So, now that we have purchased a starter bike for me, the training begins. I have been endorsed for 6 years but in all that time had not ridden my own bike until this past Monday. As you know from a previous post, Troubadour rode it back from Beaverton for me on Sunday. Monday morning he took me out to a local parking lot so I could once again familiarize myself with the controls.
I wear a grey Cortech textile jacket and Troubadour thought it might be a good idea to make me a little more visible for my street riding. He graciously lent me his green high vis vest. We had to cinch it in quite a bit and it makes me look like I've gained 20 lbs but it screams newbie and that is what we wanted.
Tuesday night we went out once again, this time Troubadour did not have to double me anywhere. We started out in the driveway, he on his Triumph and me on the Nighthawk.
I followed him for a few laps around the neighborhood. I found out that first gear is really low on the 250 and that as soon as my feet are up I am shifting to second. After a few rounds of the side streets we went off on the main roads to downtown Corvallis to my work. Circled the parking lot and took some back roads south of town to get me used to a little faster speeds and some bumps and hills and curves. I topped out at 45 mph and fourth gear that night.
Last night, Wednesday, we headed out again. No laps of the neighborhood this time, just straight downtown following the same route. This time instead of turning to go home we headed down another back road where the speeds get to 55 and there are more corners and hills. We went a lot further last night and I made it to 60 mph and hit fifth gear. Yeah for me.
I have to admit that I wasn't really enthused about getting all suited up when it was 80˚ F outside and I'd rather be in shorts and a t-shirt, but once I was out on the open road I was truly enjoying myself and was imaging all of the trips that Troubadour and I will take over the coming years and I had to smile.
If you have confidence in yourself and your ability and you are lucky enough to have a supportive spouse you can do anything, and life really is good.
Will we go out again tonight? Probably. Will we go further than last night? Probably. Will we remember the camera this time? Hopefully. Will I enjoy myself? Most definitely!
PS: If we do remember the camera I'll post up a few pics later.
"That's all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel."
~ Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance