Time to Write

IMG_3774 Catskills crash landingby Liz Jansen

My grandparents were refugees, fleeing civil war, starvation, and persecution. Speaking your mind got you shot, often in front of your family. I’m sure that ancestral fear was imprinted deeply in my psyche when I arrived on this earth, compounded by religious beliefs that taught me questioning my faith was a sin.

Contrasted with these shadows were enormous strengths that also live in me—kindness, compassion, courage, resilience, community, forgiveness—and actively working for peace.

Understanding these intricacies was the intent when I set out in August 2014 to travel the Americas by motorcycle, living, studying, and working from the road, researching my next book. I never anticipated the chain of events that would take me down a road very different from the one I’d planned, set off with a crash on what was my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. Painful and unsettling as they’ve been, the ensuing months have also been transformative, in a wonderful way.

I’m curious. Specifically, how did the teachings of my early years, including those from the Mennonite community, prepare me for life today? What forgotten or subconsciously buried beliefs live in my energy field and unknowingly influence my thoughts, choices, actions, and even health? How do I heal the past with its limiting roles, and become the author of my destiny?

I’ve also been drawn to learn more about indigenous wisdom, especially as it pertains to the interconnectedness of all things. All my relations. Somehow, the two themes converge.

Now, finally, it’s time to write the stories that have been so formative in getting me to this place in time and space. For months, I’ve been (not always so patiently) seeking clarity, to envision the framework of the overall story. Through a series of synchronicities, just last week the fog lifted.

Even though I know without a shadow of doubt it’s what I’m to do, the thought of putting pen to paper is anxiety producing. I’ll be traveling symbolically to unknown inner places and I’m not sure what I’ll find. Additionally, deeply desiring to honor the stories as they’re extracted and written is intimidating.

Beginning Monday, my intense focus will be on completing a first draft of Crash Landing, the title for at least the time being. I enjoy posting blog articles, writing newsletters, and interacting on FaceBook, Twitter, and others. But diverting energy here makes it that much harder to get back into the head space of where I need to be now. Expect to hear or see very little from me over the winter while I hunker down and write.

Thank you for your understanding and support. I look forward to hearing your stories as well as sharing mine as we ride down this road together.


Posted in Adventure, Liz's Stories

Motorcycle News You Can Use: Nov. 13-20

by Liz Jansen

motorcycle news you can use


Riding season is drawing to a close or significantly curtailed for many of us. That’s a sign to start planning for next season. I thought I’d help by sharing favorite posts that have crossed my desk recently.

I’m loving my Triumph Tiger for many reasons, not the least of which is its low weight. 6 Great Motorcycles Under 500 Pounds identifies more choices in this category.

You can count on Rachael, aka FuzzyGalore, to come up with creative, often quirky, and always delightful ride themes. Get some travel ideas from her Lifelong Pursuit of Fun List.

On the subject of safety, Skidmarks graphically illustrates the importance of quality gloves. Riding Tips: Why We Crash reviews common causes of crashes and how to avoid them.

Gift giving season is just around the corner and Leatherman’s Tread Wearable Multi-Tool is on my list. My guess is it’s going to make a lot of rider’s lists this year.

I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles of the week? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!


6 Great Motorcycles Under 500 Pounds

Amos, RideApart

Note: Let’s not forget my #1 Pick: Triumph Tiger! 

“If you’ve ever tried threading the needle at slow speeds in traffic or just meandering your way around a busy parking lot, you know how difficult it is to deftly helm a heavy motorcycle. There are advantages to riding a lighter motorcycle in these situations since they’re generally more nimble.

They’re also easier to lift should you drop the bike. But that doesn’t mean you want to ride something featherweight on a daily basis, since you also need a modicum of power. We’ve settled on 500 pounds as a great middle ground for bikes that are easier to ride and steer, but still come with enough displacement and power to get you where you need to go.”

Lifelong Pursuit of Fun List: Time to Start Planning for 2016


“Every morning a writing prompt from The Daily Page greets me in my mailbox. The intent is to encourage me to write something, anything each day. Ostensibly the encouragement is for this blog, but 9 times out of 10? I scribble something in my journal instead.

But today we have a winner! A topic that seems blog-worthy and quite timely as 2015 begins its wind down.”

Riding Tips: Why We Crash

Ken Condon, Motorcyclist

“Play with fire and you just might get burned. This truism about doing risky things applies to motorcycling as much as it does to open flame. Fortunately, you can reduce the risks by knowing the most common crash scenarios and then utilizing strategies to keep from getting burned.”

Leatherman Introduces the Tread Wearable Multi-Tool

Troy Siahaan, Motorcycle dot com

“With the Tread wearable multi-tool bracelet, each 17-4 stainless steel link features a specific tool (or two) to fix whatever minor roadside problem you might encounter, whether it’s a loose cable or a lever that needs adjusting. The 10 links total up to 29 tools, including screwdrivers, box wrenches, hex heads, cutters, SIM card picks, 1/4-inch adaptors and much more, making it a really handy device if you don’t want to carry a toolbox everywhere you go.”

Skidmarks: ATTGATEFGism

Gabe Ets-Hoken, Motorcycle dot come

“There are things out there that should never happen, yet they happen often enough there’s a word for it. Necrophilia is one of those things, as is “Quesarito.” Another one of those things is degloving.

Degloving, you say? Isn’t that when you take off a glove? Sure, I guess so, but that’s not the primary usage of that word. You may Google it of course, but I strongly, strongly advise against it.”

I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles of the week? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!

photo credit: Mae Hong Son Loop via photopin (license)

Posted in Adventure, Travel Tagged with: , ,

Mind to Heart Motorcycle Talk

by Liz Jansen

Motorcycle Talk

When motorcycles talk, I listen. And so it was that I pulled off the road last Friday evening, choosing to get a room for the night rather than complete the remaining 300 km/190 miles that would get me to my planned destination. It’s also why I’ve decided to fly rather than ride to Joshua Tree for next week’s course.

After spending two weeks of introspection and intense Energy Medicine study at the Omega Institute last week, punctuated by a weekend of riding through brilliant Hudson Valley fall scenery, my original plan was to return home for a quick turnaround and then get back on the road to cover 4,000 km/2,500 miles in five days.

Friday’s ride started out with beautiful riding weather—sunshine and coolish temperatures. But my mid-afternoon start was later than I’d expected and even with a GPS, I got turned around following a circuitous route through the Catskills. The scenery was gorgeous however and the roads in fantastic shape as I wound through showy autumn foliage. Even when I knew I was hopelessly off course, I sat back and enjoyed it. These opportunities don’t come every day and I figured I could make up time whenever I got to the Interstate.

By the time I was on the freeway, dusk was descending. As I headed west on an already gusty day, I could see a storm front approaching and intensifying, bringing thunder and lightning. Not good conditions for making time.

New York State rest stops are conveniently close together as rest stops go, but if you’re caught in between them, even 20 miles can seem like the other side of the earth. Timing is everything though and with a little help from the throttle, I made it to shelter just as the heavens opened.

I was barely halfway back so when the worst of the storm passed, I started out again, now in total darkness. It was still windy and rainy and with the storm front passing, the temperatures had plummeted. Still, I’m geared to stay warm and dry in those conditions.

Shortly after returning to the road, my bike started misbehaving. I can only describe the sensation as the feeling one gets when traveling over expansion joints, bouncing up and down. It varied somewhat with speed and was intermittent. Although there was plenty of wind buffeting, this was different, and it didn’t seem to be affecting any other vehicles.

Fatigue was creeping in to add to the mounting challenges and finally, I had to come to terms with the fact that it would be crazy to continue riding. I pulled off at the next exit and found a room where I could sleep until daylight provided decent illumination to inspect my bike.

The next morning there were no obvious problems and a test ride went very smoothly. The behavior did not return. It must have been the road surface that was hard to see in the darkness and rain (another reason to stop). Or it could have been the bike talking to me in the language I know best. It was time to get off the road.

Sunshine was back but it was cold—5.5C/41F most of the way. Even with heated gear, those temperatures take a toll and I was grateful to have less than 300km/190 miles to go. It also validated my decision to fly to Joshua Tree.

I love being out on the open road and there was a not-too-long-ago time when those daily distances would have been no problem. However, I’ve not yet recovered full movement or physical stamina, and the weather is unpredictable at this time of year.

This time, mind won out over heart. It’s been an abbreviated season that’s coming to a close too quickly. But wisdom wins. That ‘you can do it in spite of the challenge’ talk got me into big trouble last year and I have no desire to repeat that lesson. Besides, my motorcycle will be waiting when I return, and there’ll still be riding opportunities, even if they’re shorter.


Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 9.34.29 PM

Posted in Adventure

Going Down Stairs

by Liz Jansen

going down stairs

In my dream, I was going down stairs from the upper to ground level in an open concept home. Wooden beams supported the peaked ceiling and the entire wall, from peak to ground was glass, allowing the light to stream in. I stood at the top, looking down into space. This was not the typical staircase—with steps. It was like the bleachers in a gymnasium when they’re all tucked away and I was standing at the top, knowing I had to get down.

From somewhere, a voice encouraged me to take the step; that all would be well. Trust was barely a thread stronger than terror as I falteringly stepped forward into the abyss with my right foot. As if by magic, the step appeared below me, but only the next one. Each step was just as hard, required the same step of faith, and appeared when I needed it. But I had to take the step first.

No one could have prepared me for how life altering the past year has been. The physical crash was merely the catalyst. At first I assumed I’d take 6-8 months to recover, get a new bike and be on my way again. I even called it a detour.

I’ve come to realize it’s no detour. It’s just not what I planned. This is the Road I’m supposed to be on with lessons I need to learn. Like letting go of old ways that once worked but now need to make way for the new. Or releasing (perceived) control of the outcome. Patience. Waiting. Listening. Learning to ask for help. Engaging with the power and strength of community.

Just looking at that list still creates anxiety.

In the ‘old days’ I’d set a goal and then make sure I accomplished it. That learned behavior makes for great results but it takes its toll physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Now I see there are easier, more scenic roads that will take me to my destination with a lot less angst, and more peace of heart and mind.

The Wheels to Wisdom via Ancient Spirituality Quest I set out on more than a year ago is still very much alive. The route I’ve taken looks very different than the one I planned. What I’d hoped to learn by traveling the Americas I’ve started to learn from home. How it’s transpired is just very different.

Perhaps going down the ‘stairs’ in my dream is indicative of the need to travel deeper into my unconscious and discover what’s there. To listen to my internal guidance system.

This weekend I’ll head out for 5-6 weeks, combining motorcycle travel and Energy Medicine Courses. The first half of October will be in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York. Then it’s back home for a day before heading out to Joshua Tree, California. I’ve done a bit of traveling since getting my bike in July, but there’s a lot of pent up desire to get out on the open road so I’m excited about it. For many reasons.

I still don’t know where the Road is leading although I sense the general direction, subject to change of course. My job is to keep moving forward, even if the action called for at the time is non-action. My mission is to take one step at a time, knowing it’s leading me in the right direction.

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below. Or follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!

photo credit: Going down? (Azrieli Tower’s staircases) via photopin (license)

Posted in Leadership, Liz's Stories, Personal Growth Tagged with: , ,

Motorcycle News You Can Use | Sept 26 to Oct 2

by Liz Jansen


This weekend I’m leaving for 5-6 weeks on the road. While I won’t be riding the entire time, I’m putting on significant mileage. Top 10 Tools to Take Touring was an excellent reminder, especially since I’m getting used to organizing/packing on a different bike.

One of the most common fears of riders, especially women, is that they need to have both feet flat on the ground. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s actually destabilizing—and can significantly limit your choice of bike. 5 Tips for Short Riders Handling Tall and Big Motorcycles dispels that myth and shows you how to safely manage a tall (for you) bike.

My warning labels peeled right off after leaving my bike in the hot sun, but they can be pesky to remove. How to Remove Factory Warning Stickers shows you how.

Any rider knows why it’s important to Practice Patience, especially since we have to do it more often than car drivers.

Ohio’s Windy 9 offers excellent ideas for autumn riding. Ride them before the snow flies!


5 Tips for Short Riders Handling Tall and Big Motorcycles

Tricia Szulewski, Women Riders Now

“As a woman who is 5 foot 7 inches tall, I realize I am at an advantage when it comes to fitting most motorcycles. That said, I have ridden plenty of motorcycles where I can only reach the ground on tiptoes. I’ve only tipped a bike over once learning valuable lessons in the process that I’m about to share to with you.

How to Remove Factory Warning Stickers from Your Motorcycle | MC Garage Video


“It’s a shame that after some designer has perfected the look of a motorcycle some lawyer types insist on splashing the machine with warning labels. Thankfully those warning labels are fairly easy to remove, especially if you attend to them while the bike is new. In this video from the MC Garage, we’ll show you how to quickly and easily remove factory applied warning labels and decals. You’ll improve your bike’s appearance and provide some solace to motorcycle designers everywhere.”

The Top 10 Tools to Take Touring

Evans Brasfield, Motorcycle dot com

“When setting out for a tour, be it extended or just a weekend jaunt, you need to plan for any hurdles you may encounter on the way. The best strategy to increase your odds of being able to continue your ride after a mishap or mechanical issue is to carry a tool kit that includes more than just the basics. While your bike probably came with a factory kit, you’d be foolish to count on it to serve as anything more than a paperweight. Read on to see what tools I think you should carry – at a bare minimum – on your next tour.”

Top Priority: Practice Patience When Riding Your Motorcycle

Nick Inetsch, Cycle World

“With this latest Ride Craft, I’m not trying to teach you a physical technique that can be mastered with correct practice. Rather, I seek to drive home this simple but important message: Don’t push time. This applies to all riders but particularly to riders who are always in a rush. You know who you are.”

Ohio’s Windy 9: The Passport to THE Authentic Ohio Riding Experience

Staff, The Motorcycle Mag

“Ohio’s Windy 9 is the best scenic view of Southern Ohio and is truly the best 1,000 miles for riding. From a leisurely cruise along the Ohio River, to the roller coaster effect of State Route 555 (aka The Triple Nickle), the Windy 9 is the passport to THE authentic Ohio riding experience! And there are several things riders can experience during a break from their ride – from great eateries, bars and wineries to exploring the great outdoors on hiking trails – and places to stay.

There are nine different routes a part of the Windy 9.”

I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles of the week? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!

photo credit: Santa Ana – Uruguai via photopin (license)

Posted in Motorcycle Tips Tagged with: , , ,

Learning to Fly

by Liz Jansen

learning to fly

Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Learning to Fly (lyrics and video below) picks up with me on my motorcycle, heading down an Alberta back road last year, starting out for ‘God knows where’. I think of my hospital room overlooking the city of Calgary and the Rocky Mountains, and how everything changed.

“Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still”

It describes the unexpected cycles that have transpired since then—cycles of starting out, learning, soaring, coming down—in a world that perpetually looks different.

The song actually took over the room the year before during my first Four Winds Energy Medicine course. You can’t sit still in your chair while this is playing and soon students were dancing around the open space surrounding the chairs, ‘learning to fly’.

That introductory class was focused on learning to recognize and shed constraining beliefs and emotional drama passed down through generations, and to develop new relationships with self and others—much like a snake sheds its skin as it grows. Learning to Fly in that context was about learning to let go and create a new blueprint.

First recorded in 1991, the meaning of Learning to Fly’s lyrics has been the topic of much discussion, often based on psychedelic drugs. No psychotropics were involved in either of these events.

There are two video versions below. I prefer the audio of the first but find the video interpretation less relevant, so have included the second. Choose your favorite!

Turn up the volume and listen along. Let your imagination run wild, and let the song speak to you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

“Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn


Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown

So I’ve started out for God knows where
I guess I’ll know when I get there

I’m learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down


I’m learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

I’m learning to fly”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Music video by Tom Petty performing Learning To Fly. (C) 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Live Concert

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning To Fly (live 2006) HQ 0815007

photo credit: Bald Eagle via photopin (license)

Posted in Personal Growth, Travel Tagged with:

Motorcycle News You Can Use | Sept 19-25

by Liz Jansen

News You Can UseMotorcycle Art, Photography, Gasoline Additives, Taking a Hit and Fun on Small cruisers are the chosen posts for this week’s Motorcycle News You Can Use.

Photographing Motorcycles Parked in Front of Places captures turning points, in roads and life through creative photography. Artwork of Your Dreams is creative in other ways, using motorcycles and even coffee stains to create innovative messages.

Gasoline 101 helps decipher all the talk around fuel additives—a topic important to the well-being of your bike.

It hurts to get hit—and not just physically. The impact pervades well beyond the initial event. Learn how to handle it if it happens.

Lastly, how big is enough? Many times, a small bike can do everything it’s bigger brother can do, and it’s easier to manage, insure, and pay for.


Photographing Motorcycles Parked In Front Of Places

Tod Rafferty, Motorcycle Dot Com

“We hear a lot about how it’s the ride, not the destination. Okay, understood. But, since you need a place to turn around, the destination has to figure in there, right? Not that you have to actually know where it is when you set out, but when you get there and say okay, time to turn around, that was it. Destination Point. The place to which you were going, whether you knew it or not. So you take a picture.

Of course you also take photos along the way, but the turnabout is key. The turning point, the middle of the story, the place that offers rest and good food. Which is followed by the new perspective, and even point of view, of heading back home.”

Gasoline 101: Origin, Additives, And Octane | MC Garage

Ari Henning, Motorcyclistonline

“On any given day, Americans burn through some 368 million gallons of gasoline. We have a serious appetite for the stuff, but besides fussing over its price, how much thought do you give to gasoline? When so much pride and concern is fixed to your bike’s performance, how much do you know about the flammable liquid that makes it all happen?

Strap in, kiddos, because in this issue and the next you’re going to get a crash course on gasoline.”

Ingredients For Life: Coffee And Motorcycles Together In The Artwork Of Your Dreams

Laurel C. Allen, Cycle World


“Coffee and motorcycles: You need these things for life; artist and illustrator Carter Asmann needs these things for art. (Which, to be fair, is also life, but I’m not trying to blow your mind at 8 in the morning.) Twin coffee-cup rings form the wheels in Asmann’s brilliantly detailed series of motorbike masterpieces, and one look at his creations will convince you that no couple is hotter than graphite and caffeine.”

Somebody Hit Me a Month After Buying My First Motorcycle

Tony Markovich, RideApart

“It only took one month for my friends and family to be able to say to me, “told you so.” I sat in the middle of the street in West Hollywood watching as gasoline spewed out of the punctured gas tank. I looked at the bike, lying on its side, as people started to step out of their cars to see if I was okay. All I could feel was anger.

I wasn’t concerned with any injuries, I wasn’t extremely worried about the state of the motorcycle, and the animosity wasn’t even aimed at the person who’d just hit me. I was mad that my two wheels were now out of commission. I was pissed that I became another cliche. Most of all, I was furious that, after years of yearning to own a motorcycle, I only had about two weeks of true riding (I’ll explain that later) before everybody close to me now had even more fodder to protest my continued riding.”

Big Fun On Small Cruisers | MC Comparo

Andrew Cherney, Motorcyclistonline

“Small-displacement cruisers sometimes get the short end of the stick. They’re too often labeled as beginner motorcycles, which can be a fate worse than death in the size-conscious cruiser market. When they hear you’re on the hunt for a smaller-proportioned, lightweight machine, well-meaning friends will often steer you toward the “entry-level” end of the spectrum, where the bikes are built to a strict price, and, well, they often show it. At that zip code, your options used to involve just air-cooled, single-cylinder, carbureted engines, chain drive, a five-speed gearbox, and drum brakes.

But what if you have some riding experience and a hankering for more than just a cheap quarter-liter machine that can barely outrun its own shadow? Maybe you want something that actually looks, feels, and works like a substantial motorcycle rather than a child’s toy but want to pay less than $9,000. Fortunately, your midsize cruiser choices these days are way more plentiful and a lot more diverse.”

I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles of the week? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!


photo credit: 1936 New Imperial 250 via photopin (license)

Posted in Motorcycle Tips Tagged with: , ,

Parting Words From a Friend

by Liz Jansen

Terry returned to spirit form on October 15, 2015, two months after his diagnosis. Those of us who knew him are better off for having shared a portion of our earthly journey with him. We feel profound loss and sadness, yet the same time, there’s love and gratitude for a life well-lived. Ride in Peace my friend. You are missed Terry. 

Last week I visited a friend and mostly listened. Soon he will leave this physical plane and there were many words wanting to be heard.

Terry is my friend and colleague in the motorcycle training program at Humber College. In April at age 56, he retired from the Toronto Transit Commission, full of dreams and health. Although he taught a lot in spring and early summer, we didn’t get an opportunity to teach together this season as I was healing from a fractured ankle.

Animated, he described this year’s friends’ May dragon-slaying ride to Deal’s Gap, twisting, cavorting, and advancing on their motorcycles as the dragon flicked his tail. They were the victors, returning with tall tales and indelible memories.

Terry Fast Parting words

In late July, he returned to the Mennonite enclave of Steinbach, Manitoba where his father grew up. Terry and I shared a start in life in a similar heritage, and later the transition away from it. Unfortunately, the hope of seeing an ill relative before she passed, meant a plane ticket instead of a 4,000km/3,200 mile loop around Lake Superior on his motorcycle.

My stomach barely stayed with me as in great detail, he described the ‘ride of a lifetime’ in his cousin Mike’s stunt plane. “There’s nothing like a hammerhead stall and rolling out inverted at +3G force,” he exclaimed.

A persistent, gnawing pain in his right side sent him to the doctor in August. Terry was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of bile duct/liver cancer. Inoperable. Untreatable. Aggressive.

We sat outside facing the backyard, his pride and joy, the result of years of painstaking planning and care. The lush garden he’d created around the stream and waterfall feeding the koi pond offered serenity and an oasis for the soul, sealing off external interference.


I sat there in my riding gear and listened to the words of a man who knows he’s dying and is ready ‘when the call comes’.

He loved teaching students to ride motorcycles, and he was very good at it. But what touched him most were the stories, especially from the women, about why they were learning to ride—because someone had told them they couldn’t, or they had survived an abusive relationship and were rebuilding their confidence, or they were pushing their comfort zone to see what they could do.

To aid in the transformation that comes with learning to ride was deeply fulfilling for Terry.

He’s actively and directly changed the course of lives in other ways.

Terry’s lifetime love of dogs led him to serve with the St. John Ambulance Provincial Therapy Dog Program. Joining in 1995 with his first Therapy Dog Jenny, he was trained by program founders Jim and Doreen Newel. Between 2002 and 2007, with Lucas as his Canine Partner, Terry served as Provincial Coordinator, traveling across Ontario assisting local Coordinators establish programs in their communities. These front line volunteers would take their dogs to any facility where the love of a dog could be used to comfort the elderly, sick children, or those with learning disabilities.545608_10151258505765351_1518528970_n

Terry talked about the value of the Restorative Justice (RJ) Program he volunteered in for years. An alternative to the court system for young offenders, the RJ volunteer, investigating officer, offender and a family member or support person work through a methodical process together. The results are dramatic for everyone involved. And they’re sustainable, changing individuals, families, and neighborhoods. Last fall he helped train another 20 volunteers to fill the growing need in his community.

He didn’t pick this disease or foresee his life evolving like this, cutting short the plans he and his wife Sherry had for retirement. Yet he accepts it. “I’ve done a lot and I’m thankful for that. I don’t regret what I didn’t have.”

Since learning to ride as a teenager, he’s put a lot of miles on his bike touring the Pacific coast, the southwest, and numerous trips to Deal’s Gap and area. The best trip was last year, when to his surprise and delight Sherry joined him for the first time.

Frightening experiences in her youth had turned her away from motorcycles, but she was ready to try again with Terry. She flew to Halifax to meet him for a wonderful 10-day trip around Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. Both are grateful they got this time together.


Now they’re sharing another journey, a section of road they had no intention of visiting for many years—one that revolves around care, hospice, and how Sherry will continue after Terry’s gone. Like what to do with his motorcycle. Bikes have been an important part of his life and he wants as many of them at his service as possible.

Sherry supported an unsteady Terry while we walked out to my bike, although he insisted on bending over to pick up and hand me the side stand puck I’d forgotten to retrieve before I got on.

Contrary to his weakening physical health Terry’s strength is absolutely amazing. To have an evening with him, hear his wisdom, and share memories was an incredible gift.

Thank you Terry. Godspeed, my friend.

Photos: Courtesy of Terry Fast


On September 20, 2015, a group of Humber College Motorcycle Instructors paid a surprise visit to Terry at his home (with full approval from Sherry). John Kerns put together this lovely remembrance of that day, a day of celebrating close friendship and a life well lived.


Posted in Liz's Stories, Personal Growth Tagged with: , ,

Motorcycle News You Can Use – Sept 12-18

by Liz Jansen

news you can use

This week’s Motorcycle News You Can Use covers the whimsical to the practical. Take a trip down memory lane with riders and motorcycles who were considered hot in their day. Then, prepare to see the new motorcycle emoji on your texts and messages after it’s launched on the 16th. It’s kinda cute. :)

Mike Jacobs recounts 18 lessons he learned on an epic 28-day ride around Lake Superior. I’ve never done the circumference in one single trip, but I’ve done all the sections many times and can attest to the splendour. Every time you go you notice something different.

Touring can tire your back, which is why the ergonomic tips from RoadRunner Magazine are so useful.

And lastly, I live in an apartment without access to an outdoor hose and most of the time, have to haul buckets of water for the spot-wash and rinse. The new RinseKit looks really appealing!


Famous Movie Motorcycles : From Easy Rider to Ghost Rider

Amos, RideApart

“Movie car scenes always grab our attention—whether it’s Bond escaping baddies in Alfa Romeo’s with his Aston Martin DBS in Quantum of Solace, or Nicolas Cage helming a stunning gray Ferrari 550 Maranello in Family Man.

But when two-wheelers zoom into the frame, our pulses race that much more. And there’s been more than a handful of great motorcycles in movies to hit the big screen over the decades with no end in sight. We’ve selected some of the most memorable bikes, both production and custom bikes, that deserve your cinematic and motoring respect.”

Justice Served: The Motorcycle Emoji is Almost Here

Lauren C. Allen

“A great wrong in the world has finally been righted—at least if you’re an Apple device user. For emoji-loving, motorcycle-riding, iPhone and iPad users, the days of having to resort to combining the bicycle-rider emoji with the wind symbol (which, let’s be real, ends up looking a lot more like gastrointestinal problems than speed) are almost over: The next IOS release (9.1, coming September 16) contains an actual motorcycle emoji.”

28 Days on the Road Around Lake Superior

Mike Jacobs, Motorcycle dot com

18 lessons learned while touring around the biggest Great Lake—from Go Back to Places you Missed or Didn’t Get To Enjoy Fully the First Time, to Never Deny Yourself Anything in Life, and American Snacks are Superior to Canadian Snacks. Read the article to learn the rest.

Touring Tip : Banishing the Aching Back : RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel Magazine


“Touring motorcyclists are often on the road from dawn until dusk, and riding for days at a time. To maximize enjoyment, riders need a mount that is set up as ergonomically comfortable as possible.

Since each person’s body is different, a bike fresh off the showroom floor may not be configured for your personal long distance comfort. Here are some of the key ergonomic considerations in evaluating how well a bike fits its rider and strategies for improving comfort.”

Water, Water, Everywhere | Rinsekit Portable Water System

William Conner, RideApart

You can take a hose and bucket anywhere with this portable water system.

“The RinseKit hose quickly attaches to your water spigot with a supplied quick connect coupler and fills the two gallon eon™ pressure chamber with approximately 65 psi of water pressure (standard home pressure) in 20 seconds time. It can hold pressure for up to one month. Simply attach the spray nozzle to the RinseKit hose with the quick coupler, select one of the seven spray settings and fire away! This patented design has no moving parts and can be filled with hot or cold water an infinite number of times. (Source: RinseKit.com)”

I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles of the week? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything!
photo credit: Early Morning on the Blue Ridge Parkway via photopin (license)



Posted in Motorcycle Tips Tagged with: , ,

Migraine Relief

by Liz Jansen

migraine relief

Earlier this week I had a migraine. Not the worst kind where I’m in bed for days—except for every 15 minutes when I have to run to the bathroom to throw up. This week’s was a milder version with no vomiting, just a vise around my throbbing head and a knife in my eye.

Migraines are nothing new. I’ve had them since I was seven. Unlike many women who experience fewer once they pass menopause, mine have increased in frequency.

What was different this time was that I gave in to it. Earlier. And it hasn’t left me looking and feeling like a used dishrag, physically and emotionally spent, barely able to think let alone drag myself around. Or function with any resemblance of competence.

From their onset, I learned to live with them. Perhaps I adopted my mother’s example as I don’t remember explicitly being told to buck up. It was expected. Migraines were a headache, albeit a severe one, but still nothing serious. Learn to live and work with it. Go to bed only when there’s no option.

And so you push yourself, trying to ignore the nausea and blinding pain. More than ‘just a headache’, migraines are a systemic malady and don’t take lightly to being ignored. They want attention. Now!

Sickness wasn’t valued in my family. You worked through things, unless the situation was dire. There was no way I was going to be called a lead-swinger.

I recall the time when as a young Registered Nurse, I woke up with a migraine, and as was my practice, medicated it into submission as best I could and headed off to work. Calling in sick was frowned upon by the hospital and I was still a part time employee, hoping to snag one of the rare full time positions.

Standing in the private room with my back to the window, I tried to make the patient’s bed while he was in surgery. Head pounding, stomach roiling, and irritable beyond words, I tried to squelch undeniable messages my body from my body, trying not to show what would be perceived as a weakness.

Soldier on.

Until my stomach revolted. I ran from the room and shortly after, ceded, and drove home.

Driving while under the influence of a migraine is impaired driving. You don’t even have to have taken any meds—the monster itself impairs you. I’ve even ridden my motorcycle ‘under the influence’, stopping to let the waves of pain and nausea subside before continuing.

During my corporate years, many times I’d try and fake it, stoically remaining at my desk or in a meeting, trying to function. My pallor, squinty eyes, and preoccupation usually gave me away.

Showing up at work and not letting others down was a value deeply ingrained in the corporate culture of the day, not just my family.

Perfect attendance awards were given out annually. I never got one, viewing them as ludicrous. Why would you motivate someone to show up, regardless of capability (or contagiousness), rather than incenting performance metrics, including interpersonal relations? It never made any sense, but so entrenched a value was it, that it was untouchable—until the company was bought out by one much more progressive in its Human Resources—and business practices.

Thankfully for me, with modern pharmaceuticals and alternative medicine modalities, hosting migraines which progress to the knockout stage are rare.

I’m learning to listen to my body. The ancient wisdom that forms the basis for the Energy Medicine I’m studying teaches that our physical bodies are not separate from our emotions or spirit. Illnesses are often the outcome of an imbalance—somewhere. Tracking it down and healing can take much sleuthing and inner work. Often the root cause is unexplainable, defies acceptable logic, and doesn’t fit into a neat little causation checklist.

With any ailment or even discomfort, I now ask, “What message is my body sending me? What am I missing? How do I respond so this doesn’t happen again?”

Equally significant, I question what I’m subconsciously gaining by missing a day of work, an event, or lying in a dark room while everyone around me has a good time. Anything that moves me closer to understanding helps me heal it.

The root cause remains elusive. But at least I’m recognizing and respecting the message. Once you start listening, a shift begins, and you begin to hear other messages you’ve subjugated for years—listening early before the message gets too loud, or drowned out. As if by magic, all kinds of new creative possibilities open up.

The voice that’s in charge now is my own. Not a false belief that I’ve got to work through it. Not a cultural value nor an employer telling me to get to work.

My voice. The one that knows and wants what’s best for me.

Only then, by listening and heeding that voice, can I be of best service to others.

How does your body speak to you, and how do you respond?

photo credit: Migraines Through History via photopin (license)

Posted in Personal Growth

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