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well, it had to happen sometime... - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
do the next thing
well, it had to happen sometime...
I ditched the bike. Yup, that's right, I fell off. Ish. Actually, the bike went over and I went with it, but there's a really good reason for that.

Wolfie and I went to Kimball's to meet up with some friends and my sister for some ice cream. He rode the bike and I took the truck (I'm not ready for highway riding yet, and it's a big PITA for me to ride with him over that great a distance). Wolfie and skorzy and frostyw decided to play some mini-golf, while Sis and I went to a local garden center, after which she dropped me off and I realized that it was 5pm and I'd be losing the light soon. So Wolfie handed me the keys to the bike and we agreed I'd ride up to my mom's house and he'd bring the truck up when he'd finished playing his 18 holes.

The parking lot is sand, dirt, and gravel. Had it been paved, I probably wouldn't have fallen, but if that was where I was destined to fall, I'm glad it was sand and dirt. (Before any of my horsey friends say "I told you so" about falling off a motorcycle, allow me to point out that I fell a much shorter distance and do not hurt nearly as much as any of the times I have left a saddle unwillingly.)

What happened is this: I'm still learning the feel of the clutch::gas on the bike (you know how it feels when you step on the gas and let out the clutch with a car? It's one thing to feel that potential in your feet, and another entirely to feel it in your hands). I gave the bike too much gas, and then let out the clutch too fast, and made the bike a) lurch forward and b) fishtail a little. This threw me backwards and I think my hand dragged down the throttle (you turn it towards you to give it more gas). Meanwhile, it's running away with me because I inadvertently gunned it and fishtailing (which was the real problem) and heading for a parked car, so I did the heroic thing and tipped the works over so I wouldn't crash into the parked car. (I was wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, gloves, jeans, workboots, and a helmet. I will never get on the bike wearing much less than that.)

I'd like to think that I thought it through. I think my real thought process was something like "ohshitmakeitstopOW." There were a couple of kids eating ice cream on the tailgate of a minivan, who didn't even move, never mind help me up or help me pick up the bike. Actually, I don't remember getting up. I was down, and then I was back up, checking my elbow and knee, which were pretty much the only bits that hurt, and then I shut off the motor. I even got the bike picked up pretty much on my own. Problem was, the front tire was partly under the back bumper of a car, and I couldn't get the bike up enough to be able to balance it and put it into neutral so I could back it up (the gearshift is a foot lever).

Luckily, a nice young man came along and helped me -- the bike is small, so he picked up the front end and just pivoted it around so I could set the kickstand. For once, "I'm still on my learner's permit" didn't make me feel like a pogue. It was a legitimate excuse as to why I dropped a bike in a damned parking lot.

I thought about calling Wolfie, but I would have had to take off my helmet, which is more involved than you would think. So I pushed the bike to the pavement, and took off for mom's. After all, when you fall off, you've gotta get back on, right?

It was actually a really good ride, about 7 miles or so. I got up to about 45 mph, but the fun of that was tempered by the oh-shit-I-fell-off-the-bike frisson, and so I will have to practice more. I didn't stall it until I made the sharp turn into my parents' driveway, but that was no biggie. I could have pushed it from there.

So I'm sore, and my elbow is scraped and my knee is bruised and I think I pulled a muscle in my other leg, but I had a good time today, and I still feel good about my ability to ride this bike. I hurt myself worse roller-skating in the driveway when I was a kid. Wolfie said he'd be okay with me going out again to ride alone, as long as I let him know when I go and when I come back. Gotta make the most of the few remaining nice days in the year.

i feel: sore sore

3 trips or shoot the rapids
frostyw From: frostyw Date: September 27th, 2004 08:13 am (UTC) (base camp)
I'm glad to hear you're okay and were able to get back up and going again. Wolfie borrowed my phone to call you when he was ready to leave, and we all kinda froze when he was talking to you and said something about 'ditching it'.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: September 27th, 2004 08:44 am (UTC) (base camp)
He did tell you guys I was okay, right? I asked him last night if he'd said anything to you two, and he said something like yeah, he'd told you, but it was no big deal and no one was worried.

Of course, when he got to Mom's, he came in, looked me over, and said "Eh, you've got all your limbs. You're fine."

(Trust me, if I'd actually been hurt, I would have mentioned it and not tried to ride seven miles up to Harvard.)
frostyw From: frostyw Date: September 27th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC) (base camp)
Well, yeah, he did say you were fine after, but just at first I was a bit concerned.
3 trips or shoot the rapids