I recently found some blog posts I wrote in November of 2003 regarding my first spins on the motorcycle. Here are a few selected excerpts about those exciting days long ago, feeling for the first time the exhilaration of two-wheeled transportation.
By the end of the night I was stalling much, much less often, and had gotten the hang of shifting, though I did notice the problem people have mentioned with the HJC helmet – it does fog up pretty easily unless I leave it a tiny bit open, or am going over 40 miles per hour, which I barely touched tonight. It’s going to be a very long time until I get everything “down,” and even longer before I even attempt hitting the freeway (during the day, don’t worry). I did happen to drop the bike; boy does that thing weigh a lot. I was just walking it in the parking lot and must have leaned just a touch too far over to one side, and down it went. Zero damage, and no witnesses, but humiliating nevertheless. With any luck it’ll never happen again.
Well last night I rode to SSU and then to Carrows again, at about midnight. The air was a bit wet, but there wasn’t any standing water. I was still terrified, of course. I found a riding position for high-speed (or -wind) that seems to work very well, and helps me feel comfortable even on the freeway (as I found myself going 75+ unexpectedly). I’ve gone about 100 miles or so on this tank and still have quite a bit left on the gas gauge. Looks a bit too stormy to go riding today, but one never knows about tomorrow!
Last night I took a drive up to Santa Rosa (after filling my tank – woo 2.7 gallons for more than 120 miles!) and back, mainly to get out and ride again. It’s been about a week since I’ve ridden, mainly due to weather constraints, though I did really miss being out there. Really need to get myself some winter gloves – my fingers die every time I go out at night. I need to also get some Rain-X for my face shield – the CL-14s, as I’ve now read, do indeed fog easily, and I can’t deal having 80+ mph winds blowing into my face, even through a small crack. Don’t believe I’ll get to ride much this week (finals week), but the 55 or so miles I put on it today were good solid miles. Meeting with other BARFers tomorrow, with any luck, and it should be a great time!
About three weeks after that last post I ended up crashing the bike on my first group ride. It was a humbling learning experience, but one I really took to heart – once I got her back from the shop, I never rode the katana faster or harder than conditions (and my skill) allowed. Other than the final collision which totaled her, the only time she hit the dirt was when I didn’t fully engage the kickstand before putting weight on it.
Riding was a lot of fun, and it was a pleasant surprise to dig through old documents and find a few posts about my first days on the bike. It makes me wonder what other gems will be buried in old journals of mine.