Sunday, June 18, 2006
MY FIRST MOTORCYCLE RIDE
didn't go as well as I had anticipated. It turns out that riding a dirtbike when you were 12 does not prepare you for riding a motorcycle down the street. No, in fact, it is quite different.
So my Fiance's father has a yamaha virago. He just go tit, and I wanted to ride it, to see if I was indeed going to buy a cycle for myself. Now, on a dirtbike, to get it going, you let clutch out and throttle up. I did that on the virago, and promptly ran it into a parked car. It has a wee bit more power, it does. But still Mike let me ride it. I got the clutch all figured out, and was riding down the street just fine, but I thought I had better get going back, so they wouldn't worry. I thought I could just whip it around, again like a dirtbike: slow down, plant your foot, give it gas and go. Too much power, too heavy, not enough turning radius. All that equals one rider, plus bike, in ditch. That's where I got a muffler burn.
But still Carly's dad let me ride. He took me out and showed me what I needed to know, and I did fine after that. The whole thing is to let the clutch do all the work. It is already getting plenty of gas. And don't fight the weight, use it. On a dirtbike, you lean into a turn, on a streetbike, you let the bike lean into the turn, and you stay upright. Basically, I was steering with my ass, not my hands. And I caught on after that, even though the story tomorrow will be how the future son in law is a moron on a bike, I did get the hang of it fairly quick, and feel confidant enough to buy my own.
An interesting sidebar on that one. I think Mike would have sold it to me, but Carly protested me having a bike so much he changed his mind. I am getting a bike, I am sure, and Carly will just have to learn to stop worrying so damned much. Going in the ditch the first time isn't all that bad, and getting muffler burn, if Andy and his dirtbike are any indication, is fairly common when you choose to ride in shorts, so no worries.
Another aside: Andy was giving me a lot of hell for going into the ditch. And he should, it was ridiculous. But I was there when he bought his new dirtbike, and I watched him lay it down in the wet grass three times before leaving the yard. And then I watched him lay it down when he came back, breaking the brake lever. I didn't bring it up, but I will only take so much ribbing before THAT story is retold.
Anyway, that's day one for riding. I will get out on it more, and get comfortable enough to take my test, before I buy my own.