We imagine this is how parents feel when their child achieves a goal or reaches some kind of benchmark. “Our little girl has grown up,” they happily proclaim as they share their news with others.
Well, that’s what we’re doing with this special What A Ride piece as we congratulate KAT on becoming a full ‘M’ licensed rider and moving from ‘novice’ to ‘graduate’ status by taking and passing her road test in August.
We met KAT in June of 2014 when she penned her first piece for What A Ride. “I’d like to introduce myself,” she wrote. “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.” She talked about being a new rider and was excited at the prospect of the adventures that lay ahead.
We brought KAT on board as a member of our What A Ride team because she was where many of you were or where we all have been: At the beginning. We think it’s well worth taking the time to look back on some of KAT’s pieces from the past few years, and reflecting on our own journeys as well. KAT’s story is our story, and we are celebrating right along with her. Congratulations, KAT!
KAT takes an ‘Advanced Basics’ motorcycle course from seven-time International Overall Police Motorcycle Champion, ex US Marine, former member of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Force (FBI Homicide Task Force, Motorcycle Officer, and Lead Motorcycle Officer on President Bill Clinton’s Presidential Escort Team) and creator / facilitator / lead instructor for a wildly successful police motorcycle training program for Deeley Harley Davidson (Canada), Jay ‘JP’ McArdle.
A bulletin board, Ontario map, and a set of pushpins helped to begin the transformation of KAT’s home office into her ‘KAT cave’, and her growing sense of accomplishment with each new road explored and brightly-coloured pin on the map.
KAT ponders the fact that although she’s been invited to join different riding organizations—and joined a group to ride for the occasional event or occasion—that she prefers the intimacy of solitary riding and the open road, and wonders if she’s ‘doing it wrong’.
KAT takes a step back in time, cataloguing some of the oldest European cemeteries in Ontario.
Always looking for great places and interesting backdrops for a photo session with Ruby (her VStar 650 Custom), KAT stops and explores the Central Park Labyrinth in Burlington, Ontario, and provides an online list of resources for you to look for labyrinths in your own little corner of the province.
Join KAT as she plans for and completes her very first ‘motorcycle adventure’ and a trip up to the Bala Cranberry Festival. Adventures along the way include getting lost, experiencing the beauty of riding during the changing colours of the season, meeting members of the OPP Golden Helmets, and visiting a cranberry marsh.
KAT stays close to home and decides to ‘explore her own back yard’ following a heart attack and getting back on the road after a lengthy break from riding. Join her as she travels through Six Nations Territory and introduces Ruby to landmarks such as Pauline Johnson House, the Six Nations Tourism Centre, Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, Woodland Cultural Centre, and more.
‘Thirsty’ for a day trip of a different kind, KAT heads to cruise the southern coast of Ontario and visits three distinctly different destinations: Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm, Silver Lake Vodka Distillery, and Burning Kiln Winery PLUS explores country roads that lead her all the way to Port Rowan and Long Point.
Ball’s Falls (Niagara region), the Comfort Tree (Niagara), Auditorium Circle (Grimsby), and the White Rock Ostrich Farm (Rockwood) are just a few of the places that KAT discovers as she goes on a ‘hidden treasures’ hunt.
To continue on her quest to find different points on the map that all have something in common, KAT shares five different ‘trails’ that make for a great series of day trips by motorcycle: The Labyrinth Trail, The Butter Tart Trail, The Purple Road, The Craft Brewery Trail, and the Haunted Places Trail.
You could probably find one of every kind of animal in the world right here in Ontario. In this piece, KAT lists every zoo, wildlife park, petting farm, sanctuary and aquarium matched with the best motorcycle route to get there. Go wild!
Baby, it’s cold outside! In this piece, KAT shares some of her (and other riders’) best cold weather riding adventures including the escapades of Port Dover’s best-known ‘celebrity’ (aka Thong Man) and visiting the small town of St. George, Ontario as they put on a special Santa Claus Parade for a brave little boy fighting cancer.
FYI: KAT (aka KimberleeAnna Taplay) is a member of the ‘What A Ride!’ correspondent team, and is looking forward her next set of adventures with her M license tucked in her riding jacket’s front pocket. Make sure to visit www.whataride247 to read about all of our What A Ride correspondent team’s adventures.