Saturday, March 9, 2013

Not So Easy Rider

Well, I might have been a 'Girl on a Motorcycle' but I was not 'Born to Ride.'  Today my dad helped me check off another bucket list item in a not so graceful way.  Before today I had a very Hollywood image of what my motorcycle experience would be.  Dad would show me really quick the basics of how to operate the bike, I would take it around the block a few times until I got the hang of it then we would ride off into the sunset in James Dean fashion.  The reality was not nearly as glamorous.

I started my day the way any poser would do, dressing myself in the most 'bad ass chick' attire I could find.  I went with all black, boots and obviously a bandanna.  I would have polished off the look with a leather jacket, but let's face it, I live in Florida and that isn't really appropriate for our 80 degree weather.  If I am dressed the part, I'll catch on even quicker right?

Don't mess with me.

Well, it turned out that my riding skills were as bad as my wardrobe choice.  After taking me around the neighborhood and showing me how to control the clutch and throttle, we got to an open area far away from other cars, children, or anything else that I could possible run into.  We ran through all the steps several times and it seemed like I had the hang of it.  Time to hop on.  I put my left hand tightly around the clutch and was ready to slowly release while gently accelerating but instead I decided to let go of the clutch quickly, freak out and fall onto the curb.  Before today, the Harley had never been laid on its side.  I guess I wanted to change that.  

We went through all the steps again and I mustered up the courage to try it again.  This time I started off much better.  I transitioned into first gear very smoothly and got going without stalling out.  I made a few turns, no problem and was on my way back.  Good job Casey, next time maybe you will even be ready to switch into second gear.  You are really getting the hang of this, I said to myself.  That was until I got close to my dad where all I had to do was simply break.  Crap, how do you break?  Well I can tell you what not to do.  Do not squeeze the clutch and break at the same time followed by releasing the clutch quickly, freaking out and turning to your side until the bike is almost on top of you and is now doing donuts on its side.  Awesome job!  I have officially knocked off a headlight cover, scratched up the side of the body, created an oil leak and ruined the paint job on my dad's perfect condition Harley in less than an hour.  If there could be an award on who could do the most damage in the shortest period of time, I could have easily earned it.

So the day of fun came to an end... I was not going to get back in the driver seat even if I was given permission, and I think my dad was done watching me try to kill myself.  So I checked myself over, made sure I didn't have any physical wounds to go with my emotional ones.  I hopped on the back where I belong, and cruised around the neighborhood while I made uncomfortable jokes before we put the motorcycle back where it belongs... safely in the garage far away from me.  Lesson learned:  Stick to the vespa and mountain bikes and leave the hogs for the pros.  
A little taste of the damage I caused

I didn't take any photos on the bike, I thought a photo of it safely in the garage was more appropriate

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