I put my BMW MOA mileage contest forms in the mail a few days ago. I almost didn’t send them in at all. My riding mileage for the 2020–2021 contest season is abysmal. Embarrassing even.
In a “normal” year, I’d clock anywhere from 10–15 thousand miles. That’s fairly modest in the scheme of the mileage many BMW riders log in the contest. But I still like participating in it even though I’m not really a contender for the top slots. Since I wanted to enter for the upcoming season, I figured I’m if sending in my start form, I might as well send in last season’s end form as well. As heartbreaking as it is.
Realizing I’ve had less than 3,000 miles of saddle time between my R1200GS and my R100RT/ural sidecar in the last year hits me to the core. For reference, that’s considerably less saddle time than the year I was nearly killed by an inattentive driver and spent a large chunk of the the year recovering from that ordeal. That’s says a lot, doesn’t it?
So what gives?
Going full-time combined with the pandemic has been the perfect storm to derail my saddle time. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. Between our own logistical struggles and the pandemic fallout that has changed everything in complex, mind-boggling ways, we’ve struggled to carve out significant time to do the fun stuff.
Plus, we’re working really hard right now. Running three websites, multiple online stores, and my work with the Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists is well beyond a full-time job.
It also may surprise you to learn that RV life can be very time consuming and can be riddled with unpleasant surprises. We spend a great deal of time and energy managing our limited resources, navigating a small living space, fixing the trailer, battling rodents, and finding our next stay in a time when seemingly everyone has taken up RVing. The list goes on and on.
When I sit back to look at everything we’ve been through in the last eighteen months or so, I find myself surprised I got in as many miles as I did last season. Something had to give. And it pains me greatly that it was motorcycling.
Dagger to the heart
Once we were back on the road after the shutdown and it felt ok enough to ride again, we took the GS with us instead of the sidecar outfit. I did some follow-along-on-transit-days rides while J towed, plus a few other short rides in our stationary time.
We found ourselves at Wild Horse State Recreation Area for a couple of weeks over the Independence Day holiday. On that visit, we had a nice chat with the park ranger about riding. He recommended some routes in the area.
When we returned to the park a couple of months later, he stopped by and asked if I’d done any of the rides. I had to sheepishly admit I hadn’t, reminding him we aren’t on vacation. We work from the road.
“So it’s just a really nice campsite ornament then?” he asked, glancing toward my bike.
I have to say I had a physically painful reaction to his statement/question. Because he was right. And it hurt. Bad. (Happy hour may have started early that night.)
Yet that was seven months ago. And we’re still struggling to get the seat time we need to feel like we’re living our best lives.
We know we need to make some changes and we’re working on them as best we can in still-uncertain times. As little riding time as I’ve had, J has had even less with us leaving his bike behind in storage while we’re on the road. We’re not good with that.
We’ve spent many a happy hour lately soul-searching about what we want moving forward. And we have to do that in the context of the state of the world today which is like another universe from when we set out on the road.
I’ll talk more about that later as we progress on those decisions. In the meantime, I’ve sent in my MOA 2021–2022 mileage contest start form, dripping with Val determination that we’ll get our shit together and fix this problem.
(And shhhh… don’t tell the folks at MOA there’s a little extra juju in that envelope. It might freak them out.)