Sunday, March 1, 2009

Looking back to how it started

I've been thinking that a brief introduction to my motorcycling is in order. I've gone back to look at some old postings, meanderings, what have you, on my motorcycle beginnings. So, because it's part of my story I add it now. Added Nov 09/kk
Sometime in February/March of 2008
Back in the early 80's Ron and I had a kawasaki 400. I rode on back and we puttered around during the warm weather. We sold the bike when we had our first child. 2 kids and 20 some years later, Ron has bought an 82 Suzuki GS850G for commuting and for fun. I was fully plannning to just hop on the back again, but one day we stopped in at the only motorcycle place open on a Sunday, a HD store, and I made the mistake of sitting on one small sportster, & hey! This is kind of nice!!

So now tomorrow I start my BRT class with Team Oregon that will hopefully lead to an endorsement. This past weekend we put over 100 miles on the suzuki riding around the area. I was pretty nervous at first, but by the end of the weekend, I relaxed and had a blast. I didn't want to stop, but Ron's hands were sore ( the previous owner had removed the padding on the grips) and I was chilled to the point I could no longer ignore the cold. I can't wait to go out again.

We'll be looking for a bike for me. Not the Sportster that started this whole thing, but something older and tamer. Ron is already commuting with the Suzuki. We want to do longer rides on the weekends and some light touring when the riding skills are up to snuff.

Skills Test
Well...I had a blast, and it was great weather excepting a little cold in the morning, but I didn't pass the skills part of the class. I'm still struggling to learn the controls on the bike, but mostly I think I just couldn't relax during the testing, and choked. It didn't help that I was first in line for the test. I may have access to a little ol' honda 125 and hope to get more practice on a bike before trying again. Guess I'm a slow learner but not giving up yet though...

I've got a Honda 125 until summer. The only bad part is it's a kick start. Kari's rule #1 for her next bike: no kickstarts. The little thing is really quite fun to ride though.

 April 08

Update: Got my endorsement...
...and found a bike!

I finally passed my BRT class - Yay! Two people went down during the training. Nobody was hurt, but one didn't finish. Our class killed about three motorcycles that weekend...guess we were a rough bunch. It was a very different group than my first class.

We got what is probably the usual advice: congratulations, you are now free to ride straight to the parking lot and practice what you learned!! Fortunately we are a few blocks from the grade school and just a little farther to a new development that has no houses built yet, both great places to ride.

I found a 91 Vulcan 500 this weekend. Really like the way it fits, but it's more powerful than I'm used to. It's like starting over. I got in about a 20 minute parking lot session before the rain sent us home. We've had rain, snow, hale, thunder and lightening. The last hale/snow mix stuck and hasn't cleared, so I don't think I'll get more practice for awhile. I can't wait to learn to ride the new-to-me bike, throw on a tent and take off for the weekend!

I've already started working on the stopping. The new bike is a little heavier and the brakes are very touchy. My stops have been wobbly and I've been tentative on the braking, but I'm getting better. I've also figured out that a heavier rolls backwards on any tiny incline. I never noticed that on the little bikes.

June 2008
We replaced the Vulcan
I’ve been riding my vulcan 500, but it's old and has a lot of mechanical issues,  so we found this sitting around the dealership & had to bring her home.  2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50. I wasn't really planning to upgrade until next year, but, know...

I took her for a short ride this evening. She feels more substantial, but honestly I think she may be even easier to handle than the vulcan. Smooth & well mannered, just a pleasure to ride.


  1. Bluekat:

    wow, in such a short time you've gone through 3 bikes. You know, it just starts with a look . . .

    Wet Coast Scootin

  2. How did you stumble across this bit of ancient history? :)

    Isn't the little Honda cute!! It belongs to my brother-in-law, top speed about 45 mph. The first time I rode it I got so scared, I had to turn around after only a few blocks and ride home.

  3. It is good to see how you progressed over the period of time that this post covers. From obvious careful and nervous beginnings, to the confidence you clearly had on the Suzuki Boulevard. I suspect that you are one of the few women in your group of friends that made such a radical lifestyle choice of learning to ride and getting your own motorbike after having a family. Most would have not had the nerve to do that, so good for you! All that for going into a H-D dealership and sitting on a bike!

  4. Thanks Gary,
    I can't say that I've ever felt confident on a bike. More like, just less nervous. :)
    I really don't know too many women who ride. Either they have a history of riding, or they don't ride. I have one bicyclist friend who thinks it would be fun to ride motorbikes. She and her husband are in their sixties, they ride cross country tours by bicycle, and I can see her learning to ride a motorbike. Most of my other non-riding friends and family think motorcycles are insane. ;)