Yeah. I can relate with each of those words today. Back in April, I successfully completed my Basic Rider Course, received my M1 endorsement, and bought a motorcycle. All in the space of three weeks.
And today when I peer out the window, I notice one thing:
My bike has cobwebs.
My bike doesn’t complain. She just sits there. Patiently waiting. Waiting for the time I gear up, get on, and ride. She’s been waiting for weeks and weeks. She’s still just as beautiful as the day I brought her home. I sit on her, stroke her gas tank, squeeze the clutch and brake, twist the throttle.
And, then I go back inside.
I’m afraid to ride my own motorcycle.
I have had no accidents. No close calls. No mishaps. Yet, still, here I am, blogging. Not riding. I’m afraid of my own motorcycle.
And she’s been only good to me.
I make excuses for why I won’t ride. It’s too cold. My gear doesn’t feel right. It’s too hot. it’s too late. I’m too tired. I worked all day. I don’t want to ride alone. Sometimes my excuses are valid.
Sometimes they’re not.
Weeks have passed, and I have allowed my bike to sit, my fears to gain a foothold in the recesses of my mind. My fears? They’re general and specific all at the same time. Can I accelerate from a stop? What do I do when I need to start off from an incline? Can I navigate a left turn? Where should I practice? What about pedestrians? Will cagers see me? Can I shift, look around, be aware, downshift, slow, turn all in one smooth motion?
All these things paralyze my brain.
I’m overwhelmed, and only recently did I finally allow myself to be honest with myself. I’m embarrassed. I’m a poser. I gear up, ride around the block eight times, proclaim victory, post updates, take photos.
I’m a poser.
Not a rider.
I can’t even venture past the traffic light that sits just beyond our apartment complex. I’m trapped by my own self-doubt and fear.
And, that sucks.
There’s a place between learning how to operate a motorcycle and being a proficient, confident rider. That place seems so vast, scary, and dark right now. I have no idea how long I’ll be there, and I have no idea how to escape its evil, negative clutches.
I stare longingly at other riders who seem so nonchalant and casual when riding out and about on city streets, on the freeway, or parked at a local restaurant. I so desperately want to BE them, yet I’m afraid of some unknown ‘thing’ that keeps me in that limbo place between learning and riding.
I see riders of all shapes and sizes. Some loaded with saddlebags on the side of their bikes in all the proper gear, and some riders have none of the proper gear. While I would NEVER endorse an ill-prepared rider, I do envy the sheer fact that they are ON their bike, RIDING it.
I don’t know what the answer is. I understand that I need to either conquer this fear or allow it to direct my future, whether that means I sell the bike or keep it.
I know one thing is for certain.
I’d rather be riding.