When I finished the MSF class, I thought I was ready to ride.
When I sat on the little used SV650 in the ValuCycle showroom, it seemed perfect.
When I went back to pick it up, though, somehow I’d grown shorter and clumsier and the bike seemed much larger and taller. My friend suggested I ride it around the parking lot before we took off. I did OK at first, but I was terribly wobbly. Then I grabbed a fistful of throttle, my fingers slipped off the clutch, and I jumped the curb, falling over in the grass. Oh. Jeez.
My friend helped me pick up the bike and roll it back over the curb. Let’s try it again. I slowly wobbled around the parking lot a few times and thought I was making progress. But as I stood straddling the bike on the slanted parking lot, I started to lean, and the bike suddenly became too heavy. I yelped, but my friend couldn’t grab fast enough, and I dropped the bike on its left side on the pavement. Broke the clutch lever and bent up the shifter, but the frame sliders kept it from being even worse.
I was mortified. I went inside and told the guys at the dealership that I’d dumped it and they said the usual comforting things: “Aw, we’ve had guys go through the fence and out onto the road.” It began to dawn on me that I’d bitten off a lot more than I could chew, but I couldn’t give up. Luckily, the dealership has a repair shop, and I arranged for them to lower the bike and repair the damage.
I rode home on the back of my friend’s bike, really despondent. Maybe I didn’t know my limits. Maybe I was in over my head. I was as close to tears as I’d been in a very long time. And I’m not a crybaby.
(To be continued)