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.