Sunday, May 24, 2009
Above is a Goldwing like my dad's that I used to ride.
I just read Coach Nichol's experience with getting a license to drive her scooter.
It brought back memories of when I got my motorcycle license when I was 16.
(Cookie386 can attest to our motorcycling days!!!)
At a young age I started driving a purple mini bike and then onto a Harley 60. As a teenager I started to drive my dad's Honda 350 until a neighbor down the street suggested I get my motorcycle license. He was a highway patrolman so I took his advice to heart.
I borrowed a neighbors mini bike which was easier to manuever than the 350, and dad and I headed to town so I could take the test. I passed the written test with flying colors. Then we headed to the armory for the driving portion of the test. Besides the person administering the tests, I was the only female there. I was a 16 year old girl surrounded by men of assorted ages.
The first time I zigzagged through the cones I hit several so she gave me another chance. Again I hit cones. Not as many as the first time but I knew it wasn't good.
She handed me the paper. I thanked her but didn't look at it because I knew I had failed. Apparently, so did every man there because as I walked by, several made encouraging comments, "You can try again next week.", "Come back and try again." and "Next week you'll do better."
Dad and I silently walked back to the car and got in. I sat with my head down, gripping the paper in my hand. Dad told me not to feel bad and encouraged me to try again. I don't think it was the failure that upset me so much as the fact that I wouldn't be able to ride the 350 until I did pass.
As dad pulled out of the parking lot I gathered up enough courage to open the paper with my results.
My shriek caused dad to glance over in surprise. I looked up at him as I waved the paper, "I PASSED!!!!!" I'm sure he was happy for me. He was probably fine with me not passing either. But it's his own fault. He had us out driving motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, and anything with a clutch, as soon as we were old enough to learn.
I guess I didn't knock over as many cones as I thought I had. Maybe my perfect written test score helped.
I was always a safe motorcyclist. I drove many motorcycles as a teenager, through college, after college, even after I was married. My dad died and mom sold his GoldWing and I had a child so I stopped renewing my license. I had even driven my brother's "crotch rocket" and a few boyfriends' cycles including a 750 and an 1100.
But I will never forget the feeling I got riding. I didn't like being a passenger although I was one often. I always felt more in control being the driver.
Coach Nichol's blog really hit home. Several weeks ago I wrote on my SparkPage that I someday wanted to ride a motorcycle again. Spark People is helping me get closer to realizing that goal.