Saturday, January 9, 2010
Today was the day that I rode a motorcycle for the first time. All those other times I've been on a bike, I was a passenger.
Today, I was in control...
Well, control is probably an optimistic term for what was really happening, but I was the only one on my bike. And it isn't really my bike: it belongs to Eastern Shore Harley Davidson, where the Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a class called Rider's Edge. Mr. H signed me up as a Christmas present. It's aimed at new riders (like me and the other 2 ladies) but one guy is there to brush up on his skills while his wife learns to ride her Christmas present, and a couple of Coast Guard guys who are required to take it so they can ride their bikes on base.
We are riding Buell Blasts, like the picture. The one I'm riding is blue. Mine is the only blue one, but I could tell mine from the other 5 just by the seat position: LOW!
I'm amazed at the progress I've made. I can actually DO the things we're supposed to be doing: starting, changing gears, turning, weaving through cones. (Being able to weave through the cones on my first try really surprised me.) Okay, so I did dump the bike.... Okay, so I dumped it twice.... I didn't know why it happened the first time. After the second time, I understood the physics of what was going on: NEVER TRY TO STOP THE BIKE UNTIL THE HANDLEBARS ARE AIMED STRAIGHT AHEAD. EVER! If you do, the bike will want to lay down on you. The second time I caught it so that it was just leaning against my left leg, but I couldn't get it back upright. I really did try, but I didn't have enough leverage. It wasn't coming up, so there was no place to go but down.
Tomorrow, we have to finish up the classroom portion from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. Then we'll be back out on the bikes from about 9:30. until 5 p.m. As cold as it has been this week, I was really worried about freezing. Actually, after the first bike session this morning, I was sweating. I had to peel off one layer of shirt. And my feet didn't get cold, either. All in all, it was an amazing day for me. I have sore muscles in hands and legs, but those are nothing compared to the sense of accomplishment I feel. This is truly the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.