by Jennifer N.
Lo and behold, when the weekend came my
husband said, “lets ride.” Man, I had dreaded hearing those words. At
that point I had just about decided to become a “yard-rider”. But
nothing would do him but to get this poor scared young woman out on the
We leathered up, gloved up and saddled up to take off. I had already
told my husband that I didn’t want to go where I would encounter a lot
of traffic, a lot of stop lights or a lot of unusual occurrences. After
all this WAS my first ride. My husband agreed that it would be best to
keep me on a quiet country road for a little while until I gained my
confidence and grew more comfortable riding.
Ok…I can handle this. Off we start. I soon mastered going through the
gears and then coming back down them and starting up again. Every little
side road my husband would stop and ask me if I was ok. We was riding on
a road that led us to the neighboring county by the back way…it was a
road I was very unfamiliar with. Once we reached the other county I
asked him to turn back toward home instead of going on. So we started
My husband was in the lead during the entire ride to give me advance
notice of any road problems or situations I needed to be aware of. We
were coming through a curvy section of highway when all of a sudden as I
came around a curve I saw my husband come to a dead stop. Well that was
great for him but the last time I stopped that fast was when I was in
the MSF class and the instructor stepped out in front of me! Oh no, all
the things I had to remember to do. I have to apply front and rear
brakes, gear down quickly and straighten up the bike then come to a
complete stop! And why exactly did I have to do all this so abruptly?
Because what my hubby had seen ahead was an accident. An SUV was going
too fast through a curve and rolled the vehicle several times. Everyone
was ok but what an experience on my first ride on the highway. We
stopped, was waved on and then I had to calm myself down. This bike
riding sure requires a lot of quick decisions in a short amount of time.
Oh well…once again I said to myself, “I CAN do this”. Off we went just
cruising down this country road when all of a sudden coming around a
curve I see my hubby slamming on his brakes again. Once more I have to
apply the front and rear brakes, gear down quickly and straighten up the
bike then come to a complete stop. Man, this is getting old! What could
possibly be happening now on this quiet country road? Can you believe it
we have encountered a traffic check. Of all the things to run across on
a back road.
Now no one in the MSF class explained what a motorcyclist is supposed to
do at a traffic check. I mean most of us carry our license and
registration either in our back pockets or in our fork bags. Please
remember this is my first ride and I’m still telling myself each gear to
change and when to use the brakes. Asking me to figure out how to keep
the bike running while I searched for a piece of paper in traffic was a
Luckily for me the patrolman said, “Is it easy to get to your license”?
Well of course not – I’m a newbie! So he told us to pull over into a
church parking lot and he would be right with us. After he examined my
license he realized who HE had encountered because he remarked, “Oh you
just got your endorsement this week.” Then he said, “heading home”? I
laughed and told him that we were only out for a short ride on a quiet
country road and yes we would be heading home!
A quiet country road…not so for this new rider! I have soon discovered
that when you are on the back of a steel horse not to assume any road
will be uneventful. And the newer you are to riding the more likely you
are to encounter some strange and unexpected events. After all how else
will be overcome to be able say, I am now an “experienced” rider.
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