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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flop Sweat

Today was the day I would ride a motorcycle again.  I've been on mine and a friend's, sitting on it, starting them, going over things so I would know my bike as a rider should.  I was very excited about this.  However, when confronted with the Training Bikes up at the course, I nearly threw up turning the ignition on.  I didn't even start the damned thing, I just turned the key to the On position.  I started shaking, got hazy vision and realized there was no way I could ride like that.  It's one thing to wipe out during a class, it's quite another to take someone with you.  I don't want to be that person and there were several people just like me in the class.  Real n00bs.

I came home and immediately got mine out of the garage.  It's one thing to sit on it, start it up, but I needed to get on the thing and turn it on and do the training stuff here, in my driveway until I got over the fear that I was going to hurt me and someone else.  Motorcycles are big machines and very unforgiving of inattentiveness and show boating.  I've been out most of this afternoon, in the heat in long sleeves, jeans, gloves, full helmet and boots duck walking my machine and having the husband make minor adjustments to the clutch and choke.

I want to ride and I will ride if it hairlips the pope.  If you've never ridden a motorcycle or wanted to, you just won't get it.  I don't expect you to.  All I can say is that in my case, it's also something that I fear because I do realize the dangers involved.  Say the word motorcycle in any group of human beings that are aware of internal combustion engines and you will hear horror stories guaranteed to make you fear motorcycles in the same what Liberals fear budget cuts.  I've seen, first hand the results of how drivers ignore motorcycles and the damage they do.  In fact, I'm an "All The Gear, All The Time" kinda gal.  I have a full helmet full of venting goodness because my head is my most precious possession and I'll be damned if I'll allow it to be put in danger needlessly.  I've already tested out the knee.  I want to ride safely and enjoy the experience rather than live in fear because I let others make me afraid.  In fact, I won't let ME make me afraid. 

I'm not ignoring the fact that motorcycles are on two wheels, go fast and people get hurt on them, hence all the expensive gear I've obtained to make sure I'm as safely protected on the bike as I can get.  The main reason I'm taking the course is to learn riding from the ground up as safely as possible.  I want to enjoy the riding experience for a long time.  I just need to get over this fear of getting on the Trainer Bikes.  If I can do that, be confident in my ability to operate the machine safely around others, I should be OK.  I just needed to get back up on that horse again and wish I'd done so before I re-enrolled in the course.

Maybe next time I won't eat a McGriddle before trying to ride.

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