This morning Dave asked if I wanted to ride my bike over to the Harley dealership. I don't think he expected me to say yes, because when I did he said, "Really? Are you sure?"
So we decided that we would ride around the neighborhood for awhile and see how I felt. Dave was a nervous wreck, Riley was a nervous wreck, and to be honest, I was more nervous than I let either of them know. Before today I had only ridden in the parking lot. No traffic to worry about, plenty of room, and speed so low I never had to shift. But, I needed to get out of the parking lot sometime, right?
We rode around the neighborhood for about an hour and a half. I was feeling good, except I kept getting a cramp in my left thigh. Dave said that's normal, just part of getting used to the ride. I felt confident in my starting out, stopping, turning, and even the shifting was going pretty good. The only thing that was really bothering me was the other traffic on the road. Since we weren't on any busy streets, there weren't a lot of cars, but enough to make me nervous. I decided that I need more experience before I got out onto the main streets. The best piece of advice I have received since starting this journey is, "Never out ride your ability." I was keeping that in mind.
I told Dave we should ride the bikes home, and I could get my car and we could all still go over to the dealership to get our Saturday hot dogs.
I pulled into the driveway okay, but when I went to stop, my brain forgot to communicate with my left hand telling it to pull in the clutch. Well, you all know what happens when you forget to do that. She tried to keep going while I was trying to stop. I could tell we were going over, so I jumped off and tried to control the dump as well as I could. She went down slowly, landed on the mirror, and thankfully it held up. No major damage. There are a couple little scratches on the pipe, but no damage to the engine or the tank. I'm amazed that the mirror didn't break. All I could say was, "Aw shit!" And all Dave could say was, "Clutch baby, always remember the clutch." Then he and Riley both asked if I was ok. I'm ok, just glad it happened in the driveway and not out on the road.
Then I got a demonstration on the proper way to pick up a dropped bike. I thought that the first time this happened to me I would be upset, but I really wasn't. I have heard many stories about people dumping their bikes so I know it isn't just me, I'm just starting out, and I feel good about riding. Even with that little mishap I still feel really good about my ride today. There was one point while we were going down the street that I thought to myself, "Wow, look at me, I'm really riding a motorcycle." I'm proud of myself for taking on this adventure, it's something that I never would have imagined just a couple of years ago. And I have to admit, it felt really good riding by the little boys who were all looking at me like I was a cool chick. I'm not into this to be seen as a cool chick, it's about the ride, but it still felt good.
After we got my baby settled in, and I got my car, we went over to the dealership and got our lunch. Dave ordered my engine guards, ha ha, that's one way to get them sooner rather than later. LOL.
Ever since I got my bike, I've been thinking about giving her a name, I just couldn't think of anything that would be perfect. Well, I came up with one today....I have decided to name her Patience. She is very forgiving, I can't imagine a better bike to learn on. I am very happy with the choice I made when I decided to buy this bike. I look forward to being able to share many more stories about our adventures together, one baby step at a time.