Saturday, September 27, 2008

Riding with the boys

This morning we got the bikes out and rode to the coffee shop and then to the Harley dealership. It's exciting for me anytime I get to ride, but these are two places I've already ridden to. I'm not in a hurry to really get out and go crazy, but I do want to expand my horizons just a little bit every time.
Dave knows me so well, he already knew what I was thinking. He asked if I wanted to ride for a while before I had to go to work this afternoon. He had an idea where he wanted to go, and asked Bernie and Dale if they wanted to go with us. The thought of riding in a group, even if it was just four bikes, was a little bit intimidating to me. I'm used to riding with Dave, and he knows where I have problems and what he needs to look out for. I would never want to cause anybody else to go down if I were to make some stupid move they weren't prepared for. I told Dave I wanted to pick the order we rode. I wanted Bernie to lead and then me, Dave behind me, and Dale in the very back. I mean no offense to Dale, but he doesn't have as much experience as Bernie and Dave, and I didn't think it was a good idea to have the two riders with the least experience right next to each other. And the reason I wanted Dave behind me was because like I said before, he knows where I have problems, and where he may need to back off. I felt good with Bernie leading because he is a great rider, but I knew he wouldn't push me to go beyond my ability.
We decided to take a ride down River Road. River Road is kind of a backwoods type road. It has some long straight shots, some mild curves, some small hills, just a few bumps, and usually very little traffic. And I have a new high speed, 60 mph.
It was such a nice day and we did see some other bikes out, and guess what? I waved! Yeah! I had already told myself not to expect to be comfortable taking my hand off for quite awhile, but when I saw a bike approach I would assess the situation and if I felt ok and the road was clear ahead I would go for it. It's funny how something as small as a wave can be so exciting.
I felt good about going for this ride. Some of my nervousness is slowly starting to be replaced with just good old fashioned cautiousness and awareness. I am learning more about my bike every time I ride. I'm getting comfortable with how she reacts to certain situations, and how I react to her reactions. LOL. Although I really can't wait to take the basic riders course. I know it will help me a lot, especially with my maneuvering in parking lots and driveways.
I did notice that I eased up my grip on the throttle, and didn't rev when I was trying to stop. Every time we go out Dave gives me very honest feedback about how I'm doing and what I need to work on. I take his advice seriously and everything that I've done that he's told me to has helped with whatever the problem has been.
I'm getting more confident, but not too confident. I know that I still have a lot to learn and I am still very inexperienced. I'm just so excited that I'm progressing in a forward direction. And I hope that you all aren't getting sick of me spouting off about my accomplishments. I worry that this may be taken as me patting myself on the back, but it is really meant to be an encouragement to any body else who's in the same position, as well as a progress report for myself. :)

Oh, and one more thing...I made it into the driveway without stalling, or dropping her, or ending up on the neighbors grass. Whoo hoo!



20 comments:

Big Daddy said...

I love that your are taking to the road on your own.
Don't let anything or anyone slow you down.
Great spirits have always found oppisition from medeocrities.-Mark Twian.
Roll on BB. ;]

Dean "D-Day" said...

Go ahead and keep patting yourself on the back. You're doing great and progressing so quickly. I can't wait for you to start the class. It will help you with those areas that you're still having problems with and really boost your confidence.

P.S. Love the new picture.

mrs rc said...

I remember my first wave too! It's funny how something so little can be so exciting.

Congrats on all of your progress--60 mph, no random throttling, landing safely in the driveway, etc. You are gonna ace that basic rider class when you take it! One suggestion though: even if it seems like going backwards, do some more work in the parking lot (cone weaves, figure 8's, quick stops, and swerves). Those are the things you'll be tested on, and you'll feel much more at ease if you've practiced them before the class. Often you can go to the DMV where they hold classes and use the marks they have painted on the parking lot.

Ann said...

Nice job, BB! I think you deserve to pat yourself on the back...you're doing great! And it's great for me to see how you're progressing. It's taking the edge off my nerves as I'm preparing to sign up for the basic rider's course.

I'm really happy you're posting these stories!

Willy D said...

There are Bikers & wanabes. After your ride Sat. your wanabe status is void. Great job !

Your instructor sounds a bit like a old fuddy duddy, whats his trip ?

B.B. said...

Big D- That means a lot coming from you. Even though we've never met face to face, I have a lot of respect for you.

Dean- Thanks! It's very exciting to know that just over a month ago I couldn't ride, and now I can. CRAZY!

Mrs. RC- It's so funny that you said that about the parking lot, I was just thinking that last night before I fell asleep. I definatley need more work on those things you mentioned.

Ann- Thanks! I'm glad that my stories are helping someone. They help me too. I can go back and see exactly where I was and how I felt each step of the way. And I can't wait to hear all your experiences when you take the course.

Ha ha! Willy D...welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!
Thank you for the compliment, it means a lot!
As for that old fuddy duddy, I can't say much about him. (Because he reads this) LOL

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Sounds like your riding skills are progressing right along! Nothing less was expected. Glad to keep reading about your riding experiences. This is part of what blogging is about. That first wave is pretty cool HUH!

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Once again...you make me smile! Seriously...thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts on your experience. Damn girl...sounds like you are just a natural...60 mph...you'll be passing all the tests at the rider's course and guys will be dropping to their knees doing All Hail to B.B. because you ride better then they do! :)~

Lady Ridesalot said...

I think I'll just chime in say Way to go! Mrs. RC has a point on practicing slow maneuvers in the parking lot. They are what becomes a natural movement when you have to avoid hazards and sudden obstacles. Keep up the good work!

B.B. said...

Mr. M- Thanks! That first wave was very cool!

Oh Step, let's not go that far...yet! LOL.

Lady R- Thank you!

Mimi said...

Fantastic job, BB. Glad to hear you're out riding as much as you can. You're doing great!

FLHX_Dave said...

You rock soul sister! It's hard riding behind you, I have a difficult time watching the road. The scenery is always beautiful riding as your wingman.

B.B. said...

Thanks Mimi!

Dave- ;) LYVM!

"Joker" said...

Love the new pic! Your hair looks awesome! OK Joker...think of cell phones...

Love even more that you and your ride are slowly becoming one. You have every right to be proud and excited about it, and to share the experience of it with your friends. Sometimes when myself, Dave and others write about how we get sick of waving sometimes, it's nice to be reminded of just how cool it is at first.

Enjoy these times. It won't be long before you're saying, "2nd mountain to the right...and straight on 'till morning..."

Jay Green said...

Way to go! If you get nervous just think of everyone in their underpants! That always helps me with public speaking, hope it helps you with your riding. I'm not sure how, but it can't hurt. Can it?

B.B. said...

Thanks Joker!

Jay- I think that might be dangerous! I already have enough distractions!

Becky said...

Sounds like you're improving with each ride, and your confidence is building. There is a fine line between being afraid and having confidence in your riding. I still go back and forth sometimes. Your class will boost your riding abilities alot. Keep having fun!

Bikerchickz

B.B. said...

Becky- Every ride is getting better, and more fun!

Anonymous said...

Hey this is Kelly from NC. I just found your blog today. Im a very new rider also. What you had to say gave me alot of encouragement and a little giggle to!! Sounded alot me and what I'm going through. I will definately keep reading your blog!!

B.B. said...

Hi Kelly, glad you found my blog. It's nice to hear from someone in the same situation. Please do keep reading and commenting, we can encourage each other in this adventure. Ride safe.