I’ve mentioned in previous posts my intent to accomplish the Iron Butt Association 50 CC ride this Fall…well the plans have been locked down, most of the details ironed out… and now it’s turned into THIS!!! Be sure to let me know if you have questions or are interested in being a part of this worthy collaboration. I’ll be posting more every few days, so stay tuned!
June 19, 2017 — (San Francisco, CA) Compelled by consumer feedback, MotoChic® Gear founder, Debra Chin, is releasing a sport rendition of the patented Lauren bag, with weatherproof materials and distinguishing features.
True to the MotoChic® mission, the Lauren Sport combines innovative design with high performance materials to create safe and stylish gear that’s as fashionable as it is functional. Meticulously crafted from durable, lightweight polyester, the weatherproof Lauren Sport features light gray, quilted, weatherproof fabric accented with YKK® water repellent zippers in high visibility red, pink, orange or yellow.
Chin shared, “Customers love the Lauren bag for its versatility, and suggested I offer it in a lighter weight more casual version, too. I’m extremely proud to announce the launch of the Lauren Sport.”
Chin previewed the Lauren Sport at the recent Qualtrics Insight Summit in Salt Lake City. Among those surveyed, 100% had a positive reaction to the bag. Those polled agreed the Lauren Sport is high quality, well made, and functional. An Insight Summit attendee remarked, “It is extremely well designed. You seem to have thought of everything and more.” Others shared comments such as, “It looks very modern. I love it!” and “With the combination of style and utility it seems like a bag I could have forever!”
Chin plans to put the bag through additional rigorous road-testing this summer. Inspired by the best-selling novel and blockbuster movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, two Lauren Sport bags will be sent on the road with five adventurous female riders. The bags will pass from woman to woman, with each woman putting the Lauren Sport through its paces on her journey, and sharing testimonials from the road on social media. The women chosen to participate in MotoChic’s “Sisterhood of the Traveling Bag” are:
• Margaret Vatamaniuk of British Columbia, Canada, a www.twowheeledlife.com blogger, who will ride with the Lauren bag on her Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail from Ottawa to Vancouver Island, June 28 – July 12 (Facebook @twowheeledlife / Instagram @two_wheeled_life / Twitter @margvatman)
• Polly Pierce who will ride with the Lauren bag on her BMW 700 GS from her hometown of Kane, Pennsylvania to Salt Lake City, Utah, July 7 – July 16, for the BMW MOA Rally (Facebook @polly.pierce.50 / Instagram @pierce.polly / Twitter @pollypierce1)
• Kaci Berry of Springdale, Arkansas, a www.ducatidiva.net blogger, who will take the Lauren bag on her Ducati Monster 620IE, July 21 – July 28, to ride the Tail of the Dragon in Robbinsville, North Carolina (Facebook @KaciBerry / Instagram @DucatiDiva / Twitter @Redklberry)
• Shannon Vaughn of Dickinson, North Dakota, a www.lifelipstickmotorcycles.com blogger, who will ride with the Lauren bag on her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster, August 4 – August 13, to the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota (Instagram & Facebook @lifelipstickmotorcycles / Twitter @Lifelipsticmoto)
• Lisa Wallace of Ohio who will ride with the Lauren bag on her Harley-Davidson 2017 Sportster 48, August 21 – August 28, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Ohio (Instagram @wallacelisa)
After the adventures are completed, the “sister” with the most engagement on social media will win a brand-new Lauren Sport of her very own.
Like its predecessor, the Lauren Sport quickly and easily converts from a backpack to a tote bag with large reflective panels on the exterior for nighttime visibility. An innovative new addition is an LED light that illuminates the interior of the bag. Other distinguishing features include:
- YKK® water repellent zippers and water resistant motoprint lining
- Built-in grab handle on the women-friendly backpack harness for easy carrying
- Soft lined protective pocket on the interior that fits up to a 15″ laptop
- 100% vegan friendly materials
The MotoChic® Lauren Sport will be in stock August 2017, and is available now for pre-sale at www.motochicgear.com/shop/the-lauren-sport-bag/ for a special introductory price to be announced to newsletter subscribers.
About MotoChic Gear®
MotoChic® answers the need for high quality, design-conscious clothing and accessories for women with fast-paced lifestyles. World travelers, sports lovers, fitness fans, commuters, moms, students and fashionistas will find what they need in MotoChic®. Wherever your next great life adventure takes you, MotoChic® will be there. For More Information, visit: www.motochicgear.com. #
(Published in the May 2017 issue of BMW Owners News Magazine; photos courtesy of Stephanie White & yoga instruction by Beth Urban – “thank you ladies, for this amazing collaboration!”)
Riding season for most of us has officially begun. Each time we prepare for a journey, we run through our checklists of gear to be packed and motorcycle maintenance that needs to be done before departure. Many of us like to share riding tips and tricks with each other, so I have one unique tip to share with my fellow riders out there: leave your turtle necks at home, please. Bear with me while I get to the point…
In the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that after a series of long days in the saddle, my body is toast. While I certainly don’t consider myself an earthy kind of gal (yet have the utmost respect for those gals), I have often wondered about the benefits of yoga as a remedy. Yes, I said that four letter word. I believe I have many more years of long-distance riding left in me (and don’t care to rely on the bevy of painkillers out there to get me through a couple of decades on two-wheels), so I’ve toyed with the idea of yoga – really for the physical benefits of flexibility and core strength. And recently, to seal the deal, I was approached by a friend of mine, Beth Urban, who happens to not only teach Fitness Yoga, but also is a serious bicyclist. She “gets” my two-wheeled lifestyle and wanted to know when I was ready to work on some “Crazy Eights” and ditch my “Turtle Neck.” I have to admit, I was intrigued (maybe somewhat frightened) and wanted to learn more.
We’ve all heard the old saying “use it or lose it.” Well, that’s the basis of our human muscular makeup. If we don’t use them, we are eventually going to lose use of them. Utilizing simple yoga poses and stretches regularly puts muscles and joints into positions that we don’t assume on a daily basis, therefore building flexibility and keeping our joints lubricated. This is especially important for our bodies to help decrease our chances of injuries…dramatically. Yoga can help lessen the impact of damage to our bodies due to an unfortunate mishap on the highway or even a simple stumble over a tent stake when returning from the Beer Garden at midnight.
Flexibility in muscles and joints equals better odds in unpredictable situations. Another added benefit of yoga, once you regularly apply good posture and stretching, is improvement of our digestive, immune, nervous, and lymphatic systems. With our insides being stimulated and our internal organs being massaged through yoga positions and stretching, our bodies are able to release toxins, which in turn keeps us overall healthier.
So, how in the world was I going to do Crazy Eights and lose my Turtle Neck? And how would I apply all of this to a day of riding? Through Beth’s expertise, we worked out a great yoga plan for not only a day in the saddle, but for my daily routine. And so I share some of these wholesome tips to my fellow riders…
ON THE DAILY
—Tadasana (pronounced: tah-DAW-sah-na; meaning “mountain pose”)
This pose is all about good posture. Practiced on the daily, Tadasana helps relieve stress, aches and pains, and strengthens core while helping your physique look taller, healthier and thinner. Stand with your feet straight and in-line with your hip bones, then tuck your tailbone in; drop your shoulders and open them up; keep your hands straight by your side with your fingers pointing to the ground; and make sure your neck is straight.
This can be done using a flat, sturdy surface that is equal to your inseam: a table, the back of a couch, even the seat of your motorcycle. Once you’ve achieved your Tadasana (good posture position), slowly bring your bent leg onto the surface, relax, breathe, and feel the stretch in your hip. After you feel the release, switch legs and repeat steps.
—Shoulder Warm Up
Hands cup top of shoulders. With a neutral neck, extend the crown of your head to the sky. Use a full range of motion with your shoulders so your elbows make circles; go forward and then backwards.
—Ban the Turtle Neck
Did you know that a human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds? A 15-degree tilt of your head equates to 27 pounds of pressure on your neck. At 30 degrees forward, the strain on the neck equals a 40-pound head. The greater the angle, the greater the strain. How much does your helmet weigh? Mine weighs just over three pounds, which adds greatly to the overall weight when my neck is tilted forward. Remedy? Retract your head to be aligned with your spine, with a neutral chin, and always try not to scrunch your shoulders. Ditch that ol’ turtle neck and you’d be amazed at how much better you’ll feel at the end of your ride.
—Belly Breath and Girdling
Use your front and back muscles to support your spine and then use a few deep belly breaths as resistance to massage these muscles and the spine. Breathe slowly in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth. This will also help with any anxiety or stress you may be carrying with you on the road. After a few of these “girdling” exercises, you may actually begin to enjoy the ride instead of worrying about that unfinished spreadsheet on your desk hundreds of miles away.
DURING REST STOPS
A kid’s card game? Absolutely not! Think of a belly dancing move…put your hands on your hips, stand with good posture and slowly rotate your hips to form an “eight” pattern, then reverse, releasing the tightness that’s built up in your hips and lower back after hours in the saddle. Be sure to do this exercise gently, listening to your body and your limitations. (Think of the slow and concise rhythm of belly dancing music…and don’t be surprised if you’ve got onlookers at the rest stop!)
—Neck Release Stretch
In a sitting position with good posture, lean your head to the right as you gently pull down with your right hand. Hold for 5 breaths. Release and use your right hand to gently raise your head back to neutral position. Then repeat for the left side.
Using one finger at a time with your palm facing the front of your bike, stretch each finger against the handlebar. Be sure to drop your shoulders and open your chest while doing finger stretches.
Piston? Now we’re talking some motorcycle language! Clasp hands together in front of you, keeping forearms and elbows close to each other. Then much like the movement of the pistons in your engine, rotate your wrists around carefully and deeply (in figure eight patterns) to release the muscles and tendons that can get tense and tender throughout a long day of riding.
AT DAY’S END – INVERSIONS:
(Disclaimer: Like all things in life, inversions are not for everyone. Certain injuries and illnesses will not allow for these positions. Please check with your physician prior to giving these a try.)
Ah, the mighty inversion! Once you’re off the bike for the day, you’ve showered, eaten and are ready to relax – I’m thinking a great inversion will be just the remedy for a fantastic night’s sleep. Any yoga pose that puts your head below your heart is classified as an inversion. Inversions improve circulation and use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood. Inversions can increase your mental function and immune system, therefore curbing illnesses, and gives you temporary relief from the pull of gravity. They are also great mood enhancers…if your day in the saddle wasn’t quite enough!
Throw a towel (or yoga mat) on the floor of your hotel room, tent or grassy area outside and get on your hands and knees. Slowly raise up so that your buttocks are pointed towards the sky, legs and arms extended, feet and hands solidly pressed into the floor/ground, creating an “A” shape with your body. Breathe in and out allowing relaxation, gentle stretch and blood flow to the upper part of the body. Hold for 5 breaths.
On your towel (or mat) on the floor, lay on your back, bend both knees and place your feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Slide your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down. Press your feet into the floor, inhale and lift your hips up, rolling your spine off the floor. Lightly squeeze your knees together to keep the knees hip width apart. Place a couple of pillows (or yoga blocks) under your hips to create a cushion, and relax keeping your feet firmly planted. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
When you’ve completed your inversions, enjoy a couple of the stretches/poses that feel good for you before turning in for the night. Then, rise and repeat. Always be mindful of your posture, and never do a yoga stretch or position that causes pain. Yoga is meant to build your flexibility and core strength, therefore its purpose is to keep you more pain-free by the end of the ride…and in life. Practice much and you’ll reap amazing benefits. And hey, those Crazy Eights may stir some attention at rest stops, but I promise you’ll never regret leaving that turtle neck behind!
Last weekend, I traveled to LaGrange, Georgia to spend the weekend with my two besties. Even though it wasn’t a “working” trip, I couldn’t resist stopping and nosing around some interesting locations.
I traveled approximately 450 miles that day and enjoyed just about every minute of the journey. The only crappy part was the last stop I made, which was way overdue, to hydrate, fuel up, grab a snack and charge my Scala Rider bluetooth unit which had shut off – meaning I had no tunes, and that isn’t a good thing for me. I was a little over 100 miles from my destination of LaGrange, Georgia, and found a gas station that had a Huddle House attached. Even though it was not my preference AT ALL, I knew I could get out of the heat, eat and charge my electronic. Well, it was downright gross…but all items on my checklist got accomplished. I saddled back up and smiled, knowing I would be to my destination in an hour and a half and surrounded by my soul sisters.
I arrived just in time for a delicious home-cooked meal and a bottle of my favorite Cab (Z. Alexander Brown, to be exact). Most importantly, I was with my tribe and happy to spend some downtime over the weekend. I also had an instant “boyfriend” for the weekend – this little dude, Cavan, would hardly leave my side and slept with me for a few hours every night.
The weekend was fantastic and full of heart-to-heart talks, shopping, eating, napping and a little time with this jewel of a human being – Miss Betty, my friend’s neighbor. She is 88 years old, a native of LaGrange, Georgia and has the most beautiful smiling eyes. Betty was quite the character and had me smiling immediately. She is a very unique poet and for years wrote poems to document her travels all over the world. Absolutely fascinating!
Miss Betty’s “Porch Rules”…
As the sun set on the last evening of my stay, I knew I would be returning the next morning feeling stronger and much happier. I spent some time planning my route home so I could do some peeping around the back roads of lovely Georgia.
After an early morning of coffee, packing up and goodbye hugs, I set off to explore…
FDR State Park…
Quaint, historic courthouses and monuments along the way…
And, then PLAINS, GEORGIA!!! Home of Jimmy Carter, our 39th President of the United States…
I stopped into the U.S. National Park Service Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Plains High School, where both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter went to school.
It was in this very well-preserved historic building that I found evidence that Jimmy appreciated two-wheels, as well!
Next, it was a quick dip into Billy Carter’s Service Station where the media hung out during President Carter’s election.
And then it was time to explore the Carter Boyhood Farm and Home…
It was getting super hot, and the gnats were a tremendous harassment, so I suited back up and hit the road. After almost 70 miles, my gas tank was on fumes and I was dehydrated and hungry. I stopped at a nice, small truck stop, and after a peek at the mileage left of my journey, I realized I was going to have to take the fast route, which is absolutely NO FUN…but necessary.
After a hot, boring and at times scary jaunt on Interstate 16 and then Interstate 95, I got off on a familiar highway and enjoyed a much cooler and pleasant final leg of the journey (which included a last stop for fuel…and a cold treat!)
I glided into my homestead barely before dark and enjoyed an ice-cold libation while unpacking. After this 999 mile journey (round trip), my soul was smiling.
Twenty-four hours later, I had my nose buried back into the maps looking for my next adventure…stay tuned!!! 💃🏻
Be sure to click on the NEW menu item: MOTO-SHOP to see merchandise available for sale! Currently, I’ve got “Classy Can Coozies” for sale, but will have more IB Fashionista stuff available in the near future.
Your purchase of this merchandise will help support the adventures and anecdotes of my travels.
If you would like to support my endeavors on a larger scale and have your advertisement displayed prominently and permanently on my website, please email me at: email@example.com.
I am so grateful to you all, and hope you enjoy the exciting adventures to come! 💃🏻
103 East Albemarle St., Edenton, NC 27932; 252.482.3641
I can tell you, with utmost certainty, that the Inner Banks Inn, a Select Registry property, is not to be missed. I’ve stayed at this property on two occasions, and will continue to visit throughout my travels around this area. The proprietor, Susan Beckwith, has turned several adjacent historic buildings, which comprise the Inner Banks Inn, into a glorious retreat, brimming full of Southern hospitality and style. The attention to detail, combined with gorgeous antiques and an air of relaxation, has taken this Select Registry property to a level that’s hit #1 on my list.
And they LOVE motorcyclists! The parking is very motorcycle friendly and safe.
The Inner Banks Inn is located within the historic district of Edenton, North Carolina, and has a fine dining, farm-to-table, restaurant on premises – The Table, serving breakfast, brunch (weekends) and dinner. Let me tell you – the food is over-the-top! Chef Ron has taken his award-winning expertise in the culinary world and cleverly combined it with the soulful lessons in his grandma’s kitchen as a kid. End result: a true Foodie’s destination! In fact, this restaurant consistently ranks in the top 1% of the +2600 restaurants in Trip Advisor’s North Carolina Coast Region. AND…breakfast at The Table is included in your room rate! WIN!
The rooms at Inner Banks Inn maintain the utmost level in luxury and comfort, yet have the perfect touches of antique furnishings and detailed pieces that give this historic property such flair…all in distinct and classy taste. I’ve stayed in both Room One and Room Six, and both times my beds were divinely comfortable with luxurious linens which made my nights so dreamy. Each room has its own bathroom, finely stocked, and the surroundings in all rooms send off an aura of historic luxury.
So, I must ask…what’s not to LOVE?! A gorgeous, historic property, brimming with character; superb relaxation in luxurious rooms; fabulous dining on-site; within easy walking distance of historic Edenton…AND, motorcycle friendly! Why haven’t you booked yet?!
Click here to check it all out:
Where am I off to now?!?!
I recently took a trip to Motorcycles of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, to test ride several of the newest BMW motorcycles on the market. Watch for the full story in the July 2017 issue of BMW Owners News Magazine! But, until then, here are a couple of “teasers”….
The 2nd Annual Mountain Moxie women’s motorcycling conference was held May 5-7 at Little Switzerland, North Carolina, and what a fabulous weekend it was! I was thrilled to see some of my friends from last year, and enjoyed making new ones. This year, my friend and fellow BMW rider, Sibley Poland, met me in Rutherfordton, NC, the Thursday night prior to Mountain Moxie, and we had a great night in that quaint little town. We stayed at the historic Carrier House Bed and Breakfast and enjoyed a fun evening of Greek food, beverages and a startling visitation from the other side…you’ll have to ask about the ghost “tap” I received. Whoa!
Upon arrival to Little Switzerland, Sibley and I really enjoyed our accommodation choice at the La Petite Chalet, just a short walk from the Switzerland Inn where the events were taking place. The 2-bedroom chalet was gorgeous…inside and out! And after just a short walk up the hill, we were submerged into a fantastic world of women and motorcycles. Robin Dail and Beth Lavinder hosted a wonderful weekend that offered informative and inspiring seminars, on-site vendors offering an array of motorcycle-related products and services, social hours where we made several new friends, delicious food which was included in the conference fee, and just an all-around great time in a spectacular setting!
I highly recommend attending future Mountain Moxie gatherings! Check with Robin Dail’s site, Moto Girl Cafe, for information on future details: motogirlcafe.com. 💃🏻