Clarksville, Tn — One of the first things I learned when I started riding was that you need to ride and ride to become a better rider.
Well THANK YOU Captain Obvious!
I was also told that I would drop the bike. Been there, done that.
I’m been SO fortunate to ride with some AMAZING bikers since I began my journey. Old school, new school, I’ve ridden with them all. Just riding with them is a privilege but it’s great ON THE JOB training. I watch, I listen, I learn. But I’ve put nearly 80,000 miles on the road in two years, and that’s what it takes.
If I could live forever, I would ride forever.
Balance and center of gravity was a big problem for me in the beginning. Center of gravity for sure. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I would come to a stop and let the bike lean one way or another, and trying to hold up a 900 pound motorcycle was ridiculous.
I had trouble coordinating front and rear brakes for a complete stop, and putting my foot down at a stop. “Don’t worry about it, everybody does it” they would tell me. Well that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing.
When I was in Texas visiting some dear friends, we came to a stop light, and sure enough, my boot slipped out from under me and there I went. Of course I was “leaning” the bike. Fell completely over, just sprawled out in the middle of the road. My friends who are EXTREMELY skilled bikers, so it was a “roll your eyes” moment for them, but they’re awesome friends and it comes with the territory and they just rolled with the punch.
Once I got past that, I noticed that my cornering wasn’t as good as it could be. I took a corner out in the Kentucky countryside one day and found myself drifting dangerously close to oncoming traffic. I mean VERY CLOSE to oncoming traffic. I was having trouble with finding my apex and taking corners more smoothly.
I was getting too COCKY!
When I first rode the Tail of the Dragon, you would have thought I was leading a funeral procession. But I needed to ride it to my skill level and that’s what I did. I’ve since ridden the Dragon several more times and I’m as smooth as silk, or at least I’m better than I was then.
In city traffic I was finding myself getting too distracted with all the “noise” around me and would merge like I do in my car and that’s just not going to work. I don’t spend a lot of time in city traffic, but it’s necessary, so I had to be more diligent in keeping an eye on my surroundings.
One of the BIGGEST problems I had in the beginning was not keeping an eye on my rearview mirrors. I’ve lost track on how many times a car would blow by me in the left lane that I NEVER saw coming.
I thought I was “overthinking” this whole thing, but I was assured by other bikers that it was normal. Every biker goes through it.
“Just ride” they said.
One of the many things about this journey I’m on, is this family of bikers who are more than willing to help. But as bikers, that’s our nature. We want to help. We want the people around us to be better, whether it’s riding a motorcycle or not.
This lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. It’s VERY dangerous. You had better pay attention and take it seriously or it could cost you.
I LOVE the people I meet on this bike.
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