My mom may just keel over after reading that title, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s true. Motorcycles aren’t scary. I don’t think they’re dangerous, either. You know what’s dangerous? The people riding the motorcycles. And sometimes the people driving cars around motorcycles (I’m talking to you, you dumb white car with the handicapped sticker). I guess it can be said about a lot of things in the world, but as long as you’re responsible and careful, I don’t think motorcycles should scare you. Those words are pretty important, though: Responsible and Careful.
When we took our motorcycle safety class, one of the instructors told us she had been riding for years (she told us how many, I just don’t remember, but it was a lot of years) and had just recently ugraded her bike to a 650cc, or 700cc, something like that. Her point was, it had taken her all this time to be able to handle a more powerful bike. She told us stories of people who run out buy the biggest bike they can afford as their first bike because it looks cool and they think they can handle it. They don’t want a smaller one because they don’t want anyone to make fun of them. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really care what other people think of me, my bike, or all the gear I wear. Sometimes, when it’s hot and sticky, I really wish we could just ride around in a t-shirt. But then I think how much I’d regret that decision if anything ever happened. Better safe than sorry, right?
T has a friend who rode dirt bikes when he was a kid and now wants to buy a motorcycle. Granted, he may be all talk and may never actually purchase anything due to his, uh, frugal nature, but the bike he wants is almost twice as big as the one T has. And T’s had a lot of years of riding under his belt. And now he has to worry that his friend may end up with a motorcycle way beyond his abilities, something that could get him seriously hurt. Why would you want your friends to worry about you over something like that?
I joke that I am totally ready for a big bike. That, because I’d ridden a total of maybe 200 miles, I have already outgrown my little Rebel. I joke about it, but I know I’m not. Sometimes my little bike already feels too heavy. What would I do with a bigger one? I know that every time I get on my bike, a little part of T stresses out because he would feel so guilty if I ever got hurt. I figure, if I’m ever ready for a bigger bike, he’ll let me know. After all, that’s how I learned I was ready to go from closed neighborhood streets to the actual streets of Poway. Because T told me I was. We just go slow and steady until I’m not nervous. We go where there isn’t a lot of traffic. We ride when there aren’t a lot of cars on the road. He’s the one who taught me that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You go at your own pace and if you have to slow down so you don’t crash, then you just slow down. And if you’re riding with people who get mad at you for that, then you don’t ride with them any more. You wear the gear for protection, not style. Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying a helmet primarily because it was pretty.
We took our motorcycle gang out for a ride on Sunday. I guess it was our first group ride ever! And it was fun. I suppose it will become more fun when I’m not so focused on staying on the road and watching my outside-inside-outside curves and can look around and see the scenery, but it was still fun. We ended up at The Hideout Saloon near Santa Ysabel. It’s this little place that’s only open on the weekend and seems to be only frequented by bikers. They have a short menu, simple food, but it all tastes delicious after a good ride. Plus, the people watching is amazingly fun. Riding in a group is a lot less intense than when it’s just the two of us. I guess because I was in the middle, I didn’t have to worry so much about cars in front and back of me. Plus, the roads we took didn’t really have too many cars. Quite a bit of roadkill, but not too many cars. It was a good ride and it makes me excited to take more.
Don’t worry, mom. I’m in good hands.