My Easy Rider Moment


Sorry to have been AWOL from posting lately. Between the job and commute, there’s little time left for much of anything.

The only real news I have is I took Basic Rider Training through Team Oregon to get my motorcycle endorsement on my drivers license. I passed the written part, but unfortunately did not pass the on-cycle skills test. Well, for someone who was brand new to motorcycles, I think I did ok all in all. The eight hours on the range for this class were the only eight hours I’ve ever spent on a bike so I’m ok with the outcome. I do get one chance to retest in the next 6o days so I’ll probably take a shot at it. It was a lot of fun anyway. Leaning into the curves and swerving through cones and learning to stop hard – all good skills. The main instructor was Joel, who was just fantastic. He was not at all intimidating, always encouraging and got almost as excited as I did when I did things especially well. When it came time for the test, I just choked, plain and simple. I did ok on parts of it, but not enough of it. So I’m not ready to hit the road without a lot more practice and time in the saddle, but for only having ridden for eight hours, it’s hard to be too disappointed. I know I’m not ready, I know where my skills are. We had two hours of classtime on Friday evening, then got on the bikes at 7:45AM on Saturday. Just finding all the controls was an education in itself! We started out real slow, doing a straddle-walk on the bike, holding the clutch at the friction point and just walking across the range. Even that was a thrill for me! By the end of the morning I was leaning into curves, swerving around obstacles, weaving through cones, countersteering, and feeling like a motorcyclist. Here’s the bike I rode (well not the actual one I was on… you know what I mean):

Kawasaki Eliminator 250

Kinda sweet, no? For as little exposure as I’ve had to bikes, I think I did pretty well, which Joel kept telling me. I learned a lot, and I didn’t biff or fall or lay the bike down (which one guy did, and he quit the class he was so rattled by it. It was too bad). And I met some nice folks. The class was a real mix of older and younger people, some who had ridden previously or had at least some experience, others like me with none. I gotta tell ya, it’s pretty exciting the first time you shift into second gear and roll on the throttle and get that sensation as you feel the bike accelerate! Yes, I realize it’s still not going very fast, but it sure feels like it to someone who’s never ridden before.

So that was my entire weekend until I got home today and shampooed the carpet.

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17 thoughts on “My Easy Rider Moment

  1. I’d love to take all their classes. If I’m really going to do this, I want the best skills I can get, without spending years learning the hard way. One of the guys in the class had ridden years ago, but took the BRS course anyway because, as he said, you forget the good techniques and learn bad habits (as most car drivers do) along the way.

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    1. No flying hair, more like helmet-hair (the HORROR). But I had the shades and boots 😉 Yes, with my friend up there riding shotgun (or whatever they call it on bikes) I should be A-OK!

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  2. Love how you got home and shampooed the carpet! I can just imagine that you were so wired with excitement, you needed something requiring a lot of energy just to work it out of your system. 😀 I’m always amazed when I see smallish people operating big bikes and not dumping the bikes. I recall having to move someone’s very small (250, I think) bike in Viet Nam — had to move it backwards down a slight slope, from between two other motorbikes. Of course, as you can guess, I dropped it, but thank goodness didn’t knock any others over. After that, I made a point of practising moving one around, but never did find it easy. Maybe if I drove one, it would be easier. Anyway, bravo for learning so much, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you on your next test.

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    1. Actually motorcycle class was quite exhausting (or maybe it was only because we had to be on the range at 7:45AM Sat. & Sun). I’m amazed I came home and did anything! Yeah moving those things, even the smaller ones, is a lot easier with it running and letting the engine do the work 😉 It was kind of weird to go from feeling all badass on the bike to playing domestic goddess with the Bissell, I can tell you.

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