Poser

Fear.

Self-loathing.

Poser.

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.

Image

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.

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7 thoughts on “Poser

  1. Fear will keep you alive. When you Lose the fear and respect for the machine, is when the crash will happen. Won’t be a matter of if, it will be a matter of when. Ride it, own it, fear it, love it.

  2. Lisa – cut yourself some slack. You are not a poser! You are listening to your inner voice and it’s okay not to feel like riding. Go out and ride in your neighborhood, comfort comes when you do the familiar and eventually you will be ready to venture further. I think you are wise not riding when you are tired after work and you listen to your body.

    Hill starts scare even the most experienced of riders. When I first started riding I used to replay everything & remembered my instructor saying “brisk acceleration” when taking off, I suffered from what I call throttle anxiety and was uneasy about EVERYTHING. I kept my rides local and lots of practice in the parking lot and I asked my hubby to mentor me when riding. He is awesome, he tells me honestly what I did well & what needs work.

    You have the skills and tools to ride. Proficiency comes with practice and never ever feel less because you are anxious. If you weren’t anxious it wouldn’t be normal. If riders get too over confident I think that is a disaster in the making. Go easy on yourself, you can do it and you will!

  3. as a long time cyclist and nurse-midwife I get it. I have been hit by a car twice on my bicycle, and just got my M1 license. I ride a scooter but thus far have been limited to circling our neighborhood. I am thinking I probably won’t do over 40 mph ever unless it happens accidentally šŸ™‚ but that time in the saddle is what you need to become proficient. And good gear makes me feel like if I drop the scoot I won’t need skin grafts.

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