What Riding The Ninja 1000 Courtesy of Cycle World Magazine is Teaching Me

I’m not sure if you heard although I have pretty much told everyone.  I entered a contest of sorts  for an opportunity as a guest editor for Cycle World Magazine, one of the top leading motorcycle magazines in the country.  All I had to do was write a little quip about why I would be the best candidate along with my networking info (Facebook, Twitter, etc).  What I got if selected was a date with a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 motorcycle for 90 days.  A free ride for the summer.  Sweet!

I entered and forgot about it.  Imagine my excitement when I opened my inbox a few weeks ago to discover out of all the entrants, I am one of the chosen ten.

Yes, I screamed.  Yes, I did a happy dance.  And yes, I told everyone I could find… even complete strangers at my second job.

Shiny and New!

I got the bike on Friday, May 27.  It is so beautiful!

I have had it a week.  And I am learning some things.

1)   Know What Is Ahead

It is so important to get to know something before you take it for a ride.  A car, a motorcycle, a relationship.  These types of things cannot be rushed into.  We have to get to know the situation just incase any surprises pop up.  Like say a deer in the path of my vehicle or a bit of a temper in a new mate.  There is no such thing as knowing too much.   When I first got the Ninja, I made sure I sat on it for a bit and really got to know the bike.

2)  Power Is Not Overrated

This bike has mad power.  At first I was a little intimidated by this force.  But as I am getting to know the bike (see above) I am respecting its power and realizing that power is definitely not overrated.   The bike, whose name is THOR, and I are bonding as the days pass and we dig each other.   It is packed with torque, which at first I did not like.  As Thor and I bond, I grow fond of the torque.

3)  Confidence Is The Ultimate Accessory

Weren’t expecting that one, were ya now?  I say this because I was pretty nervous when I first got this bike.   I have only ridden a Ninja 500 for the last four years or so and a Suzuki GS 750 for a wee bit before that.   I noticed that when racked with nerves, my riding sucks.  If my confidence is shot, so are my skills.  Second guessing is always a bad idea, especially on a motorcycle.

In the past week, Thor and I did not get in as much ride time as I would have liked, but we did get in a few hundred miles.  I have to get to the 600 mark so that I can take it in for a first service and then get back out on the road.

Ways To Give Back

In today’s world it seems like more take and take than give and take.  When did everyone become so selfish?  I’ve experienced over the years that the more we give, the more we get.

Here are some ways to give back.  This helps out our neighbors, our community and our military.  Giving back makes us feel like thrusting out our chest feathers and shouting, “I’m awesome!  Look what selfless act I just did.”

1) Give Coffee To A Solider

www.greenbeanscoffee.com/coj

Our troops are overseas and not feeling many of the warm elements of home.  Warm them up with a cup of coffee.  On the site, you can choose the amount of the donation you’d like to give.  You can even add a personal message.  The coffee goes to random U.S. Troops that are extremely grateful for your generosity.  I have sent coffee to troops and the thank you messages I received were very heart warming.

2) Give Blood

www.americanredcross.org

What better way to give than actually giving part of yourself.  On the Redcross website, there is information on the types of blood that are in high demand, what not to do before you decide to donate blood and locations to donate.  If you are a first time donor, there is a link to click on that tells you about what to do prior to, during and after giving blood.  Diet is important in blood donations, so cut out the fat and drink a lot of water before you head out to give blood.

3) Help A Furry Friend

www.aspca.org

As an animal lover, this is my go to site when I have a little extra cash and am feeling generous.  Since the ASPCA is a non-profit organization, they need all the help and money they can get.  Another great way to help out the ASPCA is to spread the word.  With social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, it is easy to share a link and ask others to help out.

4) Donate Your Time

www.volunteermatch.org

Since time seems like something that we can really ever afford to give away these days why not give some to those who could really use your help.  At this site, all you do enter your location and a keyword of the kind of volunteer work you’d like to participate.  A detailed list will pop up with various links of charities or organizations that need your help.  Even better, you can register on the site for free to receive email updates and sign up for the newsletter.

5)  Help Out The Less Fortunate

www.justgive.org

This is a great website.  You can browse by category and go through the different charities.  You may even stumble on a charity you didn’t even know existed like Crime Prevention or Arts & Culture.  The site has links on getting started and tips on giving every day like 50 ways to save animals, most of which involve a lot of common sense and very little money.  Also, it has some useful information on ways to give time without overexerting yourself.  This is wonderful because a lot of us do not volunteer our time because we have so little of it.

Hopefully this has helped you figure out a few ways to help some fellow neighbors, strangers or furry friends out.  Donating time, money and belongings is a wonderful way to give back.  Not to mention, it really amps up our self-esteem when we do selfless acts of random kindness.

In what ways do you like to help others out?