This is a blog post that I wrote quite awhile ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t publish it then, but here it is now. No – I didn’t learn to ride in the middle of a December snow storm in Michigan! I named this sweet beauty Naomi – because it spells “I Moan” backwards. Don’t judge me, actually whatever, judge away 🙂
I learned how to ride a motorcycle today. Not just any motorcycle, mind you, but my very own motorcycle. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful 1997 Red Virago and I am so excited to finally be able to get to work on this task on my bucket list. She’s a small bike, 250cc, and she is perfect for me right now. The low sales tag didn’t hurt either nor did the fact that my husband talked him down a couple hundred on the price.
So, like I said, I learned to ride her today. My husband drove her down to the local school parking lot as I followed with the pickup truck loaded down with our three youngest sons and their bicycles and helmets. He was very patient with me as I kept slowly rolling and stopping as I tried to get out of my own head. My need to analyze things, and to dissect them to the tiniest neutron, isn’t exactly a gift when you are learning to ride a bike. I kept running through a list of every worst case scenario and every thing I could possibly screw up until I had made it nearly impossible for me to even get both feet off the ground. I knew what my problem was, but, I was struggling with letting go and just enjoying the ride.
My first attempt at riding a motorcycle hadn’t gone very well. I was about 20 yrs old, maybe 21, and my dad was teaching my first husband how to ride. We were out at dad’s house and they decided I should give it a try. Sure, why not – I’m an adventurous girl!! Well, needless to say, the fact that they had me drive on the grass with no information what-so-ever about the clutch or shifting or anything lead to me on the ground with a bike on top of me pouring gasoline on my legs. Not exactly the way you want to start out is it? Nothing like grass in your face, a bike on your body and fuel pouring on you to make you feel competent as a rider.
So, my second attempt, was much better. I was able to get out of my own head and eventually take off. I practiced left turns (easy) and right turns (not so much). I practiced shifting and going around small obstacles as well as stopping and taking off about a hundred times. I believe that, at one point, my husband asked if he should have my mail forwarded there! lol
I have to admit that I am jealous that I didn’t get to have my dad teach me how to ride, especially since my ex-husband got to benefit from his knowledge and I didn’t. I just wasn’t ready to ride. I wasn’t mature enough, I wasn’t brave enough, I wasn’t sure enough of myself and I was still figuring out who was. All things in time……