Near MacLaren Park

Thursday afternoon


My Life in Motorcycling

I had my first ride on the back of a motorcycle at age 15. I was immediately hooked, but it wasn’t till I’d been living in San Francisco for almost a year that a friend of mine at work happened to mention the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) class. Until then, I had no idea there was a class one could take to learn how to ride; I assumed I’d have to find a patient biker friend. I cut the conversation short, RAN upstairs to my desk, and phoned to reserve a spot in the class.

A few months later, I had a license and a bike of my own, and it was then that I began to really love San Francisco. The freedom and mobility opened up the city, the Bay Area, and the whole state to me—I saw a lot of gorgeous places in my pursuit of curvy roads. I was so excited about riding that I would get up earlier on the weekends to hit the twisties than I did during the week to go to work. I explored the coast north and south of the city, the East Bay hills, the Santa Cruz mountains, and the back roads of Marin and Sonoma, including many places I would never have thought to visit in a car.

Often riding alone, I met a lot of people in my travels, including some who are good friends at least a decade later.

I can’t omit mention of my awful accident; I was hit by a reckless driver on November 26th, 1999, suffering a compound fracture of my right tibia, and breaking both bones in both my wrists. That happened on 14th Street and South Van Ness. I was taken to SF General, which fortunately has the best trauma unit in the city, though it’s not the best place to recuperate. I was subsequently transferred to Saint Mary’s—by two incredibly hot, butch, tattooed, lesbian EMTs. Only in SF!

I really didn’t think I’d keep riding after that, but at the end of a 6-month convalescence, I found that my passion for riding was still with me, and I bought another bike.

Almost exactly a year after my accident, a friend of mine invited me to head to the annual motorcycle expo with a group of her friends. We met at Seal Rock Inn at Point Lobos. My friend brought a passenger—a friend of a friend who’d just moved to town and wanted to learn to ride. He sat next to me at breakfast, and we engaged in polite chit chat. At the time, I had no inkling whatsoever that I would be married to him a few years later, living in a house in the Excelsior with a garage full of motorcycles.


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