Monday, March 12, 2007

Put 'er in drive!

Over the weekend, I spent much of my time running around trying to get my motorcycle prepped for the riding season. Last fall, when I got a new roof and siding on my house, the roofers failed to clean up after themselves and I got a piece of metal stuck in my rear tire and it went FLAT! While it was quite frustrating and cut my riding season a few weeks short last year, it was nothing that couldn't be fixed.

After a LOT of run-around on Saturday, my bike was outfitted with a new tire and I was ready to roll. The weather people had been calling for spotty showers, but thank goodness, they were wrong. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day, if still a BIT chilly.

Since I hadn't been on the bike in nearly 4 months, I was a bit nervous. I was sure that I had forgotten everything I had ever known about riding a motorcycle. Which foot shifts? Where are the brakes? But it really WAS just like riding a bike. You get on and all of a sudden your body remembers how to ride. It knows when to shift and when to brake. How much throttle to put on and just the right amount of lean to make the bike go where you want. It was great!

When I had gotten back on the bike in March of 2006, it was just 5 months after I had crashed and broken my arm. Needless to say, I had been a BIT nervous and unsure of whether I would really like to ride again. This time the feeling was completely different. I know that bad things can happen when I get too sure of my skills, but I also know that I learned a lot during the last riding season about the capabilities of both the bike and me.

Troy and I went out on our first ride of the season on Sunday afternoon. We visited his family about an hour south of here and took the "scenic route." There is a stretch of road that we sometimes take that is a little curvier than the rest and my stomach used to just churn at the mere thought of riding it. But this time things were different. I felt more at ease leaning the bike into the sweeping curves and the oncoming traffic didn't rattle my nerves.

We've planned 3 major motorcycle trips this summer and before this weekend I really was looking forward to them. Now, with the first taste of the open road in my mouth, I'm as anxious to get riding as a kid waiting for Santa to pop down that chimney on Christmas morning! I eagerly anticipate the hours spent with wheels humming beneath me, The Dixie Chicks crooning in my earbuds and the call of distance places filling my head.

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