Friday, February 8, 2013

Hitting the Streets ~ Finally

We spent day after day in a local parking lot, practicing it all. Tight turns, quick stops, downshifting, backing the bike into tight spots, etc. Highway patiently gave me tips on accelerating before letting out the clutch, praised me every time I stopped, and encouraged me to do more every session. Each day went better than the last, even while dodging all of the homeless people who walked in front of me as I practiced in the enormous empty parking lot.

We decided to ride across the street and practice parking against the curb at the brewery. I did almost perfect, losing my balance a bit, having never parked on a sloped street before. Katie Scarlet and I both survived unscathed and we treated Highway to a break at the bar.

I woke up on Thursday, feeling as ready as I was ever going to get to try the traffic of downtown San Diego. Our underground parking has a very steep slope to pull out of the garage, so I let Highway get Katie to the street. After that, she was all mine.

It felt so good to ride on the streets, to watch the streetlights, stop and go, watch for other vehicles, and maneuver my way through potholes and pedestrians. I felt more at peace with Katie Scarlet as we climbed up Bankers Hill and made our way to my doctor appointment. Riding back into downtown afterwards was just as exhilarating, but the streets were much busier due to it being mid-afternoon.

We settled on tacos for lunch, my favorite meal, and toasted my tiny success. The day went better than I had hoped, which filled me with gratitude. I tried to take it one moment at a time, stay focused, stay in the present.

I can't wait to get out again. . .
Rude-Biker-Chick
Getting Tacos After Riding!


9 comments:

  1. Dude, based on your description, do y'all live in the apartments on J Street and 15th?! That's where I used to live! Your mention of homeless people means it still hasn't gentrified quite as much as we were told it would back when I lived there a decade ago.

    Glad to hear your confidence is growing by the day.

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    1. Hi Chris,

      10th & Market, but I know J & 15th very well. The parking lot where we practiced is right there.

      Yes every day get better. Did some freeway yesterday. Aaahhh, even more fun!

      Sash


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  2. Congratulations on the first step toward your riding career! It is the small steps that build to great adventure.

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    1. Thanks AH Dude,

      I'm having a wonderful time! I wish my dear instructor was too. I stress out and shout at him and he's growing rather weary. But we're making tremendous progress.

      Thanks for the well wishes Sweetie!

      Sash

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  3. A journey begins with a step. You being on the streets for the first time is a big step that you just made. Congratulations and all the best in your riding career. Michelin Motorcycle Tires

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  4. Sash:

    It just boggles my mind that you are leaving in April for your 6 month "riding vacation" with so little road experience. I was dreaming of following Highway while touring and thinking that he may want you to be in the lead "once in a while". It's hard for the one in front to always be looking in the mirrors trying to keep you safe, and all the time trying to keep speeds down so you don't ride over your confidence level.

    I find it is easier for the novice rider to be in front, then he could protect your rear. Then you could ride at your own pace and he will just follow. I think this would be less stressful for him

    I am a sucker for enchiladas

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. Bob,

      You are such a dollbaby! :) I love how you worry about me! Yes, it boggles my mind too that we are leaving in April and that I have had so little experience. I was supposed to buy a bike last year, but it just didn't happen that way. So, I am working with the time I have.
      He has asked if I want to ride in front. If I know where I'm going, I'm happy to do that. He's used to being in the lead, as when we go on long rides with others they ALWAYS want him to lead. But if he's happier with me in front, I'm happy to be there. I'll ask him what works best for him. I just don't want to get us lost.
      Enchiladas huh? I make some mean enchiladas! Someday I'll make you some. . .

      Thanks Bob,

      Sash

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    2. Sash:

      Think Helmet communicators: Sena SMH-10 but make sure it is the Bluetooth V3.0 version which can link to 4 riders. You can be guided by remote control by the voice behind . . .

      then, when we finally meet up on the road later this year, I will be able to link and talk with you too. What we do with novice riders is let them lead most of the way until we get into heavier traffic, then Highway can take over for a while. But is is really better for him to be in the rear even in heavy traffic as he can protect your rear and stop cagers from cutting in. He will know what I mean.

      Also in heavy aggressive traffic, highway would be able to cut over to the next lane, then tell you on the "Sena intercom" when to switch over after he has blocked the car(s). It is much safer for you to be in front

      Imagine that he is in front and makes a lane change. He has to cut into traffic and also look in his mirror to make sure you change lanes to follow him. What if the traffic won't let you in ? and he exits the freeway

      If you are in front and you miss your exit, you are still both together and can turn around later

      I have done lots of group riding and I know what may happen

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast









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About Sash


People call me "Sash" because I'm a former beauty queen in my old home town. My father used to ride in an MC which got me interested in the culture. After my last divorce I said "goodbye" to Susie Homemaker and became the rude biker chick I always felt inside. (Read more...)