Yesterday was the first day I was able to go for my first ride on my two day old Rebel 500. After 3 hours of "I should do X before I go.." I realized that I was making excuses due to fear so I geared up, started it up and before I was out of the driveway my mouth was already dry.
I creeped a few blocks over to my sister and brother-in-law's house and along the way made myself proud by almost riding into someone's yard, nearly visiting the residents of a Nursing Home via a route across their grass, sidewalk and parking lot. (I'm sure they're appreciative that I clued them into the presence of that path as I'm certain it hadn't occurred to them previously
) When I arrived at the home of my sibling, I announced my presence with a string of curse words while breaking trail through their front yard. Driveways are overrated and for those who lack imagination! *embarrassed sigh*
I stayed for an hour or so to catch up with her and make sure she knows how much she and her family means to me OR it might be that it took an hour for my heart-rate to drop from the stratosphere and for me to screw up the courage to go back home.
It was totally about familial caring!
So I ride back and everything is much better...right up until I get to the driveway of my home. There's a lip that's about 4 inches taller than the street and I thought, "If you take it at an angle it would be better." NOPE! The front tire goes jut fine but then I hear "SCRAAAPE", I freak out and engage the brakes while still in 2nd gear and did not engage the clutch so then it starts bucking, I kill it and now I'm sitting there spewing hateful, nasty words at the Universe blaming it and every City Engineer that has ever lived for my stupidity.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow, or...Today: Ride #2 -
Same thing; I sit around thinking of things to do, "I should listen to one more Steve Winwood song. Ooo, Peter Gabriel, he really puts me in a good mood!" I finally get off my dead arse and gear up and head out.
First Yard Trap = no repeat of past humiliation. Cool!
Nursing Home Secret Infiltration Path = no repeat of previous entry attempt. They must have erected a Force Field.
Family Yard = Having broke ground on a new, and creatively named, trail yesterday I opted for the less imaginative "Driveway" option.
I sat around talking to my sister and brother-in-law while we watch their chill'rins climb all over the motorcycle and laugh while watching my oldest nephew try to control the weight of my helmet as it causes his head to bob from side-to-side and throws his balance off. (I was actually worried that it might hurt his neck but he seemed fine and his parents were less worried than I was.)
An hour or so later, I gain the courage to leave and at the end of the block something clicks:
Brain says: "Let's head across town to see your friend!"
Heart says: "Oh **** no!"
*brain forces body to do what it wants*
So I drove across town on back roads to my friends' house, no trail-blazing, no sketchy entrances to elderly care facilities...it goes well! Except for the fact that I was turning left or right for about 86% of the trip. Now, I'm not saying that there are a lot of turns, I'm saying I COULD NOT remember to switch off the bloody Turn Signal after having negotiated the turn! *sigh* I get to the friends' house, they are leaving with family to shop in a larger city about 2 hours away so I stay just long enough for they and their two sons to drool over my motorcycle and I leave with a promise to the boys to come back another day so they can crawl on it.
Brain says: "Let's go to work!"
Heart says: "Does it matter what I say?"
I went back towards home so I could head to work on a path I knew. I freaked out a bit once I was on the main thoroughfare with traffic behind me but it went well. Got some waves from folks but was too nervous to wave back (they probably think i'm an ass). Once I got to work I decided to go back home via a secondary route I sometimes take. Head across town the other direction (and in much heavier traffic since there's no 'back road' path to get there) and things go better still! Then I miss the turn to go back home (was a nice shady street and I got distracted) and as I round a corner I see a Gas Station. This Gas Station is at the intersection of a main outlet into town where the speed limit is 45mph. Thus far I had been mostly on 25mph streets and a few 35mph sections.
Brain says: "OH GAWD WE'RE GONNA DIE!"
Heart says: "I told you!"
I forged ahead anyway, not sure what part of me made that decision but it certainly wasn't my bowels; everything went fine again! So then I start trying to think of places to go but there not much to see here that is within my current confidence level and at this stage my heart rate was nearing the U.S. National Debt (and my throttle hand felt a bit odd) so I head for home.
So now we're down to my last foe: the driveway lip! Having failed the test yesterday, I decided on the "Straight On" approach this time. After making sure of no traffic, I swung wide and came at it as straight as I could at low speed and ... No Scrape!
Currently I'm sitting here working out the logistics of how many trips I can make to the store to buy One thing at a time, bring it home and then go back for One more thing before it becomes severely uneconomical when compared to driving my Truck to the store for one trip...hmmm.