Monday, March 29, 2010

Our Graduation, of Sorts

This past Saturday, we headed back down to Oceanside for another session with Dorothy and Garry, our riding coaches. The weather was gorgeous!
We met at the DMV for some slow-speed drills: straight line, figure 8s, hill drills, and weaving. I will admit, I was quite rusty at first. It's been over a month since I've been on my bike (between one or the other of us being sick and the SoCal rainy season), and it showed. But, Dorothy and Garry are great coaches, very patient and encouraging.
After about an hour or so, they conferred and decided that we were ready for the open road. Yippee!
We drove back to their house and enjoyed just talking motorcycles for a bit, especially after seeing their stable. Nice!
Then it was time to saddle up. Garry got out his bike, Doug rode Frank, and I took little Ruby, and off we went. First, through the quiet streets of their neighborhood, single file to avoid car doors and kids. Then, off for farther reaches. It was so fun!
But, after the power of my bike, poor little Ruby really struggled. I had to twist and twist and twist the throttle to get up to 50-55mph. And, then the foot pegs vibrated so much that I couldn't leave my feet on them! Not good. Fortunately, we didn't spend too much time at freeway speed.
Here we are stopping for a stretch break and a little instruction on curves. As you can see, it couldn't have been a more lovely day.
Then, it was back on the bikes and through the hills. This is what riding should be! No stoplights every block, no multiple lanes filled with cars merging, andwithout the traffic of the greater LA area.
It was so much fun.
After about an hour and a half, and 35 miles, we were back at Dorothy and Garry's.
We both feel that we probably don't need to go back for more practice on their bikes. But, when we have the stamina, we'd like to ride ours down and have them give us some instruction particular to our bikes.
We got back in the car and were stunned to find that it was 6pm! We had started at the DMV a little after 1. No wonder we were exhausted by the time we got home!
I HIGHLY recommend riding coaches for new riders, especially women. Motorcycles can be so intimidating and so can the guys riding them, and lessons go a long way in gaining confidence. It certainly has been true for me.