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First Post, The Belt Driven Life

This is the post excerpt.

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Welcome! I would love to help you with your decision to get into or try Motorcycles. It has really changed my life for the better. I am sure you have been thinking and reading about it, and that is what brought you to my blog! I would love the chance to talk with you during your journey!

What do Riders think about…..

Ever get a song stuck in your head while out on the road aboard your beloved motorcycle? With me it’s usually the ones I don’t like, AND don’t know all the words to.

But stuck songs do happen and I love when it’s a good one, something from Korn, or a good driving in traffic song like Dope’s ‘DMFD’. If you haven’t had the pleasure, give it a whirl. It will make your rush hour commute a lot more enjoyable.

But I do wonder what other riders think about… especially those who don’t have sound systems on their bikes. I know that I can probably safely say that for the women riders out there, thoughts run the gamut. It’s you men I wonder about the most. I know my better half when asked will tell me he’s not thinking about anything. How is that possible? Is it a Zen like state that only males of our species can accomplish?

If you have found me and have a profound or even silly thought to share, please do. I would love to hear from you!

Love and good rides,

The Dyna Girl

Traffic Mayhem

Ugh….People.

At least SOME of them have a little respect for Bikers. Well, they probably shit themselves around Bikers, but Bike Riders, maybe not so much.

Take this morning for instance.

I am riding along, minding my own business, doing the posted 45 mph speed limit plus a little. Along on my left comes a huge silver SUV hauling ass to get to the red light in front of me. I could understand this maneuver if the intersection we were approaching was ½ a mile away, but no, it was more like a couple hundred yards so what is the point?

So this SUV swerves in front of me and slams on brakes behind a waiting car. I slide up next to him and stop by his driver side window and look at him like his mother would. ‘What is wrong with you?’ I shout as he hasn’t rolled down his window to greet me. I have no filter or disengagement button so…..I get the usual blank stare in a hoodie that you see on a lot of younger folk. Then he TAKES OFF,.. hauls ass to the light again but this time cutting in front of my bike and stopping 50 yards away at the left turn signal, probably four to five cars away?

So I walk my bike back into my lane to watch. What will Itty Bitty idiot do next? Well this all happened in about a 20 second time span, so I guess the guy in the approaching 4×4 saw the entire transaction between myself and SUV, including the cut off passing move he made. 4×4 stops behind SUV and when the turn signal goes green, SUV just sits there. But much to my delight 4×4 laid on his horn. SUV acts like he doesn’t know what to do and just sits there. More horn from 4×4….finally SUV turns left, and I really don’t think he intended to go that way at all.

The funny part is I can still hear 4×4 blowing his horn at SUV as they continue down the road.

LOL Justice

Getting that Endorsement – Day Two

By the end of the first day, the instructors had us practicing driving our assigned bikes around the lot in speeds up to 2nd gear, around 20 mph. There wasn’t enough room to really go any faster….thank goodness because if anybody on team ‘learn to ride’….. I am pretty sure it would be me.

Klutz factor 97%

Begin day two, more of day one, except with more of us riding the course at the same time. I think this was meant to simulate the feel of traffic. We learned how to come to a complete stop, always a good trick to have in your basket. We also learned how to ride over road obstacles like loose 2×4’s on the highway. Another nifty thing they attempted to instill in our riding cache was moving the bike with your body by way of weight displacement. If you have ever watched anyone ride a motorcycle for any length of time you have seen this in action. It’s that quick little scooch back and forth that a rider will make with their hips that causes the bike to shift left to right fairly quickly. Now that portion of the class was funny to watch.

By the end of the day we were all fairly confident in our abilities, zipping around our instructors, sometimes experiencing speeds up to 20 miles per. Finally, towards the end of the day came the announcement that we had reached the final portion of the class, the pass or fail riding test. We would line up and perform each exercise in front of our instructors while riding solo on the course. So not only would our teachers be watching us closely and dissecting our every move, but so would the rest of the class. UGH. I don’t test well, and this is possible humiliation display on a monumental scale. But we must do it if we want to get better, or get on the road period. So let’s have it. Bring on the Cones.

After we all went through each exercise we got to help put the bikes away and have some much deserved shade time and cold water. The senior instructor called us each up one by one for a private discussion of our scores, and what we needed to focus on to improve our skills. I was shocked beyond belief that I had passed the class, and would be receiving my riders’ endorsement that afternoon. In fact we all passed that day, which was surprising because we all had our little moments during the class and during the course. There were cones run over, curves driven through in straight lines, directions not followed and exercises done in reverse. There was even a poor bloke who had to take a ‘time out’ and park his bike while we all continued with class because he forgot to raise his kick-stand and made a lap or two around the course on the bike with it scraping the cement.

So in conclusion of this portion of my writing, I want to urge you to get out there and give it a shot. If you have thought about riding a motorcycle get out there and give it some of your attention. Don’t put it off. Life is too short to live with regrets. Getting my endorsement was one of my most proud moments in my life. I drove home that day, sunburned, hot, tired, but with the biggest, most well -earned grin on my face I had experienced in a LONG TIME.

Getting that endorsement-Day 1

The one question that people ask me most about learning to ride a motorcycle is ‘Were you scared/nervous?’ Yes and yes. I knew how to drive a standard shift in a car, but in my mind it would be a horrific experience that the left side of my body would reject.

Violently

I would end up thrown onto the pavement, attempting to hide my embarrassment with jokes as usual. There was another female in our class so I didn’t feel TOO out of my element. I have never been one of those girls who shied away from trying something just because it wasn’t a typical female activity. You could say I was a bit of a Tom boy, with my experiences riding pigs, you get the picture. The one thing beside brute determination that I DID lack though, is confidence. Things had happened to me in life that left me somewhat lacking in the self-esteem department, but that’s an entire book in itself so we will leave that here.

The first part of the class was general motorcycle safety – book style. We took turns introducing ourselves and got on with it. We went over projected slides with our two instructors that showed us the gear we should wear, how to look ahead and into where you are going, how to look for a bail out spot in case things went awry, stuff like that. Following this we had a written exam that allowed them to see how well we had paid attention. We all passed so we were dismissed from the classroom so that we could drive to the training course a few miles from there.

Upon arrival there was a class finishing up ahead of us so we got to watch what they were doing for a moment. The course was laid out in a typical drivers education sized asphalt pad at a local high school. I don’t know if you have ever been in one of those classes, but I myself have an extremely difficult time separating cones and ground paint into drive-able lanes. I watched and continued to chant my mantra ‘you can do this’ to myself nonstop.

Once we were called onto the class area, they wasted no time warming us up to the idea we were about to ride motorcycles. We were led to rows of Bikes and told to ‘pick one’. They had names on their tags and would be our bikes for the extent of the 2 day training. I chose a midnight blue Kawasaki 250 named “Sholbob’. We were shown how to stand beside the bikes first off closely followed by how to properly place ourselves onto them. After we were all seated we went over the different switches, toggles and levers that each contained.  They identified brake pedals and throttles, what would make you stop and what would make you go. Still nervous I knew we were running low on sitting still time, I was in a class to learn to RIDE after all.

The moment to get to the actual riding part of the class was finally upon us. But first, to my joyous surprise, the instructors introduced us novices to a novel idea called clutch friction.  This is the ‘grab’ that the clutch being released has on the belt that makes the wheels on a motorcycle turn, no touching of the throttle required. Now –  it will only take you so fast in first gear, but at that time, it was perfect for me. I had no desire to shift into anything. So we sailed around the empty, cone-less course getting used to riding those two wheels in first gear. Now THAT was fun. I really felt like I had accomplished something there!

I had successfully ridden a motorcycle. I know I was only driving in a small oval at 15 Miles per hour…..but I was doing it. Needless to say that first exercise left me starving for more.

*Next up –  Endorsement class day two…..will she pass?

Thinking about riding a motorcycle?

Riding is in my DNA. From whom I inherited this gene I have no idea. The only other person in my family that even showed any interest in riding anything was my aunt Ina, my mother’s sister. She loved horses, but ironically we never rode together. But that is one of the strange facts about my family. Fierce defense and love, but hardly any time well spent having fun together. I guess everybody was just too busy surviving.

So, since my early childhood days, say age 7 and up, I have ridden….something. There were my early days in the 1970s. Most days I could be found outside with my only available playmate, my male cousin of approximately the same age, tearing around the dirt circle drive in my neighborhood on my Banana seat bicycle. Hoyle Playing Cards firmly attached to the frame via wooden clothespins, pumping pedals furiously towards the ramps to copy the latest feat by our hero Evel Kinevel. No helmets, no shoes; just warm sunshine, cutoff denim shorts, hard dirt roads and true grit. There was also a Hog once, a big spotted 300lbs whopper that we would climb on and hang onto for dear life while it rand as fast as its pork chops could go, straight down the long dirt drive towards the road where there were drunks drove to meet their buddy’s at the Fish Camp. It’s a wonder we survive childhood, but as they say, what doesn’t kill us….

As I got older I realized I needed a horse. My Parents succumbed and bought the pony that the boys in the next neighborhood over would beat around the neighborhood with sticks. They were all too old and too tall for her, and she hated them all.  I could tell. She was purchased for 50$ and my dad loaded her into the back of his 1960’s pick- up truck using piece of ¾ inch plywood. The trip was only 2 miles down a rarely used road and it only worked because we didn’t know any better. We were poor and used to getting things done however we could, the right way or our way.

Horse dominated my life, even after I met my husband. It was 1994 and he had a Sportster 883. I thought he was cool. Looking back it’s a wonder the poor bike made it with both of us one it. But, we were younger and slimmer back then. All of his friends had Motorcycles and we would go to Bike Week in Daytona every year. It wasn’t until 2011 on out anniversary that I knew he REALLY wanted me to ride on my own. He had graduated to a CVO by then, but still. I received as my anniversary gift a hand written coupon for Motorcycle Classes whenever I felt ready. That time wouldn’t come until June 2016.

I signed up, scared to death.

*Coming up-my first time on a motorcycle NOT riding Bitch.