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Chatterbox
November 28th, 2004, 04:02 PM
This was the weekend of all weekends – my maiden solo on my bike.

After cooking half the day; stuffing our faces in 20 minutes; and informing the kids they get the joy of clean-up duty, Chris said, “Put on your gear and we’ll go for a ride.”

I was sort of hesitant at first – you know, the tryptophan in the turkey, making you sleepy and all that. Well, it didn’t take 1/2 a second to decide I was ready to go. So I asked, “Where are we going?” He mumbled something about heading to the school and “practicing”, so I started gathering my gear.

Got the bikes going, headed to the school. Drove by the school once and told Chris I was bored. He suggested riding out to a friend’s house (unannounced) and letting them see me ride for themselves. Lo and behold, they weren’t home (which was totally a shock since it was Thanksgiving Day! NOT!) So, we turned around and headed home.

No incidents, no close calls. I was very proud of myself.

Friday morning, we headed out for Jim and Linda’s so Linda and I could practice together. Chris said it would be better for me to ride over there, so I reluctantly said OK. (We live almost to Katy, and they live out off 45 North around The Woodlands.) Chris assured me there were back roads, but there would be lots of stops and starts, cross traffic, etc.

So, weighing the lesser of the two evils, I said we could go around 290 to the Beltway to 45N. I was dreading the overpass at 290 and the Beltway. That scares the pee out of me in the car! It was no issue at all. Funny how much different the roads seem on a bike as compared to a car.

Made it over to Jim and Linda’s fine – no issues, no close calls. Linda and I practiced starts and stops, front brake stopping, weaving, turns, etc. for a couple of hours. I very nearly dropped my bike doing something stupid. On the "using front brakes" exercise, I was also using my rear brake. Well, let’s just say my foot was a little heavy and the school parking lot has a brand new, looooong black tire mark in the parking lot! :D So, the next time around, I didn’t use the rear brake at all. I was so proud, I turned to look at Chris – a little before I was at a complete stop. My front wheel turned a bit, and when I stopped, it started over to the right. All I could hear was myself yelling, “HELP! HELP! HELP!” :eek: Thank God Chris was there, he ran over and grabbed me before it hit the ground. Trust me, I was pushing with my right leg and arm, and pulling with my left arm trying to keep it from dropping. All I could picture in my mind was a smashed mirror. I didn’t let that happen again.

After leaving Jim and Linda’s, Chris talked me into going to Cycle Gear to check out some gloves. Took some back roads, so it wasn’t too bad. I had told him I was really scared to try to get back on the freeway there, so he decided to go on down the feeder, turn under the Beltway, and get on there. Chris was leading, and I was following. We were in the outside left turn lane. A Suburban was to the right of Chris and a black pickup was to the right of me. Their lane was a GO STRAIGHT ONLY! Neither of them wanted to go straight, and neither one of them looked when they scooted over.

Chris couldn’t see me – trying to avoid the Suburban and all – and he thought I was right behind him. He figured if he stayed in his lane, sooner or later the Suburban would move back into her own lane. Well, while he was being run out of his lane, the driver of the black pickup looked right at me and pulled into my lane. Being a new rider, I had no idea how to avoid him without moving into the next lane to my left – especially since Chris was being run over by another vehicle right in front of me.

Well, I always ask Chris why he “wicks it up” and hauls ***. Now I know. I was so pissed and the adrenalin pumping, I got around the corner, flipped the drivers off, and “wicked it up.” :mad: I don’t care what Chris says about my bike, that little puppy will blow by ANY of those jerks!!!!

After I got over that bit of anger, I told Chris he could lead home. We made that fine with no more incidents or close calls.

Saturday was a day as a passenger. It was fun, but not the same.

Today was my first Official SMR.

It was supposed to be cold today, and it was pretty cold when we left this morning. Being the wuss that I am, I had applied Thermacares to my knees, thighs, and lower back. (These are like heating pads, but no electricity.) I was very glad I had them on the way there, but they came off on the way back. I even burned my left leg with one of them. OUCH!

Troy and his friend (sorry, I’m bad with names), Scotty, and a couple other guys were there. Chris and I left out first, to get a head start since I wouldn’t be at the same pace as the rest of the group. Saw Tim and a couple of others at the light. The popo was out – with radar – right in front of us.

We made it between Cat Springs and New Ulm before the others caught up to and passed us. I felt pretty good that we got that far before they blew by!

No incidents or close calls on the way to Fayetteville. Had some chow, and the guys talked bikes. I was itching to go, but tried to appear to be patient. Finally, I could stand it no longer, so I told Chris I was ready to leave – he needed to settle up the bill and get his gear on. A couple of guys had gotten to Orsak’s late, so Chris told them we would ride the back way around Fayetteville and meet up with them on the way back to Houston.

That back way might be kind of different roads – not bad, but not perfect. But the curves and the scenery were beautiful. There is a ranch out there with the big deer fence all around it. Something was running along the fence, but it dang sure wasn’t a deer! It was one of the prettiest animals I’ve ever seen. It was some kind of antelope, and it was huge. We slowed to a stop, and it stopped next to Chris and gave him a good once over. Chris started to take off, so the animal started running again – in the direction we were heading. I stayed stopped to watch it run by, and it slowed down really slow and looked at me, then ducked his head and took off. He came to a clearing in the brush, and took off into the interior of the ranch. That’s the things that make rides special.

On one left turn, I kind of swung wide and almost missed the turn. I knew what I had done wrong as soon as I did it. When Chris asked what happened, I told him I was not “looking in the direction I wanted to go” and was trying to turn instead of leaning. He said ok, at least I knew what I did wrong.

Anyway, we got back to Frelsburg, and Chris turned to head back home. We rode a bit, but the Thermacares started getting too hot. Told Chris I needed to pull over and take a couple of them off. The two guys that were late at Fayetteville drove by, we waved them off that we were fine. Caught up to them at whatever the next right turn is, and they started following us back to Brookshire.

Even though I’ve been a passenger with Chris and we’ve been to Fayetteville and back a zillion times, I never have really paid attention to the actual route to get there. I mean, why bother? I’m not driving, so why do I need to know the route?

Well, after the two guys started following us, I started to feel a little nervous but figured I’d be fine. I know in Sealy that we are AT A STOP LIGHT when we turn right on the way to Fayetteville, so that reasoning would be to turn left AT THE STOP LIGHT on the way back home. Chris turned on his signal, and I turned on mine. Well, Chris turned a street before the light (which is really close). I wasn’t ready for that, so I hadn’t slowed enough. Needless to say, I screwed up that turn royally!!!! redface.gif I went in way too hot, not leaning near enough, front tire went into the grass, and I drove through the nasty road gravel. BUT, I did not panic, nor did I drop the bike! smile.gif Scared the crap out of the two men behind me, but . . .

They passed me, drove up to Chris and talked to them, then Chris told me what I did wrong. That’s fine – they were all trying to help. I already knew what I had done wrong. I “let” them “intimidate” me by worrying that I would be driving too slow or do something stupid to upset them. In other words, I drove beyond my own limits and experience. That made me very nervous and embarrassed. Came to another left hand turn, almost did the same thing but not quite as bad. By this time, I was completely frustrated with myself and thoroughly embarrassed!!!!

Again, the two guys passed me and told Chris what I did. They kept on driving and talking. In the mean time, my bike stopped. What the heck? I only had 120 miles, so I shouldn’t be out of gas. Hit the starter, wouldn’t start. Tried a couple of times, but nothing. I couldn’t even see Chris or the others. Thank God we have Chatterboxes. I radioed Chris that I thought I had run out of gas. Seemed like forever before he said anything, but he finally did, “You can’t be out of gas. I’ve only got 120 miles on my trip meter.” Well, while he was not answering and telling me I couldn’t be out of gas, I flipped to reserve and my baby started right up! I slowly proceeded back on to the road, wary that it could be something else, but pretty confident it had just run out of gas.

I look up, and here are the three guys coming to look for me. I don’t know, but I think Chris was kind of proud of me that I had the common sense to flip to reserve. I think he really didn’t think I had a clue what to do. You know, just climb on, start her up, and ride. Yeah, right! He lectures me so much about how the vehicles run, what the different lights and gauges mean, etc. that I darn well better know what to do or what might be wrong!!! After all, I’ve heard it for 27 years next month!!!! :rolleyes:

OK, now I’ve had enough screwing up and embarrassing myself. So, I was bound and determined to make it the rest of the way home with no more incidents or close calls. Needless to say, we made it home safe and sound.

So, all in all, in three days of riding, I had one close call that was not my fault at all, and two close calls where I could have panicked and crashed big time, but I held myself together and did not drop the bike. I can honestly say, I’m pretty darned proud of myself.

Now, I’m just looking forward to an SMR with Linda and Brandy along.
:D

Schreck
November 28th, 2004, 06:33 PM
Nice story Cindy....Now step away from the computer and go ride your bike.
That was Chapter one or the whole story you just wrote us?
Great Job! :D

VFRacer-R
November 28th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Raading your story reminds me a lot of when I first started riding. It reminds me of how much I loved hitting the road with my '83 Honda Ascot 500- no fairings, the instrument cluster looked so cool lit up when it was dark out... torquey power from the one lung-er.

The one thing that kept me confident on the freeway was knowing that I had way more accelerating power, twice the stopping power, and WAY quicker handling than the cages do. I always scan, scan, scan, and try to move through traffic, rather than with it. It seems to me the people that have more problem with freeway riding are the ones that allow their fear to make them timid. Not that you should haul *** or be agressive on the freeway, but be a "healthy confident".

Glad you had a good ride on the SMR! I was only about 40 minutes from joining you all this am... :rolleyes:
Went on a ride of my own on the south side... :D

AaronEustace
November 29th, 2004, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by Tommyboy:
Not that you should haul *** or be agressive on the freeway, but be a "healthy confident". Good Advice...I call it: "Defensive Aggressiveness". Basically, it's anticipating and expecting bonehead moves and taking pre-emptive action to avoid them. Sometimes you hang back and other times you GO.

The Big Spank Daddy
December 1st, 2004, 08:57 PM
After being behind the "wheel" for herself, she now understands why I do some of the "dumb" things I do.

Scotty
December 1st, 2004, 11:15 PM
Cindy, Get your hands on Keith Code's book A Twist of the Wrist 2 ... it's about the best book on M/C control,a bargain at &19.95 !.
Also, David Hough has agreat book " Proficient Motor Cycling " around $24 .
Safe riding,
Scotty.