My first solo ride

I've dreamed of owning a street motorcycle since I was a teenager. In my mind it had always been a street bike that I would inevitably lose my license with. I know myself, I would get caught speeding or doing something stupid to show off or to keep up with the guys.  Several years later, a little wiser, still reckless and with a 180 in motorcycle tastes.  I still appreciate and admire the lines of a street bike but I was after something with a bit more character.

Often, my work and what I paint reflect what's on my mind, what my heart wants and sometimes what I want without realizing it.  Much can be said about buying my Harley.  I have been painting and getting more involved in the street side of the motorcycle world over the last few years and that's when I started realizing I'm actually painting my ideals.  I've spent an embarrassing amount of time oogling my dream bike, a murdered out Iron 883 but I couldn't justify that amount on my very first motorcycle. 

I ended up finding my Pearl, a 2000 XL883, about 2 months ago - acquiring her without even having my license yet and admittedly I rode her several times before I even got my learners. I've done short trips here and there - getting comfortable, learning the way she moves, shifts, peaks.  Enjoying the wild stares as I pass by as they realize I'm a girl.

I never took a single picture the day of my first solo ride, I was too in the moment to care about visually documenting it.  Instead I'll write exactly how I felt because that's something I won't ever forget.

My first solo ride I banked just over 200 miles - not a lot to the die hards but to me that was a big step.  I geared up, layered up, gassed up and headed out of town.  About 10 miles in, I could feel the sun warming my back and I could smell the fresh dirt being tilled by the farmer working to the west of the highway.   

I've always known I've had a love for motorcycles but in that moment, I really, truly understood that this is everything that I work for, breathe for and live for.  The indescribable freedom of being on the road by myself, without my phone on, without another person to rely on put my mind at ease and made my heart happy.  That feeling is what I'll chase the rest of my life.