Ok – after 2 full days of motorcycle lessons, here's what I learned:
I LOVE RIDING A MOTORCYCLE!!!! Such a sense of freedom! I really LOVED IT!!!
1. A motorcycle is A LOT harder to ride than it looks.
2. I need a smaller bike to learn on than the one I bought so am buying a starter bike in addition to my beautiful Road King. I already found a nice Suzuki GZ 250 (which is what I used in class) with less than 800 miles and for a pretty good price. Since Ryan wants to learn too – having a small bike to learn on will be a nice fit for our family.
3. I have to practice NOT using my front brake as much. When I used it to stop while turning, I lost it and the bike ended up on my leg (ouch!). Using the front brake while turning is a big NO NO. Some people just need to learn things from experience – which describes me to a “T”.
4. When I did what I described in #3 above, I was pretty shook up. As a result, during the actual test about 1.5 hours later, AND because of my normal test anxiety, I lost balance at the end of the first test and it went down again – not on me this time but that's an automatic “F” on the test. The instructors were both very supportive and told me that even though they had to give me an “F” on the test – I can retake it for free. They told me I should retake the test ASAP as I'm very good on the bike. Obviously it's hard to believe that when you've messed up so badly but as I look back on this weekend, I can see that I really am qualified and that I just have to get back up on this “horse” ASAP and move on.
5. One of my co-students also came up and told me I was one of the best riders in the class so it was sad to see me lay the bike down on the actual test. He was very nice and I can't say how much I appreciated his positive comments and support.
6. Once I get a few years under my belt – I think I'd like to be an instructor. It was such a good experience for me – even with all of the challenges described above – and I know that for those who do want to learn to ride – the experience of going through the class and getting the support and words of encouragement from the instructors is making a difference for those folks. I want to make a difference.
Stay tuned…… I'll be riding fully legal very, very soon!