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the wind in my eyes, the bugs in my teeth... - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
the wind in my eyes, the bugs in my teeth...
I had my first motorcycle lesson today.

It was WONDERFUL. I can see why people turn a mode of transportation into a lifestyle.

We went over to a parking lot near the state line (because I can't ride out of state yet, being on a learner's permit), and Wolfie had me riding in circles, later to become figure eights, and practicing stopping and starting smoothly. I was a little tense -- my fingers are still sore from gripping the handlebars -- but I didn't drop the bike or run into anything. I had a few "oh shit" moments, but quickly learned that there is very little that couldn't be rectified by letting go of the throttle and stepping on the brake. At least, not at 15 mph.

I actually got up to 20 mph a few times, but didn't want to go faster than that because there wasn't much room between turns. Turning felt a lot like being on horseback. You look where you want to go, and then your weight and gentle pressure on the (reins)handlebars makes you go there. I never once felt unbalanced or even unsafe. I think that being a long-time owner/driver of standard-shift vehicles helped a lot. It's weird, having the clutch on the handlebars and the gearshift at my feet, but I got used to it. Now I just need more practice and time in the saddle... and perhaps a bottle of aspirin.

My legs and butt feel like I've been horseback riding, though I'm not quite as exhausted as horseback riding would make me, because there's no muscular action on the part of the bike for me to work with. A friend of mine once said she'd rather ride something with a sense of self-preservation (ie, a horse), than a motorcycle. My counter to that is that I'd rather ride something without an opinion. And after today, realizing how quickly you slow down when you take your hand off the throttle, careening over a cliff on a runaway motorcycle seems less and less likely.

I can't wait to ride again. Especially since, as I took my first break, a guy on a Harley came over from the CVS (on the other side of the parking lot). "New rider?" he said, nodding at me. "Yeah," we replied. "Well, good luck," he grinned. "And enjoy!" Made my day -- he was so happy to see someone else learning how to do something he so obviously loves.

When we got back on the bike to come home, the first thing out of my mouth was "I don't like being back here anymore." And I don't -- it's much more comfortable and more fun being the driver as opposed to the passenger. I hope that by next year we'll be able to afford to get a second bike, and then we can both ride. Wolfie's bike (Kawasaki 305) fits me perfectly, both in size and power, and Wolfie wants to get a 450 or 600.

And next time I have a practice session (which will be tomorrow morning if I get my way), we'll bring a camera. ;-D

i feel: ecstatic ecstatic

shoot the rapids