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!