Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Helmet and Stuff

I bought my helmet before I got my bike. Just in case I went for a ride two-up with The Male. It was an enlightening experience to be sure. Helmets are expensive. Very Expensive. As in we've owned cars that were worth less than a good helmet.
On the other hand, the most important part of me is between my chin and the top of my head, so I think it's a worthy investment. I will be on a moving motorcycle, surrounded by nothing but a cushion of air, and counting on nothing but my fine sense of balance to keep me upright.
People have died from traumatic brain injuries by just falling down, for Heaven's sake. Imagine what damage could be done to my head at traffic speeds....
So, off we went to shop for a helmet.
I learned a few things.
That I don't "look" like a biker chick.
That I have an unnaturally large head. (Which shouldn't be such a surprise as my children do, too.)
That one should not wear earrings on a day spent pulling tight-fitting helmets on and off one's (large-ish) head.

This scene was repeated in nearly every store we visited:
Clerk, to The Male, "Can I help you?"
The Male, "Yes, we're looking for a helmet for my wife."
Clerk, looking at me dubiously, "For you???"

And, a bonus scene:
Me, "This one is too small, too."
Clerk, "Wow, you don't LOOK like you have a large head."

Oh, it was a rough day...

But, we found one that fit, although I did have to order larger cheek pads. (I sold the originals on Ebay.) I choose the color that I call "please-don't -hit-me yellow." Looks rather cartoonish, but again, I'm rather fond of my head and really don't want to test the helmet's ability to protect it.

The store called a few days later to say my order was in. So, we got it home and I tried it on, seeing how the cheek pads were fitting. The Male wanted to do this as I was cooking dinner, and things needed attending to, so the following picture was taken. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Very Scary Halloween Indeed...

Last Saturday was quite frightful.
No, not because of that awful "holiday" which I mentioned above.
No, rather because The Male led me out into traffic on my bike for the first time.
All I can say is that I'm really glad that we don't have bike-to-bike communication yet, or I'd be having to 'splain where I learned those words.
We've been practicing in the local community college stadium parking lot for months now. I've done lots of slow maneuvers, stops and starts, figure-eights, etc.
We have an industrial park under construction only about a mile away, which is the closest thing we'll ever come to open roads here in the Big City. I've gotten up to 45 miles an hour--which was quite the exhilarating experience, I'm telling you. Noisy, too. The road is right at the end of our local airport's runway and I thought a plane was taking off overhead! Nope, just the wind rushing by my please-don't-hit-me-yellow helmet.
We've gone on the quiet roads between here and there.
We've circled our local neighborhood park in quiet residential area.
I haven't dropped my bike since that first truly awful, no good, very bad first day.
But, this! This was the Real Thing. A 4-lane street, with impatient, hurried, Big City drivers.
We were supposed to go just one block, make a right turn, another block, right turn, etc.
But, he just kept going. One block, another, a lane change, past the library, past the grocery store, another lane change, finally a right turn!!! Oh, joy!
Please, oh, please, turn on this quiet street.
OK, how about the next one?!?!
Oh, no!
He's heading for a big 4-laner again!
Can I make the turn???
Oh, please don't let me crash!!!
Please let me get home in one piece!
Yay! Our driveway!
When can we go again???