Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: My Adventures with Josey the Sea Lion


My Adventures with Josey the Sea Lion

Last month I had a visitor with me who followed me wherever me and my motorcycle traveled. Her name is Josey (a loose translation of San Jose), and she's a sea lion. She's also the 2011 Women On Wheels ® Ride-In Ambassador for next year's event in San Jose, CA. I first met her in Stratton, VT during this year's Ride-In as she was introduced during the closing ceremonies.

The Buckeye State Lady Riders received the honor of being the first shipping recipient of Josey. In the two and a half weeks she was with the chapter, she accomplished the following:

- 2430 miles on a motorcycle
- 1 Iron Butt SaddleSore 1000 from Columbus, OH to Spartanburg, SC and back covering seven states (OH, KY, TN, NC, SC, VT, WV)
- trips all over Columbus and the surrounding area
- visited the Columbus Zoo, Dublin and Easton Chiller Rinks, the Longaberger Basket, Motohio European Motorbikes, and the AMA Museum and Hall of Fame to name a few
- attended an MSF Beginner Riders Course
- visited ALL five WOW Ohio chapters (Buckeye State Lady Riders, Dayton Wright Lady Riders, Queen City Lady Riders, Ohio River Valley Vixens, and the Cleveland Rumble Pack)

So what's the deal with this traveling stuffed animal? For those new to the Ride-In Ambassador, here's a little explanation:

Every WOW Ride-In has a Ride-In Ambassador (RIA) that travels the country visiting chapters all over the United States. Chapters place their requests for the RIA after that year's Ride-In and a schedule is set up for its stopovers. Over the years, WOW RIAs (and the WOW members that accompany it) have ended up in the most interesting places, and photos taken with it are shown at the following year's Ride-In. The RIA changes every year to reflect the uniqueness of the area where the Ride-In will be held. For example, 2009's RIA was a steer (Kerville, TX) and 2010's RIA was a jersey cow (Stratton, VT). Since WOW's headed to the West Coast (San Jose, CA) in 2011, she's a sea lion.

To commemorate her trip through Ohio and a few surrounding states, I made this slideshow with some of the best photos of her stops here and there. Josey will eventually make her way back to San Jose, CA just in time for the festivities on July 5-7, 2011. Thanks, Josey, for hanging out with us in the Buckeye State!

This slideshow is dedicated in memory of Diana Thornton, our fallen BSLR founding member (and long-time San Jose, CA resident) who passed away on August 15, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer. Josey poses with Diana's husband of 50 years, Scott, their two sons, her best friend, and grandson in the second to last photo. The slideshow closes with Josey sitting on her 2009 Honda Shadow Aero 750. Diana, you will be dearly missed...ride on, and "take the long way home."