Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rider profile: Stephanie Yue

Name: Stephanie Yue
Find me on Earth: Nominally, Providence Rhode Island
Find me Online: 250ccSuperhero, JellyCity.comModernVespa.com, ADVrider.com, Motorcycle Men Podcast Interview, Motorcycles & Misfits Podcast interview
Interview Date: July 23, 2015
Interview Location: Lubec, Maine
Scootcommute: When did you start riding, how old were you?

Stephanie: I started riding in spring 2010, and I was 25 years old.

Scootcommute: How many motorbikes have you owned?

Stephanie: I owned two scooters (2009 Genuine Buddy 50, 2009 Vespa GTS 250) and one motorcycle (1983 Kawasaki 550 LTD).

Scootcommute: What is your current bike, and is the current bike your favorite?

Stephanie: My current bike is the Vespa GTS 250. It’s my favorite so far, which probably explains all the miles on it.

Scootcommute: Talk to me about the most challenging riding skill you learned.

Stephanie: That’s a tough one, everything new is challenging in the beginning. Switching from asphalt to sand or gravel freaked me out at first, but it was less about challenge and more just inexperience and nerves. I’ve grown more comfortable proportional to exposure.

There’s a certain degree of hyper-awareness necessary when sharing the road that I feel took a long time (and a few falls and close calls) to develop. That one is an ever present challenge if you’re planning to ride on streets.

Scootcommute: Are you a moto-commuter, a tourer, or a fair weather rider?

Stephanie: Of the three I’m probably a tourer, though I also use my bike to commute and certainly enjoy fair weather!

Scootcommute: Are you a solitary rider? How about riding in a group?

Stephanie: Most of my miles are solitary, but that’s just because I picked up riding before meeting other riders. I remember the sheer thrill of my first group ride with about 100 other scooters (Ski’s Shrimp Run 2013), just seeing so many other bikes and riders making a big amorphous organism! I’m a little more wary of group rides now from a safety standpoint, but I still enjoy them. Also, touring with a small party can be an absolute blast, and I wouldn’t mind more of that.

Scootcommute: I dare you to share an awkward or embarrassing riding moment.

Stephanie: Oh boy, how to choose. I had an embarrassing moment just recently as I was leaving West Quoddy Head Light. I pulled over to take a photo of a rainbow, but because it was a narrow and somewhat traveled road I decided to leave the engine on should I need a quick getaway. I stepped back for the photo, and went to adjust the handlebars… and accidentally tapped the throttle rocker. I had left my bike on its side stand instead of the center stand (again, quick getaway), which meant the rear wheel was still on the ground. The scoot took off under me and landed on its left side a few feet away (guess it got away). 34k and nearly 15 months on this trip, and mere minutes after reaching my final goal of the easternmost point in the contiguous US, I dumped the bike. It scraped my left side bag, bent the brake lever, and knocked my mirror out of whack. No serious damage though, just a bruised ego. I hear those grow back.

There’s also another incident involving food poisoning, but I don’t think it’s strictly riding related?

Scootcommute: What is the best place your bike has taken you?

Stephanie: Right here, Lubec, ME. We have 45k total together, have set wheels in all 48 contiguous states; Baja, Mexico; and some Canadian provinces as well. It’s my stalwart companion, even when I bitch and moan.

Scootcommute: Tell me why you ride.

Stephanie: Originally I picked up riding as a practical thing – I wanted more than a bicycle but less than a car. I like the ideal of fuel efficiency and minimalism, bonus it had style. Once I actually got my license and began putting in miles, I realized I’d stumbled onto much more. Riding keeps me engaged, both physically and mentally. The act of riding is like a meditation, much like some of the martial arts I do. There’s also a social component of meeting other addicts – I mean, riders. I ride to get out of my shell, explore the world, and connect with others. To be dramatic, it reminds me why I’m alive.

Scootcommute: If I could grant you one riding wish, what would it be?

Stephanie: I don’t even know where to begin with that! For now I’ll just go with a seemingly modest yet impossible request for perfect riding pants.

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12 comments:

  1. Hi Stephanie. David has a good set of questions so all his readers get to know his new friends pretty. well.

    I enjoyed your answers. Quite the ride. Congratulations to you and the bike.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, Stephanie, I really like to collect these little interviews. Going back and reading them, it's a little like a cozy little club where, by answering the same set of questions, any two or three of you immediately have a shared experience. I really think it's quite cool.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Dom!

      It's always the same 10 questions. I hope one day to meet you. Then it will be your turn to answer.

      Delete
  3. Nice little interview, David.

    "The act of riding is like a meditation..." Boy, ain't that something we all can relate to?...

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  4. Thanks for this, David and Stephanie. I wish I had been equipped with that kind of wisdom at that young age... sigh. It took me another decade to find out that life-work-balance is possible, and riding *quote*: reminds me why I am alive

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    Replies
    1. Sonja, I'm afraid it took me too long too.

      Delete
  5. David and Stephanie, another great interview about a fantastic ride adventure! So much collectively shared here, thanks so much to you both! Every post was a gift.

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    1. Thanks Doug.

      Stephanie is a very special person in so many ways.

      Delete
  6. Stephanie is SASHTASTIC in many of her own, quirky ways. So adorable one wants to take care of her, so independent and fierce, one knows she doesn't need it. She has the MOST engaging smile when you meet her! We are soooooo happy we got to know Stephanie a bit while she was on the road. We actually shared abodes with her three times; three of our best, most memorable stops.
    Great interview Dave. I think you captured a special, interesting side of Steph.
    Oh and Stephanie, when you find those pants, let me know. UGH!
    Smooches,
    Sash
    Sash - The Rude Biker Chick
    See Sash Videos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did I miss your comment??? Oh, right, August was NUTS for me.

      You are so lucky, all three of you to have shared those times on the road.

      Delete

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