Sunday, November 29, 2009

Motorcycle, vroom, vroom

November 22 marked my first real motorcycle ride on public streets! After about five days (over several weeks) of practicing on the street in front of our house and the parking lot of a nearby school, it was time to get out on the streets. We road to Mulino, then took a roundabout way to get back. It wasn't even 30 miles, and my average speed was only about 35-40 miles an hour, but, hey, for me, it was a HUGE leap forward!

Yesterday I took my second motorcycle ride, this time to Silverton. I wish we could live there! It's a charming little town, with a lovely downtown and a much more welcoming fire station, but it's too far from Stefan's job. As of that day, I had put my first 100 miles of my own on my motorcycle. The gas station attendant did a double take when I took off my helmet (OMG! A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN ON A BIKE!). I also did my first "Sup?" salutes to other bikers.

And today, November 29, I took my THIRD motorcycle ride, this time to Mt. Angel. The ride was gorgeous -- the scenery is idyllic, and the weather was perfect (I like it sunny and cool). Mt. Hood poked up over the trees a few times to watch me. It was a ride of more than 80 miles total. My favorite speed is still 40 MPH, though I got up to 55 regularly today. I again ended up a few times with a line of cars behind me (even when I was going to speed limit) -- tough luck, dudes!

This is the map of my rides to date, courtesy of Stefan's GPS. I'm taking baby steps - I know a lot of people get their motorcycle license and off they go, but I really want to keep being a student, adding maybe one new element each time - maybe a few more hills and curves, maybe riding just a bit longer, etc. I don't want to ever ride way beyond my skills. I want to be really comfortable on the bike by the time May rolls around and we might dare to take our first camping trip via TWO motorcycles...

No, I won't be giving up riding on the back of Stefan's bike, in case you are wondering. I like it back there!

Ofcourse, I will always ride ATGATT - All The Gear, All The Time. Because I like my skin. I like my head. I don't care that you think I look ridiculous -- all I care about is that you SEE me when I'm on the bike! My biggest fear as I ride is that cars about to turn into the road don't see me. It absolutely terrifies me that someone will pull into my path. That's why I have no plans to ride at night EVER.

See my Flickr set of how I learned to ride a motorcycle (it all started in Germany...).

Super big thanks to Stefan for being so patient as I learn to ride.

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