Left to Right: Sue, Carmen, Deb

Sue, Carmen and Deb

 

Sue:
Well, I have a greater appreciation for people who ride bikes now. It’s easy to sit on the back and look pretty (well, not easy, but I think I have that mastered) but to actually be the one at the controls is another thing all together. We started by pushing – yes, PUSHING the bike around. It was just a little 150cc, but it felt like it weighed a ton. The lesson I learned from this exercise is 1) don’t ever drop your bike and
2) NEVER, EVER run out of gas. As if that wasn’t enough grunting and groaning, we were then told to push the bike with our partner sitting on it. I mean REALLY?? Thank God I had Carmen as a partner and she weighs next to nothing, but do that a few times and your body really starts to hate you. I suggest to anyone thinking of taking this course, to maybe hit up the gym for say, a year, to get conditioned for this part of the course. Next we learned how to start the bike. “F.I.N.E.C.C.” – an acronym I won’t forget any time soon. When we actually got to ride the bike, I became an expert at stalling and popping the clutch. Shaun would have been in stitches had he witnessed this. I know I was. Next, we learned how to look where we wanted to go and turn right then left to get to that destination. Sounds easy enough. Yeah right! If the instructor shouted “look at me” one more time I was gonna bop him one. I was too busy looking at my hands, my feet, anything but where I wanted to go. That is definitely something I’ll have to work on. Either that or I’ll just drive straight… forever. I’ll eventually make it back home; I’ll just see a lot of the world doing it. All in all, I had a blast on the course and even got into SECOND gear! As a result of this course, I now know without a doubt that I want to ride my own bike. I have been studying to get my M1 and telling Shaun everything he is doing wrong according to the Motorcycle Handbook. He’s the one who wants me to ride, but now I think he’d rather just have me sitting on the back looking pretty. ~Sue

Carmen:
Well, here I am. I’ve just parked the car and I’m ready to go… Oh my god, what have I done!!!! Am I nuts? My heart’s racing, my palms are sweating, I think I’m having a panic attack, maybe even a heart attack. NOW that would look good. Idiot signs up for motorcycle course and dies of fright in the parking lot. Brain starts to race… I’m 62 years old. I can’t do this.
Last time I drove a bike I was 16 & it was on a 50 or 60 Yamaha/Honda thing-a-ma-gig. It was a cute little harmless thing. Maybe it was a push bike, it’s all a fog now. Oh dear, a brain bubble is settling in and I haven’t even left the car yet. I look over at Sue & she’s all bubbly with excited & can’t wait to go. She turns to me and says: come on let’s go. (Note to self – if this turns out bad… remember to slap her). Wish I’d worn some “Depends”.
Despite all my anxieties, I reminded myself that I’ve never let anything in life defeat me, so I took the plunge, so to speak. What a thrill! The instructors were fantastic. Can’t stress that enough. Many, many times, they literally walked beside me, or behind me, guiding me, encouraging me every step of the way. After several stall outs, foot dragging, & other little mishaps, by days end, there I was, with the rest of my class driving to and fro on the parking lot. My course ended with me finally coming to a ‘perfect stop’.
Then I dropped the bike….LOL
What a great day! Come on Ladies…what are you waiting for…enjoy the ride… ~ Carmen

Deb:
As a passenger, I enjoy viewing my surroundings comfortably from the back seat of the bike. I am inspired, however, by the riders in our Chapter, and how smitten they are with the biking experience from behind the handlebars. And so, I finally decided to take a step in that direction, and signed up for the GU Intro course, which is the first three hours of the full weekend GU course. I was happy to know that Sue and Carmen from our Chapter were also signing up too. And I was pleasantly surprised by Angie from our Chapter’s meeting place, Kristy’s Restaurant, had come also, due to encouragement by our L.O.H.TM rep, Nathalie!
The class was held in the evening on a Saturday, and it was a perfect summer’s eve, hot in our gear, but with a lovely breeze blowing from time to time. Our instructors talked about the safety waivers, about the bikes, and about what we were going to achieve in our session. True to their promise, all of us completed the evening riding the motorcycles (in first gear) across the parking lot from end to end; that was exciting to do that, after all our drills of walking the bike, starting the bike, getting off the bike, getting on the bike.
I have to admit that I did fall once, but it was a small tumble and the bike had no power; it was when I had successfully completed turning right when the bike was moved by push power of my partner… I was so thrilled to complete the turn, that with the bike still moving forward, I started talking to the instructor and looked briefly at the ground, and that’s where I ended up… on the ground! (Thanks, Andy, for coming to my assistance!). That was my lesson that I needed to focus more and stop talking while I was completing my drills!
It was a great 3 hours, and I got to see lots of new riders that looked so natural on the bike! So now, Shirley keeps asking me… did you sign up for the GU course yet? I haven’t yet, but I will; to see what the whole course is like, now that I have had a taste of riding a bike on my own. ~ Deb