Sunday, December 4, 2011

How and why I got into biking

Another moto blogger Gary 'Flies in your teeth' posed the quetion how did we started riding? I remember when I was a little girl learning to ride a 2 wheeler was not a natural thing to me and I didn't do very well at it. I have a twin sister and she is the definition of perseverance and determination when it came to learning to ride. My dad brought home a 2nd hand blue bike that we shared, that happens a lot when you are twins, you share everything. Unlike scootering and motorcycling my humble two wheeled beginnings were very inauspicious. I was very timid according to my dad - ME TIMID - I don't believe him. Apparently my sister was the daredevil then. I wiped out a couple of times and that was it for me. My sister on the other hand wiped out more than a few times,and in spite of the bloodied knees she got back up and tried again and again. By the end of the day she was zooming down the street. When you are a twin there is a certain amount of "neener neener I can do it and you can't" going on and we were always trying to do something first before the other one did it.

I dragged my dad out when he came home from work. I remember him running behind the bike with a grip on the seat and him yelling encouragingly, "Keep pedaling no matter what you do" then he let go and I was riding my bike. It wasn't all natural after that either, there were still lots of spills and tears, but eventually it all came together. I have to say I admire my twin sister because she was fearless and she was going to do it no matter what. She is still like this today and I think she is pretty special in that regard.

When we were a little older, almost 13 we had a friend who had a brother with a moped, he used to let us ride it around their backyard. It was pretty cool, if my mother only knew what we were doing she would have killed both of us. When we were growing up my whole family rode our bicycles everywhere. Our bikes weren't new to us and were second hand bikes, mine was purple with a banana seat. One day my dad made us go out to the garage to clean them up and when we went out there were two brand new 3 speed bikes in the garage, our old bikes were gone. I can still remember the CCM bike and the shiny green paint and racer handlebars. We rode all over Richmond on those bikes. Back then there were no helmet laws and it could be pretty rough and tumble at times when you went over the bars because you were trying to be a superhero and doing something stupid.

Fast foward to me turning 19 and I met Motorcycle Man a few months before that and he used to pick me up for dates on his Honda V45 Magna. He still has that very bike today and I have sat on the back for 28 years. I talked about learning to ride over the years, but that was about as far as it went. In 1991 I rented a scooter from one of the scooter rental places in Victoria and tootled around for a day and thought it was pretty cool, but it didn't inspire me to get my license. I did start an adventure of living on a floathome up Island and had to commute by car every day, so a scoot was out of the question. We were involved living the life of a young married couple and I was content to sit on the back of Motorcycle Man's ride. Then a beautiful baby girl came along and I never thought about learning to ride again and I very seldom went out on the hub's bike after that.

The reason I got inot motorcycling/scooting is in January 2011, I started scoot commuting because there is a lack of parking at my office building and I am not a good bus commuter. That lead to the fateful test drive where I wiped out a brand new Orange Sym Mio 50cc scoot. Orange is not my favorite colour to this day. I can still hear the grinding screeching sound it made as it skid across the pavement. I think I even remember some spark action too. I remember looking up from the ground and to my surprise the scooter had skid a considerable distance across the pavement from me and thinking, "What the hell happened?" I hopped up, found my shoe that had come off and was absolutely mortified. The first words out of my mouth were, "I'm okay, but does this mean I just bought the scooter?" After a few seconds of stunned silence the fellow who took me on the test drive said, "No, this happens all the time, are you okay?" We both looked like deer in headlights. I surprised him even more about wanting to finish the test drive. After considerable aches and owies hours later, I was still determined to ride. Two days later I bought my vino and then in September wrote my motorcycle learners test and enrolled in a Novice & traffic course and the rest as they say is history.I have also made a very conscious decision to ride ATGATT each and every time I venture forth on my motorcycle or scooter. I am loving my 2 wheeled lifestyle and am passionate about riding my Honda CM 450E or little scooter. I can hardly wait to see where my 2 wheeled adventure takes me.


RichardM said...

Pretty interesting start. WHen I was a kid, I really enjoyed riding my bike but I wasn't allowed to ride anywhere. One of the problems with growing up in Los Angeles with over protective parents. I rediscovered cycling when I was in college and really enjoyed long distance touring and the cycling equivalent of Iron Butt rides, the double centuries (200 miles in under 24 hours) Does you twin ride a motorbike yet?


Raftnn said...

Great do relise that the biking bug is incurable, once you have it you have it for life!

Dar said...

Richard - My twin doesn't ride yet, but we were talking theother day and she menyioned she might like to try a scooter. We shall see where this goes My mom was a little anxious and overprotective and my dad laid back, he was the kind of yuo learn by experience kind of guy. he instilled in us never to give up and my mom was always thre cheering us on and encouraging us to do it safely. Surprisingly my mom is okay with me riding, I think she tries not to think about the what if's.

You rode 200 miles on a bicycle - iron butt rides OMG for me that would be broken butt rides.

Raftnn - you are right once the bug bites that's it. It has you in its grip never to let go. It seems the only thing to kill the itch from the bite is to ride the bike more! I have a love affair with riding and can hardly wait to see whats next.

bluekat said...

I love your story. The perseverance to stick with it through skinned knees to grinding screeching across the pavement, you stuck with it. Cool! Double cool that you immediately wanted to finish the ride!

I wasn't a natural bicycle rider either. (Nor am I a natural at motorcycles). Guess I can relate to the pain of those painful first attempts. Makes the triumph all the sweeter. Good job hanging in there!

Trobairitz said...

I am glad you persevered through the orange scooter incident to live and love the life on two wheels.

You go girl. It is a sense of accomplishment and pride to get your license, that is for sure.

Dar said...

Bluekat and Trobairitz

The 2 wheeled journey for me has been one of persistence and at times fear, but mostly joy. I am so glad I hung in there and can hardly wait for the return of warm weather and more adventures. I am still riding to/from work and am hoping our weather stays like it is, but I highly doubt it. I caved and purchased some bus passes today. Keeping fingers & toes crossed for no snow.

Gary France said...

You captured the thrills and spills of first riding bicycles very nicely here, plus the excitement of seeing the new bikes you Dad cleverly put the garage for you. What really made me smile, perhaps in recognition of doing the same sort of thing, was when you said what your mothers reaction would be if she discovered that you had been riding the moped. Thanks for posting your story.

Dar said...

Gary - I never told my mom about the moped riding, but I think she knows now because she reads my blog from time to time. Oops - busted.