Monday, February 17, 2014

But there was one time...

 So remember that whole I don't drive thing? And being absolutely terrified of it? Well, I did try to get my motorcycle license. Yes. That's right. For some reason in my brain, riding a motorcycle seemed way less scary. I am an enigma, what can I say.
My dad and my younger brother took me out to a dirt bike track and I put on my brothers gear and climbed onto his dirt bike. Mind you that his boots were a size 11 mens and I wear a size 3.5 in mens. This added to the awkwardness it is to walk in MUD and to have to keep kick-starting the bike because of course you keep killing it.
Right away I walk by some little kids who couldn't even put on their own gear and shoes but once on their bikes, zipped past me in such a flurry. This was not a great feeling. I walked up the hill to get started on the track, because there was no way that I was going to already be able to ride the bike up there.

My younger brother was surprisingly patient and not condescending at all. My first try did make him try very hard not to laugh because apparently even through the helmet, goggles and my glasses, he saw how big my eyes got. AHHHHHHH. They told me to pull on the clutch whenever I wanted to stop and I clutched the hell out of that thing. 
First they had me go in a straight line without falling or killing the bike. I killed that flipping thing SO MUCH. My leg was so sore the next few days.

Then they had me try circles. I fell on the curve and the bike fell on top of me. When I fell, I let go of the handles and turned my body to the side. I looked like I was trying to do a mud angel, face down. I just laid down in the mud until my brother got the bike off of me. There was no way I was going to be able to do that myself. I wish he took a photo of that, I'm sure it was hilarious.
They have me practice with going from neutral to first, which I forget now but it is really confusing and really awkward to do in over-sized boots coated in mud. I think it was full step down for first, small lift for neutral, big lift for second? This is probably very wrong but this was like seven years ago, the details are very fuzzy.

Finally they felt I was ready for the small uphill loop. After a few tries I managed to complete a few loops without falling. I felt brave now to try the longer, higher loop. This is where I misunderstood the actual use of the clutch. On the down hill part, I was gaining way too much speed for my comfort, so I pull on the clutch. Nothing. Apparently the clutch does not work as a break when you are going down hill. Thanks guys for not sharing that little bit of information. 

I try to make the curve any how. I make the first curve and I don't know if I just forgot about the clutch or was in too much shock to think about what I was going to do but I try for the second curve to go back up the hill but I pulled in too sharp and fell. Again. With the bike on top of me. My dad said it looked pretty impressive until I fell. Apparently I had an audience to see if I was going to make it. I hope I looked like a spunky twelve year old girl trying to ride a dirt bike and not some pathetic 26 year old.
On one of the last loops that I try I think I was getting tired because I end up crashing off the trail. My back tire catches a drainage pipe and I go flying off the handle bars into the bushes. I had dirt and branches all up in my helmet. Thankfully that was all the damage. Eventually my brother comes over to help because he said I just disappeared and he wasn't sure where I went. Good thing I wasn't hurt or I would have been pissed at the slow help.

So on another weekend my dad has me practice in the parking lot of his side business. At this point they expect me to be more brave and push my skills such as standing up while I drive forward. Uh, yah no. I try, and feel like I'm off the seat but my brother laughs and says maybe I was off the seat by one inch. I am not progressing as fast as they like, and I can hear the frustration in their voices. I think this is where I get my frustration at not being an expert at something from trying just once. 

On another day it's just me and my dad. He is busy welding while I make my loops around the building. On one loop, I accidentally kick the bike into third gear in the turn and surprise myself and I pull the clutch too hard. The bike stops and I... don't. I go over the bike and hit the concrete HEAD FIRST. OW. I get up and walk my bike over to my dad and just say I'm done for the day. The next day at work I can't bend my neck hardly at all. I am so lucky (AGAIN) that is all that happened! I do not tell anyone about this, especially my husband who is already not too thrilled about me trying to get my motorcycle license in the first place.

My dad and older brother sign me and my younger brother up for a motorcycle skill course. It was two weekends I think. The bikes are much wider than my legs can spread so the best I managed was a tiptoe to keep the bike steady. This is a very difficult thing to do with such heavy things. I end up with a series of bruises on the insides of both thighs.

I don't fall off the bike except for one time when my husband came early and I got nervous and stumbled a bit. Which he saw, of course.

I sucked sooo bad at the skills test but still managed to pass by ONE POINT. One of the instructor tells me that once I get my license I should still practice on quiet streets first. I was the only girl in my class and the other class to pass. I could tell because the passing papers were a different color. Woot, I guess? Of course my brother passes with no effort, he has been on a bike since he was five.

We go to the DMV to do our written tests. Guess what we find out. You cannot get your motorcycle licence without getting your regular car license too. So to get your motorcycle license you need:

  • pass a skills test for a motorcycle
  • pass a written test for a motorcycle
  • pass a skill test in a car
  • pass a written test for a car

What the hell. But really, I'm glad because I really didn't want my motorcycle license. I know, after all that work right? I had no plans of actually driving a motorcycle in a real life situation. My brother ended up getting his and now drives me here and there. So at least I gained another driver to ask? Lols.

And that is the story of me being brave (kinda) at least once in my life.


  1. This was awesome and I'm sorry, but kinda made me laugh my ass off, because seriously, the whole idea that somehow a motorcycle is safer just gave me the giggles. But still, I enjoyed the pictures and the story, especially with the (kinda) sad trombone ending. :)

    1. It is funny because it is so ridiculous and makes NO SENSE. I really just cannot explain it. But it isn't like getting on a motorcycle doesn't scare me, but in the settings that I was in made it seem way less scary than a car. Still don't want to drive either kind of vehicle :)

  2. Replies
    1. I've gone to motorcycle shows with my dad and brothers and have sat on lots of different types, but they all seem BIG/WIDE, even the vespas. I'm not very flexible to begin with, and having my legs spread so far apart is actually pretty uncomfortable. That could also be due to my hip displasia too, who knows :)