The weather cooperated today so I finally got out on the motorcycle! Hubby was working so I rode by myself for about two hours. I live in an outer suburb of Minneapolis where the county roads are plenteous (or would it be plentiful). Either way I have many scenic roads to choose from so off I went. It was quite the adventure not to mention a learning experience.
One of my first affirmations, that was again confirmed later, was wear all your gear all the time. Although tempted to leave the jacket or gloves off because of the 80 plus degree heat I decided that would be a totally stupid move and wore it all! Over the ankle leather boots, jeans, heavy jean jacket with armor, full-face helmet, and leather riding gloves completed my ensemble. I did remember to open the vents on my jacket and helmet which proved helpful in the heat. I wasn’t too far down my first county road when I became really thankful for all the protection I was wearing. The amount of bugs that were hitting me was ridiculous. Many of the motorcyclists I saw today were in short sleeves, some even in shorts, no gloves, and no helmets! Ouch! The bugs had to be stinging them too!
About 45 minutes into the ride I get nailed square in the middle of my visor with a bug the size of a humming bird! Okay, maybe not that big but the goo and guts spread right across my line of sight … both eyes! Yuck! I look around to find a place I could safely pull off and clean the visor. Thankfully I remembered to bring a lens cleaning packet. I cleaned up the mess and was heading back out when the confirmation to wear all my gear happened. It has been raining and/or down pouring pretty consistently for the last few weeks. One of the outcomes of all this rain on our roads is the extraordinary amount of gravel and sand that has shown up on the surface. Even my backyard patio has a fine coating of sand!
As I’m leaving to head back on the road I take a right hand turn. That’s when I notice a pile of gravel so I swing out a littler further only to have missed the fact that the road was coated in a fine sandy-like gravel. Next thing I know I’m down with the bike. I quickly looked around and thank God there was no traffic!! I crawl out from under the bike, stand up and dust myself off. Then I tried to pick that bad boy up! Oh my! I’ve never had to do that before and never thought about what it would take to pick it up. 500 pounds of mean machine on its side and I can’t even budge it. I wanted to laugh! In all my preparation I never thought about how to stand my motorcycle up if it ever fell.
It wasn’t too long before a very nice Good Samaritan turned the corner, stopped and asked if I wanted help! YES!! He uprighted the motorcycle rather quickly as I babbled on about being a new rider. He just looked at me and said, “It is okay. I ride a lot and I’ve dropped my bike too.” I thanked him profusely and he suggested I try to start the bike! Oh yeah, the bike. It took a few times, but it eventually started. The Good Samaritan asked if I was okay to ride, I said yes, and off he went it his truck. Wow. Thank God for people willing to help. Lord bless that man wherever he is!
I’m thinking that heavy duty outfit saved me a lot of bumps and bruises. I’m sure my hand would have been cut up pretty bad if I didn’t wear those riding gloves. Wait, let me also sing the praises of my boots, and jeans, and jacket!! You get point. It could have turned out quite differently for me had I not left prepared. I’d also like to thank all the motorcyclists who have encouraged me to wear the gear even in the heat! Blessings to you too!!
P.S. The picture is a good example of what not to wear riding. I must confess I did take the bike around the block dressed like that to prove to my brother-in-law I knew how to ride. No excuses that was dumb.
Ooooo. Dumped the bike. Sorry to hear that. Sounds like you’re okay, thanks to the riding gear. How’s the bike? More importantly, how’s the hubby feel about you riding now?
Don’t feel too bad. What the Good Samaritan said was true. Most riders have dumped a bike at least once. And picking it up always sucks. At least the adreneline helps!
Remember back a while ago when I told you what it was like to get hit by a big bug? Told you so.
Glad you’re okay. Keep on riding.
Thanks Todd! Hubby is still okay with me riding. Hurray! The bike is fine. He did a once over and didn’t see any new scratches on the Nighthawk.
My Twitter friends sent me some resources on how to pick-up the bike. We’ll see if I can get hubs to lay the bike down so I can practice. I don’t plan on doing that again any time soon.
Them there bugs are killers!!! You were so right. Probably the only time I’ll ever say that to you! Ha!
Thanks for good description of your ride today. We can all learn from each others experiences. As a new rider I to, take wearing the gear very seriously. When it’s hot it’s tempting to wear a lighter jacket but I never leave the driveway without wearing the boots, gloves, helmet and jacket. You reinforced that with your post today.
Karen thanks for your comment! Yes! Wearing all the gear even in warm weather is important. I just learned how to pick-up a bike on this site: http://www.pinkribbonrides.com/dropped.html
Hope you never need to learn! Ride safe. Bars up, rubber down! LOL
thank goodness you are alright. We have all done it, don’t worry. Glad the riding attire did it’s job. It’s less expensive to purchase new clothes, rather than new skin
Wet Coast Scootin
Thanks Bob! Glad I’ve taken advice from experienced riders like you!
I looked at your link on how to pick up a bike and Googled a couple more. Guess it’s a matter of the right leverage. What seemed impossible now seems actually do-able – and a good thing to know how to do.
Karen – Glad you found this helpful!
Wow, so glad you are okay, and GOOD FOR YOU for getting right back on! I’ve certainly dropped mine a time or two as well – most have, and those who haven’t, probably will eventually. We have encountered a lot of gravel in the roads around here lately, because we’ve had some very frequent and very heavy rain, so I’ve been on the lookout for it.
LOL of course, that nickname should read “Corn Dog” rather than “Corn Dob.”
There are only two types of bikers – those who’ve dropped their bikes, and those who are going to…
My first drop (yes, I’ve done it more than once!) was on gravel just like you – you’ll know next time what to look out for. My second one was because I’d parked with the front wheel pointing downhill, so the bike rolled off the sidestand. Twice. My third one was because I braked too hard on a wet road. And my fourth one was becuase I didn’t realise how much new luggage had shifted myBM’s centre of gravity. I like to think a few scratches adds character…
I’ve had the technicque of lifting bikes demonstrated but haven’tyet acquired the knack. Or the upper body strength. So I come over all Penelope Pitstop and find a Good Samaritan to help me, just like you did 😉
(I was really pleased to be able to help a guy pick his bike up last month – chance to pay it back!)
Pam, I’m sorry to read that you dropped your bike, but I think it’s part of the learning curve. I’ve done it, too.
Here’s another way to pick up your bike; this is what I use, and it works for me:
Also, if you’ve got a friend with a project bike, sometimes laying that down and practicing picking it up can help you figure out the best way to lift the bike, using one of the two methods (the link you provided or my version).
Picking up a bike does not require upper body strength, it’s really a matter of using your legs, which, for women, are usually much stronger.
Glad you are OKAY! And, that you were wearing proper gear! 🙂
Thanks Janet, Highwaylass and Liz! I’ll say it again, I’m am so thankful for the example that has been set for me to wear gear even in hot weather! I respect the example that has been set for me and it has proved to be wise.
Glad you didn’t sustain any injuries in your gravel encounter. I’ve dropped mine a couple of times in 5 years of riding. Both were good learning experiences and bolster my belief in AGATT.
Wow, that sounds like quite an adventure… I never realized how many bugs would be splattering when you ride… intense!
Oh, and I wanted to thank you for stopping by and entering my Turtle Mountain / So Delicious giveaway. Good luck!
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