Guess who rode her motorcycle today?
I calmly put on my gear, strode outside to my motorcycle, unlocked her, straddled her, started her up, and as soon as I heard that familiar purr, I almost cried.
Tears of absolute joy.
I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t terrified.
I was happy. I was happy and ready to get back on my bike.
For those who haven’t been following my own silly saga, I have been dealing with some fear and hesitation with regard to riding. No accidents or anything, just a vague fear of the unknown, and only recently did I finally admit it to myself.
James put my stock can exhaust back on my Honda CBR250R, and while it is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, I have never been so happy to see it back on my bike. As soon as I started her up, I knew she was back. My bike. The bike with which I learned to feel comfortably confident. The bike that inspired me to practice. No more ridiculously LOUD exhaust and different, scary handling. All that was gone.
I let out the clutch and smiled.
Here we go.
You were ALL there with me. I heard all of your online voices in my head. The voices that told me that being scared was part of the process, getting back on was what I needed, no matter how difficult it may seem, and that I was fully allowed to enjoy the smallest of victories, regardless of how trivial they may seem to others. James is always there with me, inside my helmet, calmly guiding me when I need it most.
“Clutch in, shift, roll off throttle. Smooth shifting.”
“Clutch in, front brake, rear brake. Left foot down.”
“The clutch turns that big ol’ motorcycle into a big ol’ bicycle. It’s your friend. Use it.”
“Don’t be afraid to give her some throttle to start from a stop. Give her a little gas.”
He’s there with me, even when I can’t see him in my rearview mirrors.
My favorite part of the ride was on the back side of the neighborhood loop. I shifted up into third gear, rounded a gentle left turn, gripped the tank between my thighs, allowed myself to relax my arms, lean into the turn, and feel that exhilarating feeling that can only come on two wheels. I remember smiling as I rode along, recalling the precise feelings that motivated me to begin riding.
As I rounded a gentle curve for the second time on my loop, a guy was standing outside. He smiled.
He gave me a thumbs-up.
I did it.
While my 30 minute ‘ride’ may have only included some basics, they were all mine, and you know what?
I rode a motorcycle. Regardless of how fast or how slow. I. RODE. A. MOTORCYCLE.
And that is pretty bad-ass.