I woke up this morning at 6:30am
I showered and stretched
I picked out my outfit for the day (like picking out jeans and tshirts should be hard)
I laced up my boots, threw on my hockey jersey for warmth, and headed out to the DMV.
I took my test.
I passed my test.
I am now officially an Oregonian….. with a motorcycle endorsement.
I raced home as quickly (quicker) as the law allowed.
I ditched the jersey and donned my new jacket. I grabbed the keys to my bike and went outside to ride it for the first time.
At first I was thinking – “Just around the parking lot. Let’s not rush into anything. You’ve never been on anything bigger than a 250cc dirtbike. You don’t really want to drive through the construction zones (3x), you don’t really want to get into traffic, and you don’t want to drop your bike – play it safe”
and then I was like “Self, shut the fuck up. I’m riding my bike to work”
That was all I intended to ride today… work and home. That’s enough excitement for one day.
A coworker decided we should tour the road I’ve been dying to ride – hills, curves, farmland, two lane traffic, 55mph speed limit… and so we did. My lunch was nearly two hours and 90 minutes of that was simply riding. Learning how to handle this machine, learning what I still need to work on, learning things not taught in the classes I’ve taken…
Then I had my first encounter with nature.
After my “Team Oregon” class (motorcycle safety) I knew that riding gear is hotter than the devil’s balls in June. Today I recalled that fact and lived it as I was sitting at a stop light. So I raised my face shield to get some of that blessed breeze on my face. Light changed, I took off.
It hit me (things like dirt in my eyes and the smell of exhaust fumes) that my shield was still up… and what do I see in front of me?
A fucking butterfly doing it’s batshit crazy flight pattern right toward my face.
I knew in an instant if that flappy bastard were to hit me it would go in my helmet, I’d likely roll my bike end over end, and make a small explosion (and subsequent crater) in Bumfuck, Oregon.
I also knew I’d never been trained on how to deal with a butterfly on a collision course. In a car – fuck him for being stupid… but on a bike.. I could be a smoking crater in Bumfuck and that just doesn’t work for me.
I lowered my head down to ramming speed and lowered my gaze to just in front of me… apparently my giant head (and/or fat ass) cause some strange wind patterns because as we were nearing impact it’s like he was shot out of a cannon straight up in the air. Truly a butterfly effect.
I got my bike to 55mph, got waved at by two girls on a tractor and then one waved at me out her sunroof. It as if me being short and fat didn’t matter. Note to self: Ride Often
Had some lunch with the coworker who was pacing me (he seriously was awesome for doing that, helped me with the lines I should take in the corners and through some crazy ass left hand traffic merge where some asshole in a BMW [edit: big surprise - asshole in a beamer] wanted to keep shifting lanes and riding my ass like he bought me dinner.
The moral of all this is that BMW drivers need bigger penis’, butterflies can fuck right off, all women should wave at me while I’m riding, and I can make some terrible puns.
Beyond that – I’m seriously enjoying it. It’s a rush just having the wind pound your chest, having a machine that’s so responsive to your movements, and seeing that long straight open road where it’s just you, your environment, and your thoughts.. no work thoughts, no family thoughts, no stress thoughts.. just the kind of thoughts that process data like “that’s a pretty tree” or “fuck me there are manhole covers on this road?”