Born To Ride, Part Two

Here I sit in a class I would really rather not be attending, so why not continue chronicling my moto journey? That seems infinitely better than listening to an instructor drone on incessantly about pressure ulcers.

Let’s see. Where was I?

Oh yeah, I was in my moto classroom, learning all about the infinite wonders of this two-wheeled chariot. I have never paid closer attention in a class, including some of my more boring undergraduate courses. I was fascinated. As I left the room that night, I remember thinking, “Yeah, I scored 100% on the written test, but will that carry over to the practice range?”

I wasn’t so sure.

Saturday morning arrived, bright and held the promise of a warm and comfortable day for riding. I felt as if my senses were heightened somehow. I was ready to give this a solid attempt. I drove to the range and arrived 45 minutes early. I was greeted by the sights and sounds of the earlier class of students completing their first day of practice riding and training. I distinctly recall my jaw dropping as I thought, “That will be me by the end of today?!” I was mesmerized by the mere sight of these fellow students riding by and projecting an air of confidence and pride. I couldn’t look away.

I wanted this so badly. I wanted to fast-forward to the end of day one and be as triumphant as those I currently watched.

I was ready.

The instructor called our names one by one. We split into two groups and followed our respective instructors. After a few necessary announcement, the instructors said, “Stand next to a bike you want to ride for the next two days, and of course, choose a bike that fits.”

I chose the Suzuki GZ250 in blue. Blue. The same color as my love’s motorcycle. Out of solidarity and hoping there would be some deeper connection by channeling him there with me, I strode up alongside that bike. The bike looked small, but it sure looked heavy. After we all chose our bikes, we learned to proper way to mount.

My heart was beating faster than I thought possible.

I gripped the front brake, swung my right leg over and straddled my own motorcycle for the very first time.

My heart was pounding.

The moment had arrived. We went through the proper order of starting the motorcycle. Clutch in. Turn ignition switch to “ON” position. Engine cut-off switch “ON”. Ignition “ON”.

Holy shit.

the Suzuki roared to life.

(Okay, maybe ‘roared’ is a bit of an embellishment. Perhaps ‘purred’ is more fitting.)

I sat there for a few minutes, just feeling the vibration of the bike beneath me for the very first time. This was really happening. I was just moments away from my first solo ride. We practiced finding the friction zone for each of our motorcycles and, in turn, we “walked” the bikes forward.

Whoa. I was moving forward on a motorcycle. Solo. The complete rush and sense of unabashed pride was almost overwhelming. I beamed inside my helmet.

As the day progressed, our group went from friction zone practice to riding in first and second gear to practicing sudden stops. The sense of camaraderie was wonderful. We encouraged each other. We cheered each others’ small victories. This was a first for many of us.

I ended the first day on a high note. I felt amazingly confident, happy, and proud. I couldn’t wait to go home and share my day with James. Ironically, as scared and nervous as I started the day, I couldn’t wait to return the next…….


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