Once again I find myself behind the eight ball… saving up a ton of stuff to report all at once! Not ideal but hey, that’s how it goes when you’re riding across the country on a motorcycle while learning to ride a motorcycle to commemorate a centennial event with your family and a lot of new friends and stopping along the way to do other cool stuff. Computering is kind of the last thing on the list!
So in the past few days, we moved through Ohio, Indiana and are now squarely planted in Illinois. Never been to the “I” states. We visited the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum on Friday; it was a sweet event. Niner, one of the ladies on the ride, gave me a crash-course (no pun intended), showing me around the flat track racing section, as she used to do it. The bikes are all super seventies and aesthetically awesome.
Now, there are definite good days and bad days on the bike. Yesterday was an amazing DAY, as far as days go, but bike-wise, it was stressful and not so great. I blame this on the fact that I didn’t sleep enough and didn’t eat the right food for dinner. The slightest tiny small thing can really have a big impact on you when you’re riding. Your body is an extension of the bike, and so you need to be as much of a well-tuned machine as the bike is. It reminds me of when danced seriously when I was quite younger. The slightest small thing could have great impact. So I have to make rules for myself – eating specific things, sleeping at specific times. It’s almost impossible to follow, hence why Saturday was rough.
The epic group ride was two hours long through the winding country roads of Ohio, on all types of pavement. (That’s another thing you get extremely sensitive towards on a bike – the stuff that covers the road. Weirdly fascinating, as I never imagined there were so many varieties.) I was doing okay, albeit a bit shaky. But then a left hand turn came, and there was a big truck in the way, and I had a panic moment. Turning at a slow speed is still very challenging for me, because you kind of have to go against what seems intuitive to execute a proper turn, looking all the way through the turn to your exit. That means observing what’s right in front of you only in your periphery.
So the truck was there and in order to turn I basically need to put on X-ray specs and look throughthe truck to the clear road beyond (assuming it was clear, as everyone else was turning that way). I did not do this; instead I pulled over into a ditch halfway through the turn. And then upon attempting to get out of said ditch, I dumped the bike, in slow motion. Sort of gently letting it lie down.
It wasn’t that bad, and yes, I did the exact thing trying to get out of a gravel ditch the day we rode from NYC to Springfield. It was more a confidence shaker than a bone shaker, if that makes sense. I was going zero miles an hour.
The funny thing is, that’s the time when you are most likely to dump a bike. All that highway riding is cake. It’s the subtle, small and slow maneuvers which really take the hutzpah.
Luckily there were a pair of intrepid travelers right behind me who jumped to help… to be continued when I have a spare moment!