Meanwhile, in other, non-money-costing news, I can ride a motorcycle!

August 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm (Day to Day, Motorcycle News, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

This is the bike they let me ride for the program! This pic is from the Honda image bank so thank you very much…please let me keep it! I was so excited, nervous, sweaty, etc, etc, that I never even thought to take a picture of the actual bike I was riding! I have to say I felt very cool, and grateful that I had a bike that looks and feels real “motorcycle-y”. I know that’s not a word, but the guys were riding dirt bike type motorcycles because of their height. I had a bigger type bike, that looks more like what you see on the street. And as a bonus, I was able to fully plant my feet on the ground. I was comfortable and in a good position on the bike so I didn’t feel like I was struggling. Thank you Honda!!

And even bigger thank you to the MSF, Motorcycle Safety Foundation: www.msf-usa.org

And the State of Illinois Motorcycle Rider Program: www.mrp.illinois.edu

I was literally starting from scratch. The BF heard about the classes from another one of his friends who was taking it, so we signed up too! (It cost $20 dollars but you can get it refunded to you at the end of the course if you choose. Or you can donate it to the program to keep up the quality. That money is well worth it!)

I have never operated a motorcycle in my life. I didn’t even really know how they worked. That may seem stupid to some, but I was a passenger, like a billion years ago, and that was only for a short time. Life ya know? I will admit, because everyone seems to think it’s funny and I can laugh at myself, I did not even know that the throttle rolls IN. Dumb huh? Everytime people fake ride a motorcycle they turn the throttle right? Well, I thought it was OUT, like, vroom vroom, roll your hand forward. HA! Nope, It’s in, towards your body. Luckily, that was the only really scatterbrain thing I didn’t know. They asked at the beginning, who knew how already and who has NEVER ridden. Three (including the BF, knew) nine of us did not. I have been kind of going over this in previous posts when that damn tree hasn’t interrupted me, so I won’t rehash too much. But I will say, we started with twelve and ended with eight. Some people make it look so easy and I admire them. It is “easy” to learn how. It’s not easy to control and steer and turn. That takes practice. But the class moves fast. 4 days, about 20 hours, written test AND driving test. If you can complete the program and pass the tests you get your “M” (That’s the letter they put on yer license to say you can drive a motorcycle!)

Did I pass??? I was nervous! Once you complete the exercise portion the instructors are no longer trainers but representatives of the DMV. Pass the test, get the M. And…we had to take our written test AFTER the riding part because of a participant hold-out. (Had to be unanimous, one gal didn’t want to take it on Sat., and then she ended up leaving anyway, but it was too late, we had to wait until Sunday) You don’t get to know if you passed the drive part until after the written part. So we all trudged in and took our test and waited.

All eight of us PASSED!! YAY!! The BF and I now have our licenses!! It was actually very exciting! And a relief! The nerves were pretty high. It’s so weird, but I am so glad I did this and was able to complete it!

But, as the instructors pointed out: “You are all now all officially licensed and certified parking lot motorcycle operators! Keep that in mind when you actually hit the road.” Good point. We have been on a range, with adult supervision. Probably not quite the same once we get out onto the streets.

Since I don’t actually own a motorcycle, it is kind of hard to practice these new skills, but if we can find a good deal on a small bike, then we are going to try and buy it. I never realized that motorcycles can be kind of expensive, even used and smaller ones. The BF is looking everyday! It is kind of addicting and I see why people love it so much. I am mostly interested in skill improvement right now until I can ride pretty confidently. Besides winter is on its way in the Midwest and that cuts my season short, plus with school starting I’m not sure falling off a motorcycle in the street is a good idea. Just kidding…I never dropped the bike or even had trouble holding it up. When you don’t know, balance and weight is critical, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but it was ok. Better than I thought it would be.

Anyway…I could go on and on, but I won’t. (That’s for my sissy. Just seeing if you are paying attention, especially since you already heard my story on the phone and sounded so thrilled…yeah, I could tell. You were un-interested. But as you know, I don’t care. I’ll just talk anyway! haha)

If you already have a license, good for you! If you don’t and you want one or you want to learn and all that good stuff, I highly recommend the program. It’s time out of your life for sure, you have to do the work and give a little bit, but it really is the best way to learn in my opinion. I even got a cool t-shirt!

And a bumper sticker!! Awe…..some……!!!

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1 Comment

  1. MOM said,

    Oh oh………………Look out Hell’s Angels, here comes Lisa!!!!

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