If you missed Part I of yesterday’s Guest Blog, do scroll over to it. My husband’s cousin, Margaret, is enjoying her own motorcycle at age 58, and kindly sent a guest post. Yesterday was Part I as she recounted the first part of the Motorcycle Safety Class that she took. The story continues today in Part II.
The next day we were there again at 6am. Everyone was tired and coffee just wasn’t doing anything for us. We begin riding and doing more intricate turns and maneuvers. I found out I like turning left but not so much to the right. We had to learn how to do a figure eight within a small box outlined on the parking lot without touching the lines. We also executed emergency stops and learned how to swerve to miss an obstacle in the road. I started to realize how skilled Bob is on a bike and began to wonder if I could get to a level of riding where I would be safe on the road. I passed the class even though I began to worry about the right turns. I didn’t pass with a perfect score, but I did better than most of the inexperienced riders! In retrospect, the instructors really were very good and the class is structure to make sure you learn all of the basic skills to succeed.
I knew I wanted to continue riding and see where I could go with my newfound skill. I was very aware that a motorcycle license doesn’t mean that you are ready to ride everywhere, all it means is that you are qualified to begin to learn how to negotiate riding in real life situations. I didn’t want my newly won skills to erode so we immediately began looking for a motorcycle for me. A week after the class I bought a new Harley Davidson Sportster. It is perfect and I love riding with Bob. He swears I’m doing really great on the bike but I also remember he said that about our girls when he taught them to drive. (At that point they were NOT doing well driving!)
I got my license on June 6th and my bike June 16th. I began practicing by riding around our neighborhood. Last weekend we went on a 60-mile ride. Bob rides behind me and we can talk through our helmet communication set and he’s also there to offer some advice. We both love riding and are looking down the road for our next trip!
The main point is, though, I proved to myself that at 58 I could still learn new skills. When you are on the bike, your ride is always up to you, no one else, its all about your skill and judgment reading the road and the traffic around you. I am very proud to say “I ride, that’s MY bike.”
Congratulations, Margaret, and thanks for sharing. So, fellow and sister Baby Boomers – who cares if we’re in our fifties, sixites, or whatever. If you want to try something new – go for it. Charlie