I've learned how to ride a motorcycle! It's something I've wanted to do for a while now and I can officially check it off my list. The class I took was a four day adventure. Two days (two evenings, actually) in the classroom and two days (five hours each) on the range on an actual motorcycle!
Talk about a good time! I wasn't sure what to expect, but they start the riding portion of the class out literally with baby steps. You do things like the pre-ride inspection, then suit up and get on the bike and learn how to start it up properly. Your first movement on the bike is something they call "power walking". You're on the bike working the "friction zone" - the point where the clutch and the throttle are balanced enough to move you forward, but you don't actually pick up your feet. You kind of walk along using your feet/legs to get a feel for the balance you'll need. From there, we moved through turns, braking, upshifting, downshifting and running over obstacles. And whole host of other stuff to make us safe riders.
Then at the end of the second morning, comes the evaluation. I did really well throughout the class and picked up some points during the evaluation. Points are not a good thing. I still passed, but as one of my rider coaches said, "you did so well through class, what happened to you?" I was a little bummed that I didn't pass with fewer points, but I still passed! I think I was just tired, and trying to concentrate on everything we had learned. There's a lot to think about while being evaluated and you know you're being watched like a hawk by the rider coaches and the entire class. Everyone in class was super supportive of each other, which was cool. But they were still watching!
Did I mention that it rained most of the morning this morning? Not just a little bit of rain. Lots of it! We rode anyway. Thank goodness for rain gear. With running in the rain for my race training, I'm getting pretty used to doing activities in the rain. Rain was better than blazing sun though since you have to be in full pants, sleeves, gloves, helmet and eyewear the whole time you're on the bike.
One of the main reasons I took the class this spring is that I need to get my Vespa licensed and insured. The endorsement comes in handy for that since my little Italian friend is 150 cc and can do 65 mph max! Going into the class I thought, "I'm good with the Vespa, I don't think I'll want to get a motorcycle for a while." Now that I can actually ride, my vintage motorcycle dream has reawakened!
Good times! I'm happy that the class is done though. It was a busy week getting class and my training runs in, plus the rest of my life! I'm a little sleepy! Now that I can cross learning how to ride a motorcycle off my list, it's time to come up with something new to cross off.
Have you crossed anything off your "I want to do that" list recently? What do you want to learn?