Saturday, March 30, 2013

Taking the leap, riding a motorcycle or scooter

Most of us who ride know that it takes a huge leap of faith to hop onto a motorcycle or scooter and head off down the asphalt ribbon into the unknown.  30 years of riding pillion finally brought me full circle to the front of the bike and seeing for myself what it is to ride. I finally understand what my husband sees and feels when riding.  I always wondered what it was like, but couldn't picture myself riding a scooter or motorcycle. The thought of riding was always filled with mixed emotions of fear and feelings of I can't do it. It is pretty amazing how a small kernel of doubt will hold you back or colour your outlook and perception of something. Learning to ride has been one of the most empowering things I have ever done, only coming in after having a child.

I have found a passion in riding that truly sings to my soul.  It has given me great confidence and changed the way I look at things, it has made me feel strong.  We jokingly call riding therapy and it is therapy if sorts, for me it is a balm to my soul. Every time I go out I come back feeling refreshed and clear headed.  Learning to ride has given me a new skill set and It was very challenging learning to put it all together and surpass the natural fear that comes along with it.

I have met very interesting and wonderful people. Riding has also allowed me to be involved in activities that give back to my community by being a part of a group of dynamic riders that lobbied the government for significant safety change to our local highway and another group that created an annual breast cancer ride and the local team to promote International Female Ride Day.  I have found great joy in mentoring other female motorcyclists and sharing the sense of empowerment that riding offers.

 Two weeks ago I was at the track where a new group of novice motorcyclists had just completed their motorcycle skills assessment tests and seeing them do their victory lap and the huge grins on their faces took me back to my beginnings and the pure joy of it was pretty inspiring.  I think we sometimes forget how thrilling, nerve racking and joyful learning to ride is.

If you are thinking of learning to ride I encourage you to take the leap and register in a novice course and go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Do you remember those feelings?  Do you still feel the rush of excitement?


Andrew Thomson said...

It's so great that you got over those wee doubts about taking up riding.

I think you can work out my answers to your questions ;)

The more you ride, the more you want to ride!

Shybiker said...

I couldn't agree more. You capture and express the exact same emotions I felt upon learning how to ride. The empowerment is heady.

Addicted to both the thrills of riding and the excitement of growing, I continue experiencing them when I push further into the activity. For example, even after riding for 15 years, taking my bike onto a racetrack last year was exhilarating.

For many years, I've been encouraging people (like you're doing here) to get into motorcycling. Especially women, for whom this activity can be immensely satisfying. Good work, buddy!

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I started when I was young and invincible, for the most part not hearing ANYone telling me how dangerous it might be. Later on I came to know a great deal more about some close family history and why I may have been strongly discouraged. Luckily we all moved past that.

Your words help me appreciate even more how challenging it may be to start later, after years of hearing many negative comments. For a long time, I've not encouraged anyone to ride, only tried to reinforce safety once they've made their own decision to start.

Possibly that needs to change?

Pam said...

Well said! My heart sings every time I ride.

David Masse said...

It's interesting to me that my first ride on a motor scooter was in Victoria. I hemmed, and hawed, and had to try hard to ignore the little angel on my should frantically whispering in my ear that renting a motor scooter could not possibly end well. Ha! I've never looked back. You express all the same feelings riding has given me. There's no point sitting on the couch wishing. You just have to do it!

Brenda said...

I remember those feelings oh so well, i'm still learning and every time I overcome a hurdle (i can do u turns now Wheeee) I get such a buzz that is just indescribable!

You have come very close to describing it, but I don't think that anyone who hasn't taken the leap and got on that bike or scooter can completely get it.

I sold my scooter to a woman who wanted to learn, her husband hadn't ridden in years either, when I ran into her last week it was so wonderful to hear all about their adventures learning together and their accomplishments.

I encourage women who want to ride to have a go all the time.

Dar said...

You all are amazing and I love reading your blogs and stories. You inspire me to hone my road skills and be adventuresome. I think some people will never understand what it s to ride and that's okay because honestly the roads may become a little crowded if they ll figured it out!

Deb said...

Well said and to those who have never tried it, they are missing out on everything as far as I am concerned.

I remember my passion when I first started riding out in the country.

Hoping to get some of that back this season.

Great article!

Black Inazuma said...

On the road, you are in touch with the earth around you, you hear birds singing, you smell nature, you fully aware of the ground that you're travelling on.

So - do I still feel the rush of excitement?

Yes! Everytime I wheel the back out and point it in the direction of the open road!

Black Inazuma said...

If you like, add me to your Moto Blog list!