Improving my skills not only increases my confidence and enjoyment of motorcycling, it helps me stay as safe as possible. Our roadways are an unforgiving environment dominated by automobiles. On a daily basis, I share the road with people who do not prioritize safety and responsibility when driving. So I wear gear …

A Motorcyclist Wonders… Can You See Me Now?

motorcycle safety - val in real life

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 are involved in crashes. In the UK, there’s a motorcycling acronym: SMIDSY. It stands for Sorry-Mate-I-Didn’t-See-You. It has a flippant tone to it, but this is a very real issue …

Staying inReach with DeLorme

A while back I talked about some of my strategies for personal safety on the trail. One of the pieces of that strategy is a GPS tracking device. Whether I’m traveling by car, motorcycle, or foot, this technology is something I greatly appreciate. Especially when I’m solo. Why carry one? There are various mindsets about carrying a GPS tracker. Some …

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 slowly regaining ground physically and emotionally but it’s been a long road. In the aftermath of the crash, so many of the challenges and stigmas motorcyclists face came down on …

A Better Story

val in real life

One of the subjects much-discussed among the outdoor community is risk. And the very incorrect perception that our pursuits are often very risky, dangerous, or even downright irresponsible. As I’ve dealt with the hand injury has dominated my life for the last six months, I’ve had to recount the story of how I injured it countless times. It is a …

Personal Safety on the Trail

vickery creek

So friends… let’s keep it real. You know that’s how I roll here. There are countless dangers in life. There’s no escaping the hazards of existing in this world. The risks of outdoor adventure may seem dramatic but climbing into your car to go to work everyday is far more dangerous. But just like putting on your seatbelt, there are …

The Car-Camping Guide: Road Trip Essentials

You’ve probably figured out by now that I spend a lot of time on the road. There are a great many facets to making a road trip come together and, as you can imagine, there’s a method to my madness in how I prepare for a trip. Part of that method is breaking the process down into manageable chunks. One …

Postcards from Real Life: Safety

A couple of weeks ago, I took the time to re-certify in Wilderness First Aid. I’ve never had to use my skills to handle extreme situations but I have had to bandage up some scrapes and assess some bumps and bruises. Well, those kinds of things and the infamous toe incident. Going through the course again got me thinking about …

Cumberland Gap: Rangers in the Making

Obviously one of our priorities as parents here at Camp Granola is fostering a love of the outdoors, adventure, and nature in our littlest granolans. Fred and George are curious about a great variety of things, not all of which are related to these pursuits but it makes for a happy granola mom when they embrace it. Part of fostering …