Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well, it's official! I have my motorcycle license. Looking back, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting when I embarked on this endeavor, except to say that I was very probably spurred on my the amazing bucket-list-item-completion rate accomplished by my Aunt Carol. She is one of those people who says, I think it'd be cool to fly a plane. So she does. And I think it'd be fun to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. So she does. And I'm (this is me talking now) a little fed up with myself and my comfort zone. So, I think ultimately, I wanted to ride because I could. Why not? And I really wanted the satisfaction that goes along with saying that I did it. It's the same satisfaction that comes from climbing 14ers. Let's be honest, nobody really does that for the journey so much as the destination. There was a lingering thought in the back of my mind that I may just fall in love with riding and buy a bike and a matching helmet and jacket and be that girl. But if I had stopped to think about it, I would have remembered that I'm the kind of person that only likes the adrenaline rush if I'm not in charge of the controls.

After the first hour of riding, my nerves were definitely running amok. I was picturing myself handing in my helmet and calling it quits. You have never seen such a blatantly awful motorcycle rider. It wasn't fun, it wasn't freeing, it wasn't really much of anything positive. And so, regardless of what my intentions were to begin the class, my intention after that first hour was to see it through if only to prove to myself that I could do it. Forget any thought of buying a motorcycle. Forget the matching helmet and jacket. I just wanted to make it through the 16 range exercises and the riding exam without dropping the bike. I wanted outside of my comfort zone and I sure got it. And then some.

I was granted a short reprieve when day two was rained out and rescheduled for a week later. That gave me a whole week to psych myself up for the riding exam (the written exam was a piece of cake, by the way, and was finished on day 1). Perfect weather greeted myself and my seven classmates as we got to the range on Saturday morning. One guy had gotten off work an hour before, so despite my sleepless night, I felt like I was in better shape than him. I won't take you through all the remaining exercises, except to tell you that accelerating out of turns is definitely the reason people ride. It's a rush, even at 15-20 mph. And I will admit to being the only rider who hit the "car" during the swerve exercises. Did I mention I was awful? Don't worry, it wasn't an actual car.

The time for the exam came, and I knew the hardest part would be my U-turns, performed to the left, then the right, in a box the size of a closet. Left turn, no problem, right turn...let's just say it's a good thing the box boundaries were paint lines and not brick walls. I blasted right through it. +3 points. (The riding exam is scored from a zero. Each infringement is worth positive points and you have to score less than a 20 to pass). The swerve part of the exam went just fine, thank you very much. In fact, everything else on the exam went just fine. I ended with a 3rd-best 3 points. I won't tell you how my coworker scored, but everyone in the class passed.

After a short (ha!) trip to the DMV, I'm now official. Although, I could kick myself for taking my camera on day two and not getting any pictures. So, the only one I have to give you is a sample of the motorcycle I rode on day two. That's pretty much it, correct color and all, except mine didn't have a sideview mirror. I'm gonna try to go back to the range and catch the class on a riding day and ask to borrow a bike for a pic. Otherwise, my mom will leave me out of the Christmas letter.

So, bottom line, face your fears and knock something off that bucket list!

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I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.