Monday, March 1, 2010

The Resurrection of Ziggy

 When I was around twelve, my aunt took me to Sears to pick out my bedroom suite.  That was my first design experience. But even before that, I was constantly busy with my hands. I remember making colored paper chains out of chewing gum wrappers that draped and zig zagged  across the ceiling of my room! I was born an artist but I didn't realize it at the time. As an adult, world travels fueled my vision of things, adding layers and layers to my aesthetic vocabulary. When I put that with having grown up working class, making do, there was no waste in our house. We were recycling when it wasn't a "green" thing, but the way we lived, period! Today my entire lifestyle including my work and passion  as a landscape designer is about restoration, giving life to things, living spaces and outdoor environments.
Back in November of 09 I crossed paths with a salvage truck on it's way to the dump. I flagged him down to get a better look at a gnarly looking rust bucket perched on top. Since completing my black belt in martial arts, I was looking for a new challenge. Some of my dojo mates had motorcycles and often rode to class, or were engaged in conversation about their various motorcycle experiences.Owning a motorcycle was a long shot of a reality for me until I met Ziggy on the top of that truck. I don't need to tell you that everybody and their mama thought I had lost my mind when I told them I bought a motorcycle, not to mention the way the bike looked! I first saw it as a restoration project, I had no expectation about the experience except that I would learn something new!
I decided to study for the written motorcycle exam at DMV since it coincided with having to renew my drivers license. Passing the test was affirmation that I still had some kind of intelligence left , and just maybe I stood a good chance of taking the CHP motorcycle training course and doing reasonably well.
Now you need to know that I never rode a motorcycle in my life, and those motorcycles you learn on are no joke! Let me tell you now, you can do anything if you want it bad enough. There was no way in hell that I wasn't going to pass that course! I had to represent for the sista's because I was the only woman in the class, and those guys were not cutting me any slack!
I felt like superwoman after passing that course! Couldn't talk to me for a week! I was a BADASS! BOO YA! I now have a M-1 motorcycle license! In the spirit of Bessie Springfield, cheers!!!!
Anyway, back to the restoration. I found a vintage helmet to create a custom image. I love the work of Kara Walker, so I adapted one of her pieces for my  helmet.  It's been a huge learning curve on so many levels.
I have an intimate relationship with my bike in the slow process of putting her back together.  I don't take her power for granted, even though she's a a small bike. Quite humbling and so freeing at the same time. It is a totally different experience being on two wheels with power! The name Ziggy came to me after riding her a few times, it's kinda the way she she sounds! So people,  the moral of this story is...step out of your comfort zone, you have everything to gain and it feels so good when you conquer your fears! Don't be afraid to be a BADASS for something you are passionate about! Give me a shout out when your see the BRONZE BOMBER on the road!! PEACE!

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