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Getting Back in the Saddle with Katie L.

My name is Katie Lomax and I currently live in Annapolis, Maryland. However, being a Navy brat has taken me all over the country- specifically 18 different addresses in less than 25 years! My dad’s favorite movie about the Navy was Top Gun, so I grew up watching Tom Cruise ride across the screen on his bike enough times to know how cool motorcycles were. When our family lived around the corner from the Harley-Davidson factory in York, Pennsylvania I got used to watching Harley's cruise around town on the regular. No one in my family rode, but my eccentric 12 year-old-self decided that it would be good idea to have a motorcycle license in the future in case there was ever an emergency and the only vehicle that could be used to get help was a motorcycle (Like I said, a bit odd).
I started riding almost 2 years ago, in May of 2016. Getting started was a whirlwind; within a week of taking the MSF Basic Rider Course in Savannah, Georgia, I moved to Annapolis two days later and started working at the Harley dealership in town, then bought my 2016 Iron 883 “Buddy” my second day on the job. The reason I finally bit the bullet to learn was because I had the full support of my boyfriend Trevor who had ridden in the past, though he didn’t have a bike when we first met. He encouraged me to learn how to ride at the very least, but didn’t count on me riding almost 10,000 miles my first year!
One of my favorite trips with Trevor was when we went from Annapolis to Durham, North Carolina. We took our Sportsters down back roads in Virginia to avoid traffic and enjoy the scenery, which is our usual m.o. Along the way we stopped at Hickory Notch Grill (which we found because we smelled their BBQ as we rode by), and turned right back around to eat. Being spontaneous within a planned road trip seems like an oxymoron, but it’s my favorite way to travel. To top it off, the whole thing was technically a work trip so expenses were covered.
I just bought my newest ride, a currently unnamed 2014 Dyna Low Rider. It’s actually my third bike, though not entirely by choice. This past fall, I traded my Iron 883 in for “Ramone”, a 2015 Dyna Low Rider with the marvelous Black Magic paint job. It was love at first sight when the guys at work rolled it into the showroom at the dealership right in front of my counter. But it was short-lived because less than a week later a 91-year-old driver cut me off turning left through an intersection where I had the right-of-way and I t-boned their rear quarter panel. Ramone was totaled and I spent a week in Shock Trauma. So, I went on to bike #3.
My biggest take away from the accident was the importance of proper gear. I was wearing an Icon full-face helmet, Lee Parks Design deer skin outseam gloves, a Harley abrasion-resistant riding jacket with shoulder armor, jeans, and Harley riding boots. The injury to my arm was from sheer impact and I allegedly bit my lip clean open. I definitely have my gear to thank because I could have had worse than a cool little lip scar and some broken, relocated bones. While I love the gear I have, I have my eye on a pair of reinforced riding jeans from Worse for Wear because I think they’re doing a great job of making flattering women’s riding jeans, which the market could use more of.
I’ve added the Loretta Lynn gloves from BHBR to my gear collection and Trevor has been rocking the Dolly gloves. Beyond the fact that the metallic sheen is simply killer, I love that the touchscreen pads on the thumb and index finger actually work! Several times I have needed to open up my phone for directions or a call and not having to take my gloves off makes my lazy little heart happy. I tend to buy gloves that are snug so that they break in well, and the Loretta Lynn gloves have softened up really well so far.
I did a lot of traveling on my 883 before I took that mandatory break from riding. I had a custom sissy bar made by one of the service technicians at Harley, and that was the only thing I needed for camping, or a couple days out on the road. I bought a Tour Master backpack from Revzilla that has a strap for sliding onto a sissy bar and I can pack several days into it. Any additional gear (like a tent) gets strapped on with Rok Straps which are bungee clips that are versatile and perfect for packing up a bike. The staples I always have with me are a journal, deodorant, a pocket knife, and water. I also pack snacks but I usually get my usual coffee and Reese’s Pieces whenever I stop to get gas.
For around-town riding, I’ve been using the BHBR Adventure Bag. It’s the perfect size for just riding into work and throwing in my lunch, a hoodie, and some books from the library. I haven’t maxed it out yet, though I’ve popped my helmet inside for temporary storage, so I know that I can fit a lot more for future trips. Since it’s an adventure bag, my plan is to cover it in patches from places I travel like the patchwork backpack my mom has created from the different places we’ve lived and traveled as a family.
I hope to start collecting patches for my bag from places like Saguaro National Park, Yosemite, and Tail of the Dragon. And while I feel like it’s stereotypical to say I want to do a cross-country ride, it’s a stereotype for a reason, because I too want to ride out to the Pacific Ocean and get my bike dirty and worn from all the miles and scenery.
A goal of mine is to become a better rider, so I’m looking at taking an Advanced Rider Course first. After that, I’d like to get into dirt biking, because I’ve been told that it’s a great way to learn how to respond to unstable terrain because you’re never 100% in control. Of course it would also be fantastic to do some adventure riding and maybe do some oversea trips to Iceland or Peru. For now, I’ve got my tickets for the third annual Fox Run because I went last year and that was easily the highlight of my riding season.
I’m chomping at the bit to get on my new bike and start riding again, as my arm has been healing from the accident, I’ve started salsa dancing again too. I normally go to The Salsa Room in D.C. for social dancing, but I might check out Baltimore and Philly for new groups. I’d love to go back to Havana 59 in Richmond, Virginia to dance. That was my favorite place to drive to for salsa dancing when I was in college and since Trevor hasn’t been to Richmond, I want to plan a trip to ride down and go dancing and sightseeing.