My Journey Begins

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination…”—Drake




I’ve heard all of them.

I AM all of them, for the most part. 

Ankle-boot deep into my second season of riding, I know exactly what I am and what I am not.

Newbie? Yeah. I’ll wear that name with pride. It’s a statement of fact, after all.

Green? OK. But not the fresh, lime green that is the colour of plants shooting up in a garden or of a baby grasshopper. I’m more like the green of a shade tree or of your front lawn when it’s had enough water to drink.

Poser? Ummm…no. Of all of the terms you could use to describe me, ‘poser’ is definitely not one of them. Sure, I’ve only parked this fine yet ample behind on the seat of a motorcycle in some form or another for the past three years, but once I was baptized by the wind, it was as much a part of my heart and soul as those who wear leather riding jackets that have long been seasoned in the sun and who have more tales about ‘back in the day’ than you can imagine.

American motivational speaker and author, Earl Nightingale, once said that "we are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep,” he says, “and it makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”

That’s kind of the way I feel about the world of riding. It’s always seemed amazing to me how something could render me so frightened, so scared, so happy, and so exhilarated…all at the same time. 

Maybe you feel that way too.

I hope you do. 

It should be that way every time we throw a leg over our ride and surrender to the process of flying without wings.

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is KAT, and I will be sharing my journey from ‘newbie’ to ‘seasoned rider’ with you several times a month from this point forward.

A now (almost) empty-nester, I have happily discovered that riding Ruby (my 2007 red Yamaha VStar 650 custom) is almost as necessary as breathing. 

Ruby resized

I know I have a lot to learn, and I’ll be sharing that process with you as I go about everything from simply spending time in the saddle to taking specialized riding & skills courses. 

For a complete list of Ontario motorcycle schools and training programs click here

I also know that I am not alone in how I feel about the members of the ever-expanding ‘family’ I adopt (or am adopted by) with every stop at every Tim Horton’s or Mom-and-Pop restaurant or gas station along the road. I’ll be sharing stories of the people I meet, the places I go, the landmarks I discover, and the roads I explore. 

It’s my intention to make you smile, make you laugh, make you cry. 

It’s my hope that my journey becomes your journey too.

We all may come from different walks of life, but there’s something almost magical about extending your hand out in greeting as you pass by another rider on the road.

I smile when that happens.

Every. Time.

Sometimes, I even laugh out loud.

You may not know it, but you might have just made my day in that split second.

To another rider, it doesn’t matter that I am a ‘rubenesque’, forty-six year old single mother of two older girls.

To someone who stops to admire Ruby or who doesn’t mind me admiring their motorcycle, it doesn’t matter that I’ve only just celebrated one year since I got my M2.

The Brotherhood exists.

The Sisterhood exists.

Author John Steinbeck wrote: “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

There are a lot of trips in my future, and I intend to live and experience them fully.

Out loud. 

In colour. 

And you will find me here, sharing those moments with you.

I might as well give you a ‘heads up’ while I’m at it.

Sometimes I am practical and sometimes I am passionate.

There are times you’ll be bombarded with minute details and there will times that you’ll find yourself having to fill in the blanks.

Either way, we’re all in for one heck of a ride…

KAT (aka KimberleeAnna) will be contributing to this site on a bi-weekly basis, and is looking forward to sharing her adventures with you. To reach KAT by email, send your questions, comments or questions to

About KimberleeAnna "KAT" Taplay

KimberleeAnna Taplay (more widely known as "KAT") is an empty-nester and newly-minted class M rider who has a game plan, a "BikeIt" list, and a VStar with a full tank of gas. KAT is happiest when she and her ride —Ruby— are exploring country roads and wandering from event to event and destinations throughout Ontario. Whether travelling alone, alongside her mentor, or joining small groups along the way, KAT will be chronicling her travels and sharing both her adventures on the road and her moments of quiet reflection about everything it means to be a part of the motorcycling world.

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