Saturday, September 13, 2008

Out of the parking lot, into the dump

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.


Anonymous said...

I dropped my bike in my driveway once too. Hit the little water drainiage gully and lost balance, put my foot down hard and quick...into the same stupid drainiage gully and twisted my ankle. I held her steady as she went down. I guess since she already had an engine guard, that's why she landed on the back turn signal. Problem was, it broke. So I couldn't ride again until I got it fixed...and it was November, so by the time I got it fixed there was snow on the ground. So I didn't get back on for months :-(

You know what they say, the first thing you have to do is get back on the horse! Trust me, the longer you wait the harder it will be.

Glad to hear you are making progress. Riding in circles in the neighborhood can be so incredibly boring, but it is exhilerating at the same time.

"Patience" is a great name. I love it!

Ann said...

What a great post. I'm so glad you're ok, and that there's not much damage.

That IS the best advice...never riding out of your ability. I will keep it in mind for when I start riding, too.

In my experience, if you can turn the damned bike, without dumping it, you're halfway there! I could shift, but I had some trouble turning and nearly dumped Big D's bike. I saved the bike, but hurt my back. That was the Honda, and now I'm not allowed to 'try' on his Harley. What a sore sport. :)

I love the name's perfect!

IHG said...

You got it all out of the way dumped the bike and now it will be smooth sailing! :) Glad you weren't hurt and that Patience only had minor injuries! Love the name...I think it's perfect. Thanks for sharing this with us.

FLHX_Dave said...

You did really good today! Practice, experience and...patience will make you the rider. I was expecting you to be more upset about dropping the baby. You are on your way. Just need to get that cage automatic tranny out of your head and remember the old VW stickshift again.

I am proud of you! Patience is a good name for the bike.

B.B. said...

Mrs. RC- Thanks! Yeah, thankfully I don't have to wait months to get back on.
Riley made a comment about riding in the neighborhood, he said, "I think that's the most time I've been on the bike in one ride, and we didn't even go anywhere." LOL

Ann- Thank you. Well, what is Big D. thinking, he should definatley let you try on the Harley. You've obviously proved that the bike comes first. :) The turns have been harder than I thought they would be, but I'm getting a lot better than I was.

Stephanie- Thanks! I think that was one of the comments I made to Dave, something about well, I did it, now it's done. I had joked before I got my bike, that I was going to dump it on the way out of the dealership just to get it over with. But I didn't ride it home that day, so it had to wait.

Dave- Thank you! You are an amazing man! Aw, my old VW, hey it kinda sounded like a motorcycle. LOL. Thanks again babe, you are the best support any woman could ever hope for. LYVM!

Lady R (Di) said...

Yep, we've all done it! Dropped'em that is. Anybody tells you they haven't is probably lying about it. Sounds like your doing great and your attitude is right on! I know you hated that it happened, but your okay, and you can chalk this up to experience. Things will get better, you'll see. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Ms. B.B

It’s never a question of if but when and how bad. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve throne my motor on the ground! I’ve done it everywhere, pushing it in the garage, turning around in the street. Glad to hear no damage and to see you climbing right back on. It does get easier the more you ride.

Have fun and ride safe,

"Joker" said...

I'm sure Patience will continue to be a virtue for you.

It takes guts to admit you dropped your bike. Believe me when I tell you, there are plenty who have done it, but because nobody saw and there was no damage, it "never happened." I have never dumped mine, excluding the one time a car hit me. That is not to say it can never happen. Potholes, oil on the road, whatever - you never know. All you can do is keep practicing and try to be careful.

I can't recall if you said you'd taken a beginner's rider course or not? If you haven't, I highly recommend that you do. Learning low-speed manuvering on the 250s they use is easier than on a Sporty, plus if you dump it, at lease it's not YOUR bike.

I also think cemetaries are a great place to practice on a bike - as long as you aren't weirded out by them. They usually are not crowded, and make because of the way they're laid out, are a natural place to practice low-speed cornering manuvers.

It all comes in time. You just keep on keeping on!

B.B. said...

Lady R & Fasthair- Thanks for the encouraging words!

Joker- I am going to take the basic riders course, I just have to wait. I had hoped to have it done by now, but it seems the money part and the time part haven't lined up right.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Sorry I'm so late to the party. Everyone else already said the things I would say as far as encouraging words. You said it best. Take it one baby step at a time.

Keep it up. Glad you did not get hurt at all.

Anonymous said...

Hi B.B. I enjoy reading your blog. This one made me laugh. I have dropped my bike twice and it seems both times in a restaurant parking lot (obviously it was due to starvation) and it was embarrasing as people just walked on by while I lay there in my shame.

Big Daddy said...

The old adage that we learn from our mistakes is true.
This will actually make you a better rider.
[You won't forget the clutch again I can assure you]
Soon you'll br riding with conficence, And if the day comes when you are so comfortable you no longer even fear even just a little, the bike anymore. It will be time to park it and take up a hobby:]

Mimi said...

Like most everyone said, we've all done it. It always seems to happen when you first get a bike. And remember, you're still learning how to handle her. I'm glad you're not hurt though. Keep up the riding. Patience has a good mama taking care of her!

Webster World said...

Years ago I took my son to the school parking lot. It is large. It is a part of the drivers ed. area. There he could shift. And I would put my glove down tell him to take the bike around come up to the glove and stop at the glove. Then we worked on bringing up the speed and doing that. Figure 8's and all the rest. Might you should go to a bigger parking lot. You will do just fine. You rode a bicycle you can ride a motorcycle. Just respect it power.

Webster World said...

Years ago I took my son to the school parking lot. It is large. It is a part of the drivers ed. area. There he could shift. And I would put my glove down tell him to take the bike around come up to the glove and stop at the glove. Then we worked on bringing up the speed and doing that. Figure 8's and all the rest. Might you should go to a bigger parking lot. You will do just fine. You rode a bicycle you can ride a motorcycle. Just respect it power.

Dean "D-Day" said...

Love the name. It's perfect.

And yes, I've dumped my baby twice. Both times were rolling up an inclined driveway at a strange angle. It was embarassing but I got over it. And my bike received very little damage. (a couple of scratches on the bottom of the primary)

It's all a part of learning.

B.B. said...

Mr. M- Thanks! Nothing hurt but my actually that didn't even hurt too much. :)

Marcie- Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy my blog, I was just reading your post on the trip to Milwaukee, I'm so jealous. Also, note to self...never ride while hungry. :)

Big D- Yup, that clutch is stuck in my head, I'm even dreaming about it. I agree, a little fear is a good thing, that's what keeps us safe.

Thanks Mimi!

Webster World- Thanks for stopping by, and for the good advice.

Dean- I was wondering where you've been. Good to see you, well, read you, whatever. :)

Becky said...

Oh No! That is so easy to do. I can't say enough about engine guards. I'm glad you still have the will to ride no matter what. I am also so glad I learned. Stay tuned for Bandon trip report.


B.B. said...

Becky- Yeah, and I just found out my engine guards won't be in for three weeks. :(
I'm looking forward to the Bandon post!