Category Archives: First steps

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

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

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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 MagnetStreet.com)

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!

What is she thinking?

What would you think of your wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, or coworker who suddenly as a fifty-something baby-boomer decided she wants a motorcycle? Thankfully my husband was okay with the idea and has been supportive of me as I’ve taken the first few steps!

Most think it is a midlife crisis! I’m not having a crisis, I’m having fun! The kids are raised and out of the house. I now have some free time that had been given to keeping a household of four going. I don’t have the same responsibilities as when I was younger. It’s just time to do it!

Getting a motorcycle is my next big goal. This is mine; what is yours? Just cause we are growing older doesn’t mean we have to get old. Whether you’re in my age group or thirty years younger what is your dream? What steps are you taking? I’m always working on something and trying to figure out how to get it done! Join me. Share your dream with me. I’m pulling for you!

This is me sitting on a used Harley 1200 Sportster dreaming of the day I’m on the open road!

Testing 1, 2, 3, Testing

After picking up the motorcycle manual and flipping through a few pages I quickly realized that this test was not going to be easy! I am pretty clueless when it comes to the rules of the road for motorcycling. I don’t even know which hand has the brake lever and which the clutch. And what is a troddle?! Hard to believe someday I will have a license and cycle. {You’ve been warned. LOL}

I put myself on a deadline to take the permit test. My driver’s license was expiring on my birthday, so I decided to take the test when I went in to renew that. It gave me about six weeks to study up. The manual went every where with me. Any chance I had I read it. I even took it with on vacation!

The day finally arrived to take my test and renew my driver’s license. I showed up before the test center opened and got in line behind a couple of sixteen year olds. When the center opened we each walked in and had to say why we were there. When I said to take the motorcycle permit test the teens glanced over and chuckled. Okay, I don’t look like a typical biker, at least not like the ones we see on TV.

While the kids were waiting for their driving test I was brought over to take the written test. I felt like I was sixteen again and feeling the same pressure that these kids were under to pass! My test was on a computer and the results are given in real time. Awk. That means I’ll know immediately if I passed or failed.

I forgot how many questions there were on the test, but I passed. {It’s my Birthday! It’s my Birthday!} I think I only got one wrong. It was about insurance. I didn’t even remember reading about that sort of thing! The good news is I remembered everything else! In the state of Minnesota holding a motorcycle permit allows you to ride during the day with a helmet and eye protection as long as you stay off the highways. Now I just need to learn how to drive one. That’s coming. I’m going to take a basic training class in the spring. Until then I am legal to drive one!

 

Sharing the Dream

I bought two hoodies when my hubby and I were at the Harley Davidson store in the Mall of America. I figured that if I wanted to see my goal of becoming a motorcyclist I could use a few things to remind me of that dream. At work on Monday I shared my goal of getting a motorcycle license and bike! Nothing like broadcasting a goal to keep yourself accountable!

It has been fun to see how people react to my motorcycle venture! For the most part people have been supportive, yet some just laugh. More of a laugh of disbelief, than joy! That hasn’t slowed me down, onward I go! In the state of Minnesota the first step to getting a license is to pass the motorcycle permit test. So on October 16, 2009 before going into the office I stopped at the license bureau to pick up a book to study.

Why I remember it was October 16 is when I arrived at work I found my cube decorated for Bosses Day in a Harley Davidson theme! It was so fun to see that the team pick-up on my dream to have a license and a motorcycle!

Sharing the dream and seeing friends and family encourage me and support me is fantastic! I so appreciate the fact they believe I can do this! I’m another step closer to my dream.

How it all started …

My journey into motorcycling started on a shopping trip to the Mall of America with my husband. True story! My hubby and I wanted to do something different one Saturday and we some how landed on the idea of going to the Mall. Last trip there was over five years ago.

We were not looking for anything in particular so we wandered around window shopping. I don’t even remember where we were when Geoff suddenly lit up and pointed out a Harley Davidson store! The Mall of America does have something for everyone!!

Inside the store we saw a really cool Harley anchored to floor, clothing, leathers, toys and more! Geoff mentioned it would be fun to have a motorcycle again and I found myself agreeing. When we were first married, 30 years ago, Geoff had a motorcycle that we rode all over the place. Unfortunately that bike was sold before we made a long distance move. He did get another bike a number of years later, but ended up selling that one too. I wasn’t comfortable with being parents of small children and owning a motorcycle!

That’s not the case now, our kids grown and out of the house, so the thought of having a motorcycle became very appealing. And by time I left the store I thought it would be great to have a bike of my own! Back in the day Geoff tried to teach me to ride even though it wasn’t too acceptable for women. Not any more!

Not any more is right! Today a woman can wear a helmet or heels and still be considered a girly girl! I left the Mall energized about my dream of learning to ride and getting my own motorcycle.