This is my very first time on a motorcycle. I am about two years old. So cute!
After many years of riding on the back of (also called "bitch" on) Michael's motorcycle, I decided that I would finally woman up and learn to ride. After all, I never feel so free as when I am flying down Angeles Crest Highway
, smelling the pine and taking each curve in turn.
When I told Michael that I was ready, he bought me lessons for my birthday. Exactly 2 months following my 37th birthday, I was in class and ready to ride.
When it comes to riding on
things, I will start with the caveat that I haven't always been very successful in these endeavors. For instance, I didn't learn how to ride a bicycle until I was 24. My sister and I weren't allowed to ride when we were kids.
Michael taught me how to ride a bicycle so that I would do the California AIDS Ride with him. From San Francisco to Los Angeles. Yes. Ride 700 miles after just learning how to pedal a bike.
My friend Kristin lent me the bike and I practiced for about 5 months but I never quite got to the place where I could take my hands off the handlebars to do things like...signal.
Notice the Band-Aid on my helmet in this picture. Very appropriate.
So after pushing my way down from San Francisco, possibly crying through parts of it. Possibly not riding every mile, I gave the bike back to Kristin and I haven't been on a bicycle since.
Some day I'll tell you about my one and only stint on inline skates that ended up with problems and surgical staples involving "DO NOT BACK UP: SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE" spikes.
But I digress.
The class, led by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, would have waived my DMV riding test and was scheduled for 2 days in February. The first 5 hours was classroom instruction and a test. On which, I received 100%. Because I am a smarty pants.
We broke for lunch and returned to what was called "the range" but was actually a big parking lot with cones. In my mind I was already airbrushing flames onto my 750 Shadow
before I had ever started up a motorcycle. We got on our assigned bikes. We learned neutral, the clutch, the friction zone, first gear. Soon, it was time to sit on our iron butts and ride across the parking lot.
Ummm. That part didn't go so well. You see, when riding a motorcycle, your left hand controls the clutch. Your right hand controls the throttle and the brake. Your left foot engages the gears and there's another brake under your right foot. That means, essentially, that all four limbs are working at the same time...or need to be ready to work at the same time.
My coordination...I would say is not that great. Others might say it really, really sucks... so when I wanted to brake, I accidentally gave the motorcycle gas, flinging myself out of control. When I had done that, I got scared so I let go of the handlebars like they were on a hot stove. Hmmm. Perhaps not the best thing to do when sitting on a 300 lb. machine with wheels.
The whole escapade was reminiscent of an I Love Lucy episode. I actually made it back and forth across the parking lot 8 times (barely), legs splayed out to the side of me. Flinging myself like a slingshot hoping that someone might be able to stop me. To this very moment, I have no freaking idea what the brake under my right foot looks like. I certainly never made contact with it.
After dropping the bike twice, though the instructors were very sweet, they asked me to please get the fuck out of there for both my safety and the safety of everyone within a 5 mile radius. And so I got off the bike. And made the walk of shame across the parking lot to my car. In front of 23 other students. Who are likely riding their motorcycles this weekend around L.A.
I am not. For now, and for the foreseeable future, I will be riding on the back -- bitch - like the old lady I am.
Labels: bad ass biker babe, City of Angels, wheels