The next morning I was like a kid on Christmas, standing by the front door with my helmet as Highway slowly got ready. He had been fighting a cold, but now it was really settling in. I felt bad to push him to ride, but I couldn't contain myself.
I spent some time in our parking garage getting the feel for her. She revs so much higher than Highway's Yamaha Roadstar I had been riding. I was having trouble finding the sweet spot in the clutch, just the right amount of throttle, etc. Finally, we headed out on the streets of San Diego.
Two blocks away I accidentally popped the clutch, stalled her, and dropped her. I was so desperate to keep her up, I tore up my left knee in the process. I sat on the street, sobbing like a kindergartner, feeling like a huge failure. All of this waiting, all of this hoping, all of this dreaming and I could see it all running down the sewer. Highway picked up the bike and with the help of a few neighbors who had seen my spectacle, they moved me and Katie Scarlet to the curb. Highway put the bikes away and brought the truck to take me to Urgent Care.
I've spent the last 4 days feeling an array of emotions; frustrated, angry, sad, humiliated, optimistic, and finally determined. This wasn't going to be the end of this ~ no fucking way. I wasn't going down like a sniveling little bitch.
I'm mending quickly; my knee and my ego. I'm planning to be back on her by February 1, and riding on the streets mid-February. Highway and I have planned a "retraining" of sorts, doing some basics in a local, huge parking lot. I plan on doing at least an hour a day for 7 days straight, then riding every day for a few weeks, weather permitting.
I realized I tried to do too much too soon. It had been 8 months since I've been behind my own handlebars and I'd only ridden for 7 months before that, very sporadically. I did fine, at first, but I just hadn't practiced enough. Then I let too much time pass. . .
This isn't the end. It is only the beginning of my story.