I always knew it would come to this. It started with watching CHiPs
as a kid, sticking a playing card into my bike's spokes, etc. I secretly always wanted to ride a motorcycle. I feel like I am coming out of the closet all over again. I don't dare tell my mom this time.
So 35 years into my life I am learning how to ride a motorcycle. At 30 I did an odd pre-cursor--I learned how to ride a downhill mountain bike. A little over five years later I've taken a Harley-Davidson Rider's Edge course (via Harley-Davidson of Annapolis, MD) and piloted a motorcycle myself. When I first took off with the engine pulling me across the bike range this weekend, it felt like learning to ride a bicycle for the first time. It was just like riding a bike for the first time without training wheels--the moment when it's confirmed that the bike wants to stay upright if it has enough momentum to do so.
Gravity is a tricky lady. I don't trust her because I don't necessarily know her that well. You hear in bicycling and motorcycling that "...the bike wants to stay upright," but it's a difficult idea to trust when you are pushing your handlebar to the ground in a turn and the only thing that separates you from the asphalt is a thin layer of cotton.
I "dropped" my motorcycle once in class. It was not as humiliating as I thought. I liked how the instructor insisted I let it go even though he saw me trying to prevent it from hitting the ground. Physics can be so zen. It's really okay. Gravity is really okay. There's no need to bust one's back out of alignment to prevent the world from seeing that gravity is still in play.
I tried to deny the sun's power this weekend, too. Tried to pretend like the burning power of the sun had no power over me, just because I hadn't tasted her fiery kiss in a couple years. Now my face is bright red from my sunglasses line down. Two days after sun exposure, my chin skin is flaking off in dry pieces. Ugh. It's laughable. For someone who has already had skin cancer, I sure am dumb when I want to be.
This blog is too goddamn long, I realize, if I have to use those triple-asterisk dealies. That generally means one ought to be writing a book for their friends to feel forced to purchase. ;)
Anyway, I am trying to decide whether or not I am a biker at heart. I am not sure I am. Riding in 1st and 2nd gear in a parking lot does not make that abundantly clear to someone who is questioning whether or not they are a motorcyclist at heart.