Category Archives: First steps

These are the first steps I took to getting into motorcycling.

Let’s Ride

I bought Sonny Barger’s bookLet’s Ride” after Biker Chick News and The Many Thoughts of HarleyGirl recommended reading it. Thanks ladies! When it arrived I was in the middle of several other books that I wanted to finish before giving my attention to Barger’s book.

This week I finally began reading the book and I can see this is going to be quite a resource for any motorcyclist. I’m only about thirty pages in and I’m not bored. Initially I thought I would zip through this book and move on, but I don’t think that will be the case! I might as well learn more about motorcycling on and off the bike!

As Sonny says, “Ride smart, live long, and die of old age.”

One goal completed!

At today’s class the weather was again very cool, rainy, and windy. Thankfully the rain stopped after an hour or two. Most of the skills that we would be learning today were the skills we would be tested on at the end of the class. We drove around the perimeter to experience riding over 2 x 4s that were laid in four spots. We learned to do a figure eight in a box, a very small box! Out of the eleven in the class only one guy dropped his cycle during this exercise. We also learned to swerve left and right, as well as make a sudden stop. We also reviewed making turns. And then the defining moment came … test time! Yipes. We went one at a time through four different skills. There were a couple of people who had to redo one of the skills. No one fell off or violated any other safety skill that would cause immediate flunking.

In the end all eleven, three of which were women, passed the test! I would highly recommend this course to new riders!  Below is a video highlighting the two day course.

I’ve Been Bitten by the Motorcycle Bug!

Oh my gosh! I’ve been bitten by the motorcycle bug. I learned to ride today and spent five hours on a cycle … in the rain!

The class was through a local technical college and put on my the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. There were eleven of us and most were first time riders. The two instructors did a fantastic job of taking us from no experience or knowledge to being able to shift up to third gear and stop quickly.

There were twelve different motorcycles available to ride. From a small Suzuki GZ 250 to a taller cycle like the Yamaha TW 200. I choose the Yamaha. Being 5’9″ I needed a bit more height than the smaller Suzuki offered. I was comfortable on this bike, except my wet leather gloves would get stuck on the throttle if I wasn’t careful!

This is similar to the cycle I rode today a Yamaha TW 200.

We went through several different training exercises. One of my favorites was the weaving around the cones in a straight line! It was just plain fun. Riding in formation around a large track shifting up to third and back to second was fun too. In the end the instructors said our class did a great job for the first day.

Because of the rain, the pouring rain, I wore a rain suit that still left me a bit soaked and very cold. Some of my younger male classmates showed up looking cool in their wind breakers and jeans, but left sopping wet! No time for fashion today. I even went without lipstick, something I hardly do. In the end the rain was not a problem and has given me the confidence that I could handle it if it happens in the future.

It will be hard to sleep tonight knowing that tomorrow I’ll be learning the skills that I will be tested on for my motorcycle endorsement. Wish me luck! I’m hoping to pass my basic skills test and get the motorcycle endorsement on my driver’s license.

Start Seeing Motorcyles

I’ve seen this sticker on vehicles for years and today I finally found out where you get one – at a Motorcycle Basic Skills class taught by instructors from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation! I spent the evening learning all sorts of things about motorcycling. We went through the manual pictured above, watched videos, and had discussions all to prepare us for getting on motorcycles on Saturday and Sunday morning. The class ended with a fifty question test on the material we reviewed. I passed. One more step closer to my dream.

Start seeing motorcycles because I’m going to be on one soon!

11 Hours and Counting …

Tonight’s the night! The day has finally arrived for my Motorcycle Basic Skills class. I feel like a kid again waiting for the first day of school … only older, much older! According to the registration papers I need to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the class. Apparently once the class starts there is no late admittance, you lose, no rescheduling. In fact, if you are late you forfeit the registration fee as well! Yipes. Must be some real important stuff they will be teaching.

To add to the excitement last night my hubby brought home a magazine that reviews over 500 motorcycles! Talk about throwing gas on a fire. I just need to make it through work today and then …

Count Down to my Class

Five days until my first Basic Skills Motorcycle class! The Spring weather in Minnesota has been mild and warm only adding to the desire to get out on a motorcycle! Well, after I buy one. My brother-in-law chuckled when he heard about my next goal, but showed his support by sending me this shirt.

Life is Good tee

I am grateful for all the support and encouragement I’ve received from family and friends. What a good reminder for me to be that support and encouragement for those around me as they persue their dreams and goals! What are you planning to accomplish? I’d love it if you’d share with me. We are all capable of so much more – let’s get going!

Are you becoming the best you can be?

There are so many new friends that I’m making because of this journey of mine. I like it. I’m very thankful for all the advice I’m getting on all things motorcycle from either comments here, through Twitter, or other motorcyclists. It is fantastic! Cyber hugs for all!

I have 28 days until my class!! Awk! I am so excited about taking this class and learning how to ride a motorcycle. The weather in Minnesota has definitely turned mild and with it has brought out a ton of riders on their cycles. And that only adds to my impatience. I’ve decided that to keep my mind off of the count down to my class I’d prepare myself physically by getting back into regular exercise.

Are you becoming the best you can be?

One of the most consistent comments I’ve received as a woman wanting to ride is how challenging holding up, balancing. or handling a bike can be. So, I’ve started back into weight training along, with my cardio work outs. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be Mrs. Adonis, but there is room for increasing my strength whether or not I’d be riding in the future. I think I may end being the most prepared rider ever!!

Please keep leaving your comments and advice for me I certainly appreciate your input!

Sign-up for class: Check. Helmet: Check.

I needed a helmet for my motorcycle basic skills class so my hubby took me shopping and I found one! I learned a lot during the process. Let me tell you. First of all, I found out that my hair does not do well when I put on and take off a helmet. Not an important issue but one I’ll eventually need a solution for. I do think growing it out so I can get it into a pony tail maybe one answer, but may take awhile to get there!

I started trying on helmets. I thought I was doing well until the sales gal Amber said the helmets I was trying on were too big! What?! I could hardly get my head in the helmet. Amber came over and grabbed either side of it and wiggled the helmet on my head. She explained that it is not a good fit. There should be no wiggle room. Off with this one and I squeezed into a smaller size. Oh my. It was tight. Amber grabbed this one and tried to wiggle it. Different experience this time, my face moved with it and received her nod of approval!  That’s the kind of fit I need to find she said.

She also showed me a few different styles of helmets and made it clear that her preference was the full-face models. Amber’s argument though gruesome was effective to sway me to decide to get the full-faced style. Another feature she said to look for was intake and exhaust vents as well as removable/washable cheek pads.  And of course, it had to be DOT approved. Prices ranged from $60 and up to several hundred.

I tried on several helmets before landing on one I was comfortable wearing and fit snuggly. I picked a sleek black full-face helmet (similar to the picture below) with intake and exhaust vents! Amber gave it the once over checking the fit before I received her stamp of approval. Victory! My class is in 37 days and I’m one step closer to being ready!

Full face helmet with intake/exhaust vent

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Really?! If you see her turn the other way!

I am a newbie to all things motorcycle, yet even I know that helmet is on wrong! It did get me thinking about taking time to get experience and talk with people in the know. My class is still over a month away, but any chance I get I  glean information from blogs and tweets … and occasionally pictures like the one above.

Feel free to leave me some advice in my journey to get a license and a motorcycle. Happy trails to you.

Times have changed, have you?

circa 1978

My husband started teaching me how to ride about 30 years ago. The timing wasn’t right for me to get a license, we ended up moving and sold the bike. Not to mention back in the 70s only “those” women rode motorcycles! Thankfully times have changed.

Now that I have my motorcycle permit I need to learn to ride so I can get my license. What are my options? I could either have my hubby teach me or take a class at the local Tech College. I choose the Tech College. Why? My husband has years of experience, but would he be able to prioritize what he knows for me as a new rider? I felt the college would teach information that is important for a new rider. Now I’ll have the information I need and an experienced rider to help me along the way!

Last week I signed up for the class at the college, but have to wait until late April for the first session! I’m so excited about the class that I downloaded a countdown wedding widget, cause I couldn’t find any other, to keep track of the time until the class! (Got the widget from

As of today – February 16, 2010 – I have 63days: 19h : 25m : 07s until my class! Love the widget! And very happy that times have changed!