SCRC Loudoun VA Featured Member - August, 2006

Name:   Robin Migala

Nickname:   Ricochet

Marital Status:  Happily married for four years.

Location:  Sterling, VA

Hometown:  Warm Miami, Florida!

Children:  Are you kidding? I'm the oldest of 11 children!

Age:  Guess! Okay...55.

Occupation:  Foreclosure Prevention Manager

Current motorcycle(s):  2005 Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster and 2001 Buell Blast

How did you hear about the SCRC and when did you join?
My husband, Peter 'Teach' Migala introduced me to Willi, First Officer of the Loudoun chapter, in late 2000 and that was all she wrote.

How long have you been riding?
Just since 2001. I started out on the back of Teach's 2000 Fat Boy and decided a year later that riding my own might be fun. I made the right decision but, from time to time, I ride two-up with Peter to catch the scenery.

Have you ever taken a motorcycle safety course?
I sure did - at NOVA in Sterling - and Teach, Willi and Mrs. Willi stopped by in the afternoon while we were on the parking lot and they made me so nervous!

What was your first bike?
I bought a 1997 Honda Shadow VLX 600 from Loudoun Motorsports. I loved that bike and she sure came through for me. More on that later,

How many bikes have you owned?
Four. The Honda, then a 2002 Suzuki Volusia 800 which I liked because it had a gas gauge, then the Buell Blast which is an absolute blast to ride because she's light and nimble (her name is Bumble Buell thanks to Clutch) and then the Sportster which has plenty of power for me!

Why do you ride?
Several reasons. The openness (freedom?) of that mode of transportation, the speed (oh, yes!), the test of my abilities, the camaraderie of the riding community, but most of all, the beauty of the countryside which you can actually see and smell as you travel!

Have you ridden with an organized group before?
Nope...the SCRC is my first and only riding family. I do participate in BRAG (Buell Riders Adventure Group) yearly adventures too.

What modifications have you done to your bike?
Oh boy...just to ride it out of the dealership I had to lower the front and the back, put on a thinner seat and get different handlebars. I also added Kuryakyn shifter, brake pedal and footpegs, a light bar, a digital clock and windshield. Teach got me oil and battery covers to match the paint (Lava Sunglo Red). Shweeet!

What accessories do you want to add to your bike?
Not much more except I would like to paint the horn cover red as well as the air cover. Jeez...and if I could add another gear, I would. I am CONSTANTLY looking for 6th.

What is your dream bike?
One that is low enough, slim enough and light enough that I can touch the ground without two inches of sole on my boots! I know, honey, you can get one built for me...but only after we win the lottery!

What kind of riding do you like to do — straight-aways or twisties? that okay? I love the twisties, especially on the Buell Blast....she's so good at them. On the Sportster, I can't do right curves very well any more because my pipes are so low to the ground that they scrape on every turn. I worry that I'll wear a hole in the underside of the pipe! After a day of riding I like to "exercise" the Sportster on Route 28 on the way home. Uh, just to clear out her lungs, know what I mean? I also love riding slab at speed...power is a trip in itself. There's a place a time for both straights and twisties!

If you have a nickname, how did you get it? Tell the truth!
More on that later...tee hee!

What is your favorite riding route?
So far, Teach's Mountain Madness ride. The route into West Virginia through the George Washington National Forest and the Monongahela National Forest are breathtaking and the ride home from Elkins, West Virginia is beautiful enough to make you cry.

Do you ride your bike to work?
Nah, I work in Tysons which is hell in which to ride...the cages don't even see you. Besides, Teach and I leave for work before 5:30 a.m. each day...I don't think our neighbors would like us any more! I have ridden to work on the weekends,

What is the fastest you’ve ridden?
100+ m.p.h. on the Sportster.

What is your favorite time of year to ride?
Um...not in either the dead of summer or winter. I like spring as the flowers are blooming and autumn as the leaves are blushing.

Have you ever been down? If so, how were you hurt and what did you learn from the incident?
HA! See my three nicknames above? I earned every single one of them! After I bought the Honda, which I had absolutely no idea how to ride, I started practicing in the Strayer University (Route 7) back parking lot. Teach tells this story better than I do, by the way. So, I was just learning how to shift and I went from first to second and thought, "I can do this...let me try third." Well, dodo here wasn't thinking about how to stop the bike when the pavement ran out and I had way too much power so I ran between two jerseys onto the grass and into the bushes. The bike and I went down, and I jumped up and got right back on the bike. So, that's how I got the name 'Ricochet'. In addition, I've been down other times since then...mostly letting the bike fall over...D'OH! I got hit when an SUV at a gas station backed into me. My cuff got caught on the shifter, that kind of stuff and none of it at speed.

Have you ever done an "Iron Butt" ride?
Nope, and I decided last year I'd like to do that but the skinny seat on my Sportster is screaming at me not to! I'm still thinking about it...

If not, what is the furthest you’ve ridden?
Uh, probably Mountain Madness. I'm not like our hardy friends in the Potomac chapter who ride 200 miles before a break!

What was the worst weather in which you’ve ridden?
Just rain...I don't ever want to do snow. After Teach and I rode back from Lynchburg a few weeks ago in the rain, I think I have that mastered!

Do you know how to work on your bike?
Are you kidding? I don't know squat about that stuff and it doesn't really interest me. Guess I'm a failure on this question!

What is your favorite road song?
Hmmm...don't have one. Is that terrible? What a bore! I prefer jazz and that's not really conducive to riding,

What was your most adventurous ride?
Boone, North Carolina on the Buell. I'll have to get our route maps out and share them with you. Awesome!

What rallies or events do you like to attend?
BRAG events for sure and H.O.G. rallies. Haven't been to any SCRC state rallies 'cause Teach and I are usually somewhere else. We've been to the Honda Hoot in Knoxville twice and I will say that was quite the experience.

Is there someone who rides "two-up" with you?
Nope. My bike's been lowered so much that I can barely carry my luggage on it!

Off the cuff from...Ricochet
I am flattered to have been asked to be the featured member. I'm a pretty open person so I hope the information above didn't bore you as many of you probably already know that kind of stuff about me! I feel blessed to be a part of the Loudoun chapter and to count you all as my friends and, dare I say, extended family. I hope it continues to be fun for you as well. Thanks to our officers who support me. And none of this would have happened if it weren't for my wonderful husband, Peter. Thank you, darling! Now, everyone, let's ride!