I ride my motorcycle.
I should edit that.
I RODE my motorcycle.
A month ago.
Since then, my girl has sat patiently, waiting for the next time we ride. The last time I climbed aboard, we tackled our first set of traffic lights, intersections, traffic, and general riding beyond this apartment complex.
I considered that a major victory, as did James.
Since then, I’ve simply not gotten on my motorcycle. There’s no real ‘fear’ there anymore, like before, but just a general indifference, I suppose. Yeah, I know, I need more ‘seat time’ to establish muscle memory and just overall practice, but me being the least patient person in the world, and having ZERO desire to ride solo right now means the bike sits in the parking stall next to James’ well-loved, oft-ridden Triumph Daytona.
If motorcycles could talk, I could just imagine the conversations they’d have.
“So, you went on the track for the first time last month, eh? How was that?” says my Honda.
“It was fucking awesome. It’s about time James took me where I was meant to ride. I went fast, but I KNOW I could go faster. I think James loved it enough to take me again and again. I’m stoked.”
(I definitely think the Daytona would say the word ‘stoked’).
“So, why aren’t you out there?”
My Honda would probably be a bit embarrassed to admit that her owner just isn’t all that interested right now. Yep, it’s true. I’ve overcome the crippling fear that gripped me just months ago, but now I’ve fallen into the apathetic, disinterested category.
I used to have this goal of riding my motorcycle the two miles to work, but honestly, the thought of gearing up to spend a few minutes riding to work, stripping off sweaty leathers, putting on scrubs, working, then doing it all in the reverse order eight hours later just doesn’t necessarily sound appealing anymore.
I don’t know what happened.
Well, that’s not entirely true. A few things happened. Work, other leisure activities consuming our time (which are very much planned for and appreciated), trips away, and just having days when I knew that I wasn’t 100% to ride.
And, in case you’re reading, and you’re a seasoned rider, probably the worst thing you can say to a new rider is this:
“Just ride. Get on your bike. Don’t be a pussy. Just ride your motorcycle.”
Oh. Ok. Just like that. Fuck all the rules. Fuck all the practice. Fuck all the muscle memory I DON’T have quite yet. Yeah, that’s smart. Just fuckin’ ride, right?
I can’t tell you how much these comments got under my skin. Rude, insensitive, and completely unnecessary. I could turn the tables on these people and say, “Just wipe an ass. Just do it. Just reach right in there, grab a handful of shit, and start wiping.”
It’s not that easy.
I’ve said this all along. I set out to learn HOW to operate a motorcycle, and lo and behold, I did it. I accomplished that goal. In the space of THREE WEEKS, I took and passed the Basic Rider Course, received my M1 endorsement, AND bought my own motorcycle. Weeks afterward I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. I could ride MY motorcycle.
What’s the fucking hurry?
No, I probably don’t ride as much as you, Insensitive Commenter, but ya know what? I don’t really care. I think I’m being just a teeny bit smarter by listening to MY gut and MY brain and deciding when I WANT to ride. As a fellow rider and cager, I bet you would be happier about me only riding when I feel up to it. It’s safer for everyone.
In the end, I’ve decided that scheduled ‘practice sessions’ on the calendar don’t work. Gentle encouragement from my moto man doesn’t work. Guilt doesn’t work. Coercion doesn’t work.
The only thing that works is seizing the moment, whenever that moment comes. I’ve said this so many times, I can practically recite it in my sleep:
My bike is paid for and waiting patiently here at home for me. I have nothing BUT time. What’s the big rush? Sure, I still have some hesitation, but it’s not paralyzing fear that’s holding me back, it’s the sheer desire to ride. Right now, with other things going on in my life, like love, my son coming to visit, trips planned, it’s just simply not a priority. Period.
I’m okay with it. And in the end, if I’m NOT okay with it, I suppose that will change things, but for now?
I smile when I walk past my bike to get into my car.
And that’s okay.