INSUFFICIENT BIPEDAL Mammal
Eight hours of saddle-time, and only one night of rough sleep due to lower-back pain. But let me tell you how much I hate being a normal human being now -- it sucks. There's a lackluster void of sensationalism in just walking about.
I look outside, and my skin is transformed with the thought of a forty-kilometer cruise through a shaded side-street. What is this disdain I gain for the real world, the more time I spend on this solitary seat?
"Whatever it is, it's better in the wind."
Never stuck in Traffic
It's hard to quantify my love for the road when I'm one of few that has zero qualms being "in traffic" for a while. Naiveté aside, I finally got to take Silverella out into the real world -- or at least the world of sixty-kilometer city streets. But to me, at this stage, this was the open ocean.
The worry sat in my mind for less than a minute when I found out we'd be hitting the bigger roads and going for a "real ride" that morning. This being only my fourth session with High Gear School. Quickly, my confidence in the relationship I'd been building up until that point with my little Suzuki TU250 reminded me that I had nothing to panic about. We'd both worked rather hard in order to get to the level of comfort we were at. Once we got out there -- turned left onto 4th Ave -- it showed.
No hesitations, quickly and smoothly shifting to get up to traffic speed. Though it did take me a while to realize she wanted to hold sixty-kilometers in 3rd gear, and not be pushing through the roof of 2nd.
Some motorcyclists that I've spoken to since this first trip out to the west of Vancouver share a lot of the same sentiment. Roads are a bit shit, but the ride is astounding.
A few hairy situations later -- a place along the route back from UBC had some uneven pavement and my poor bike's back tire kept kicking out a bit every time I tried to cross over it -- and I'd found my groove.
Left a bit, straighten 'er up a bit. Yeah.
Fast learner or not, I became fluent and comfortable in "normal street situations." Testing, and slow speed manuvering however, needs a bit (maybe a bunch) of work.
Lost & Found
There's a sensation that every rider I've ever spoken to or heard from attempts to describe with little to no avail. This thing that removes reality from the current situation and makes a person solely exist in the place at hand, at the speed you need, in the time you're there.
Riding, it turns out, takes so much concentration and attention to the present, that it's no wonder people find zen in the practice of it. I worried for nothing outside of the current. I wanted for nothing but some green lights and a breeze. I contemplated nil beyond the place I was living in that bubble of time.
I found it.
A thing that I had never owned, but have been spying my entire life. I kicked open a door and brushed passed the threshold of the idea that yeah, this is for me.
In my latest lesson, I had asked if I could try -- for a few minutes -- a motorcycle with a larger engine so that I could feel less intimidated when going out to scout potential seller's bikes. Up until this point I have been bookmarking, and chatting with those looking to offload a decent starter bike that will take me into the next stage of this adventure at the very least, weekends away.
Luckily, a brand new Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 in an Ocean's Breeze Blue shade, awaited me.
One lesson learned with haste is that trust is earned with approaching a new (and in particular more powerful) bike leaving your intimidation behind.
Initially, when I came around the corner and spotted both the Ducati, and my instructor's BMW, I assumed that my beloved Suzuki was not joining us. But after a morning coffee, and a short chat, I approached Ocean Breeze with a bright smile, an itch to acquaint, and a ripe need for some wind up m sleeve.
Even though I broke the Ducati within the first 10 minutes, onward we eventually drove.
First impressions were the obvious. Doubling my comfortable horsepower and engine size meant a little more jump off the stop. While I pride myself in my clutch / throttle control after such little time on a motorcycle, it is something you have to -- at least in small part -- relearn with every new bike you sit on.
Breezy and I became fast friends. Parts of the stretch ride to UBC where I would have struggled a bit to keep up with traffic, or the lead rider, were a breeze with this punchy -- obviously made by a sports bike company -- little scrambler.
The name is a bit of a misdirection. True, Ducati saw this as their ability to keep up with an ever-growing market of people who'd like to have a bit of a rougher jaunt with their city bike. However, you don't feel like you're scrambling for anything. Except for the parts that break off. *see our YouTube channel for that fun clip*
COMING SOON ON RT
- My butt sits on dozens of Motorcycles
- What Gear did I buy?
- Shopping for my first motorcycle