Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Don't forget, we were all beginners once!
Do you remember your first days riding? A member of Rounder's posted this video of his friend practicing in a parking lot. It really made me smile thinking back on those tentative days of ridership.
My first bike, the K75, came home in a pick up truck. I'd never ridden it. My motorcycle license was all of 3 days old when I bought it. I'd never done more than 2nd gear on a 250cc. I had my friend test ride. The first time I took it off the center stand in the garage, I dropped it (and I was on it!). I broke a rear view mirror. I ordered the wrong replacement mirror and was to embarrassed to say so, to this day that is why the K75 has asymmetric mirrors.
I had a friend come over to spot me as I descended my 4,000+ ft dirt driveway. I made it out to the cull-de-sac road, turned at the end and dropped the bike, popping off a signal. We popped it back on, I drove to the other end, turned around and dropped it again...put the signal back on. A few days later I took it for a ride to my friends house, I parked it and it promptly fell down...the kickstand does not stay out when the clutch is still engaged... When I needed gas, I circled the town so that I'd be taking a right into the gas station, this maneuver when on for some time! It wasn't until a year or so later, when I joined a BMW club, did I learn that everyone drops their K bikes. Then I was finally able to laugh it off.
This weekend I took another ERC class.(experienced riders course). I would recommend it to anyone. There were 12 people in the class, experience ranging from green to 35+ years. Myself, this is my 10th season and I have over 100,000 miles under my belt. But I have plenty of areas for improvements - low speed, small space U turns for instance.
I did kick butt in the braking portion of the show. Not hard to do if you have the right equipment. The instructor wanted me to use 4 fingers on the brakes, I said "no way" it's 2 fingers all the time. There is no strength component to my brakes, it's all electronic. When I did the brake test and came in 3 feet short of my allowed braking distance, he nodded and said "Ok, 2 fingers"
I also did well in the prepared for bad weather category. Thumbs up to the one Harley guy who pulled a full face helmet out of his top box when it started raining. 8 others rode home with just a beenie on.
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It really hurts to drop a bike. It hurts even more if it falls on you.
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