J&P Web Designer Finds Her Place in the Solo Seat

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June 14, 2013 | By: Kayleigh Pingel

KayleighEditor’s Note: Kayleigh Pingel started at J&P Cycles in 2012, after graduating from the University of Dubuque with degrees in computer graphics and computer information systems. She works in the J&P Marketing Department as a web designer, creating products and event emails as well as graphics for the J&P website. Kayleigh has been riding with her husband Steven, also a J&P employee who serves as a software developer, since they started dating over five years ago. She has recently taken up riding on her own, and enjoys roaming the Midwest on her 2012 Sportster Iron 883 named “Little Red.” When not working or riding, you can find Kayleigh gaming, geocaching, visiting friends & family, or playing with her dog Courage.

Motorcycles aren’t something I really grew up around. The most I knew about them was that our neighbor’s bike made just enough noise for my mother to shake her head when he left for work in the morning. Motorcycles were just dangerous, loud machines that mysteriously drove by in packs, on the way to some unknown destination. Of course, now I realize I had no idea what I was missing out on.

My first opportunity to ride on a motorcycle came up a little over 5 years ago, when my then-boyfriend (now-husband) offered to take me around the block on his bike. I shied away the first few times, but eventually gave in. The first thing I remember feeling was the vibration on my feet, and then the cool wind that made my eyes water. And I’ll admit, I was a pretty big wuss as I clung to his back for those few minutes, leaning out of turns and generally being a terrible passenger. But something stuck with me, and I kept climbing on the back of his perfectly uncomfortable and temperamental ’79 Sportster, so we could adventure together.

Pingel bikesAfter a few years of moves, graduations, and a new 2012 Fat Bob, I was definitely at home sitting behind my husband while we rode. But he began to mention, encouragingly, but not pushy, that I could get my own bike if I wanted. I’d usually respond with a “no way – I can’t even drive stick!” Plus, I enjoyed sharing the bike with him, so why would I want to change that?

Then one night in the early Fall I was driving alone in my car with the windows down, enjoying the cool breeze, and I got an urge I hadn’t felt before: “I wish I was riding my bike right now.” I didn’t want to be on my husband’s bike – I wanted my bike. My bike that I didn’t have – and didn’t know how to ride.

A couple of months later, we ended up buying a beat-up little Suzuki, but only got a few practice rides in before the snow hit. It wasn’t until after a stop at the local Harley dealership that I felt like I found my bike. What began as a window-shopping trip to look at used bikes changed as soon as I sat on a brand new 2012 Sportster Iron 883. The bike fit me perfectly, and just felt right underneath me. I lovingly dubbed her “Little Red” after her ember red pearl paint job, and she became mine.

At this point I now owned two motorcycles before I even had my license, and I’ll admit I felt a little bit crazy. But along with my Harley came a spot in the dealership’s riding course, which I enthusiastically attended in the chill of March.  I was still having a hard time getting over my nerves, even though I knew I wanted to ride. And every time I stalled a Buell at practice, or a classmate dropped out of the course, I got a little more anxious. But knowing that I was working towards riding “Little Red” alongside my husband helped me keep my chin up.

Finally, after waiting an extra week to take my final riding test due to a good ‘ole fashion Iowa snowstorm, I passed the course. I got my actual motorcycle license shortly after and we picked my bike up from storage. The first time my husband and I rode together separately, I thought I’d want to stay in town. After all, I’d only proved I could ride in a parking lot. But I ended up leading us out towards the country, where I rode in fifth gear for the first time! As cheesy as it sounds, cruising at 55 mph around the hills of Iowa, I felt like I was flying! A few rides later, and I really began to feel comfortable on my own bike – like I used to experience as a passenger, but with so many new sensations. And I actually feel even closer to my husband when I’m riding alongside him than I did when I was sitting directly behind him.

So it took me nearly five years, but this riding season I am proud to say that this former motorcycle newbie and wuss is out on her own! I hope that other passengers who get the same craving as I did will take the plunge and give riding solo a try because it could be that if you like riding on the back seat, you’ll enjoy a solo seat even more.

Comments (14)

After spending almost an hour and a half to get a mere 10% discount of of an order, I find out that my card number was taken down wrong and it wasn’t even close by an “account specialist”. I then go to my bank account tonight at 3:00 AM PST and find not one cent has been removed as of yet. I noted on more than one occasion that the helmet was needed more than anything else as I just bought a new ride. I was going to place and even larger order online tonight. After all, I have been with J&P for years since I was in Florida having had a bike from 1984-1993 and then Georgia from 1997-2010. Now in California once again I was ready to be a loyal customer and spread the good word to where I purchase most of my bike products. I had a bike shop in Georgia with T-Shirts and the whole 9 yards and always was a respected customer.
Now I cannot ride my bike tomorrow because of the helmet issue as my original order was supposed to be taken down Monday night and delivered on Wednesday. I tried to add an additional 10% discount to a new order and was told today that J&P does not honor 2 discounts on an order at one time with one of them being the discount as a Gold Member. I explained and asked why would you have a spot to apply the 2 discounts if only one was honored ? Also I was told that since I already was getting a discount from the membership, that I could not ever use another discount. I know for a fact I always could in the past that this isn’t the case as I’ve used both on more than one order. I explained that I paid $39.99 for the membership to get my applied $28.00 credit and that discount should not effect ANY additional discounts that I had. I was told NO, I WAS WRONG, but they gave me the additional 10% but in 5% increments from 2 different employees.
The simple facts are that I tried to apply different discounts that were marked good until the end of March 2014, but they said expired when applied, then I tried one not quite as good as the other 2 and that one worked as far as looping directly to my order page where it stated the final discount would be applied at the end of the order. Well it wasn’t working so I called. The person told me from the very start that he could help with the issue and I spent 45 minutes telling him everything, giving him my entire order 2 or 3 times on the phone, telling him all my personal information 2 or 3 times which at the very end he explained that unless I had a code he could not do anything. I wanted his supervisor because I assumed he could make a decision, but after 15 minutes with him he also explained he could not do a thing after he first aid that he could. I placed the order and they notated the order to go through with it if the 10% was applied only and if the order had any problems to contact me first thing when they arrived at 8:00 AM CST. At 11:30 AM PST, I called for the heck of it to make sure and at that time no order had been placed and that’s when I spent another 30 minutes trying to get the 10% and was told that my order would be shipped next day delivery and I was set. I get a call at 4:00 PM CST tonight telling me that my card had problems and actually that was the second call as I got the first one at 2:00 PM PST asking me for my banks phone number. Does J&P employees not know how to contact a bank or do they normally call customers up to ask them for phone numbers ?
I think that right now I am at a complete state of dissatisfaction and I am canceling the order completely. I’ll take matters into my own hands and just as I have always been a great customer of yours spreading the good word, I’ll have the same enthusiasm as I did sending the opposite message out of how badly I was treated, how unprofessional all of the employees handled my order and how after I spent over an hour and a half trying to place an order and get my card straight, the order wasn’t placed. The last words from your “account specialist” was if there is a problem with your order we will call you back and we’re sorry to have bothered you and also for all the trouble that you have been through just trying to spend more money with us. That wasn’t the exact words, but very close. In the long run you will lose money because of the lack of my purchases, but also from my word of mouth. I didn’t think that a big company such as J&P would ever even worry about a mere 10% off of any order especially when the customer is once again buying a Gold Membership to purchase items from you’re site. I find that every other business that I personally deal with would never treat me such as I was under any circumstances, even if I was 100% at fault and messed this entire thing up myself. You should value your customers as we are your bread and butter and without us you would NOT HAVE A BUSINESS whatsoever. If you really don’t care about me or anyone else as I’m sure I am NOT the only one something like this has happened to, then why don’t you just move to China and send all the work to those people. I think the customers would like that as we sure the hell don’t like being treated like we’re from China and are second class customers. If you want to leave you’re business in the hands of inept employees, save a ton of money and you can get those folks in the east to work for 80 cents a day. You’re new “account specialists” would only require $1.50 an hour and I bet they would work their tails off and treat someone like me a heck of a lot better than I was these past 24 hours.
CANCEL MY ORDER AS I WILL NOT HONOR ONE DIME OF IT AND WILL TELL MY BANK ALSO.
Yours Very Un-Respectfully At This Time,
Steven C Griffin
North Hollywood, California
(You know, where there are thousands and thousands of bike riders who many of them will hear my story)

Our goal is ensure that every interaction with have with our customers is a professional one, we apologize for failing you in your eyes. A supervisor should have reached out to you by now, and we hope to make this situation right in the future.

So,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you felt the vibrations through your feet?
Now, tell us what the other name for a Harley is.

I just love hearing/reading stories about women who have been bitten by the solo riding bug. I have been riding for 20 years now and actually love the experience more each year. I am going on 67 and did get a late start. So if any of you women out there think you are too old to start riding all I can say is there is no time like the present. I just bought my 5th bike last one being a Heritage which i had for 10 years and traded it in for A Softail Slim and I call it my “growing old gracefully” bike and I just love the 6 gears and 103 motor. Thank you for sharing your story.

My wife, Vicki, began riding her own machine in 2004 at nearly 51 years of age…somehow her desire to ride he own bike was born from a very near (missed) death experience while riding with me in the rain in a tunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to be married at Niagara Falls in 2000. She went to a weekend school, got her license, practiced in the back yard & on surrounding county roads for a week on the new 883 Sporster we bought & then rode her “baptism” trip two days in the rain with me to Florida. Since, she has developed into the best riding companion I’ve ever ridden with & much like other things we do in life, we know how the other will react in most any circumstance on the road. She now rides a 2006 RoadKing Classic (purchased new) with many extras & me on my old (modified) 89 Heritage pulling a Bushtec trailer when needed. We hope to continue riding for a long time.

I to am a luckey one.. I was happy riding my 1979 Shovelhead. After talking with my husband, telling him I’d love to ride to see the Grand Canyon. For my (our)1yr. anv. He got me a 2001 Heritage Springer Softail.”The Teal One.”I know I still cant believe it. She’s mine.. Being in control is the way to go..
Tammy~ A.K.A. Thumpy

I to am a luckey one.. I was happy riding my 1979 Shovelhead. After talking with my husband, telling him I’d love to ride to see the Grand Canyon. For my (our)1yr. anv. He got me a 2001 Heritage Springer Softail.”The Teal One.”I know I still cant believe it. She’s mine.. Being in control is the way to go..

Awesome story – I know exactly how you feel! I rode as a passenger with my husband twice and decided I wasn’t content to spend my time sight-seeing while he did all the hard work so I took the rider safety class and got my license. I’ve been riding a little over a year now and just got a new 1200 Custom Sportster and love it! I’m still nervous when I ride but my husband telling me how much I’ve improved keeps me going.

Great story!!! Very similar to me and my wife. We got her a 2007 Rebel off of Craigslist for her to learn on when we lived up in Iowa; but she never got around to getting her license. Now we are in Texas and traded in her Rebel and my Shadow for a 2008 Yamaha 1300 V-Star Tourer about a year ago at the local HD dealership. She is content with riding on back for now; but will probably change sometime in the future.

I know how you feel. After being a passenger on my husband’s bike, I took the Riders Edge course through Harley in Winona last September to help me become a better passenger. After taking the course, since I’m sort of a control freak, I had to get my own bike and I did. I feel I have to push myself to go out and get on it, but once I do, I really enjoy it. I just have to keep it up and keep practicing to gain my confidence. Way to go. Your story helped to inspire me.

That’s great to hear you enjoyed the ride behind your husband, but that experience led you to want that feeling for yourself. Congrats to you and your husband, stay safe on two. I can’t wait to get my gf on her own bike, so we both can ride on these country rides on TX and La.
Live to love that HARLEY.

I think that’s great, good job on sticking with the riding class and graduating. I think that was the hardest part for me, I used to have my license but let it go back in ’99, so u can imagine how nervous I was this fall when I took the rider’s course again. Well I barely passed it being I hadn’t ridden since 1999. But I graduated, got my license and jumped unto my first HARLEY-DAVIDSON this fall, my wife bought me my first used 1999 SPORTSTER 1200 as a graduation gift. And I’m loving it, so keep flying with two wheels on the road. And congratulations!

That is so cool! Just got a bike and am trying to get my wife to ride with me. She’s timid like you were, but this gives me hope! Thx Kayleigh!

Great job. I understand completely having just learned to ride last summer (Sportster 1200.) The drive to ride soon outpaced the fear! Happy riding!

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