As a professional motorcycle riding coach I work with all types and styles of riders. There are those that are scared of the streets, those that aren’t quite sure if they should be riding a motorcycle at all and those that have more ego than ability. This article is about the latter and it is very serious to me.
I recently acquired a client that is just learning to ride and so is her husband. He passed the MSF course and she didn’t. He bought himself a high powered Sportbike and off he went thinking he knew everything about riding a motorcycle. “coming into a corner too fast…just lean it over more”. That is what he said to his wife who has never been out of first gear.
I took them to dealership to buy her a motorcycle. We found what I believed to a good choice for her but the husband wanted her to have something more like his. A motorcycle way out of her ability. So this what I have to work with. After a few sessions of private training in a parking lot (which I had to ride her bike to…) she started to develop some OK skills. Was she street ready, no.
On a day we had scheduled for a coaching session she told me that her husband and son (both beginner riders) told her she didn’t need any more help, she was ready to go, so off she went. Her son rode her motorcycle home from their shop where she kept the bike (and crashed in their parking lot) and then her husband took her out to ride around the neighborhood. I went out one time and rode with them. Honestly I had never been more scared for a rider than that day. But there was nothing I could do. I don’t want to get in between a husband with more ego than ability and his wife. Telling someone who has never been out of second gear that they are ready to get on the highway when you shouldn’t be yourself…??? I have video of the two of them and to be honest , she actually rides better than he does.
There is a lot more to this story but I’ll let it go here. I am concerned about the wife but more than that I am concerned about the husband…more ego than ability. Wise old saying “Never twist the throttle with your ego”
I just needed to get this off my chest because I care.
There is a saying, If you want to be happy for a day…drink. If you want to happy for a year… get married. If you want to be happy for life…ride a motorcycle.
When I started traveling on a motorcycle I found a peace that even the Hippies of the Sixties didn’t know about. It was the connection between man and machine and all that Mother Nature can throw at you then at the end of the day you set up camp (or crash at a cheap motel) and reflect on your day and a big smile shows up on your face.
The reason this blog is called Helmet Time is because inside your helmet you have times of heavy concentration and others that you are just enjoying where you are at. The feel of the weather, the ability to look all around, take in the beauty with no impediments. The feeling of your motorcycle whether it be an ultra smooth multi cylinder Tourer or a vibrating thumping Tourer, you settle into a state of pure bliss. I’m on my motorcycle.
Very few cars offer a true connection… with air conditioning, power widows to seal everything out and a stereo system that shakes the road and power steering, most cars isolate you from the world. But on a motorcycle you feel the world. On a motorcycle you need to be aware of everything, and that is part of the enjoyment of riding. You’re engaged, you’re focused and that is a form of meditation. Body and mind come together along with your machine, you have a flow. Settle into it and enjoy every moment…well unless you happen to have to commute on the 405 Freeway in Southern California then you know you did something bad in a past life and you’re having to repent.
Oh, and when you’re meditating on your motorcycle, try not to be this relaxed!!!
Ride safe, Ride Far and I’ll see you on the road…Paul
Well, 2016 has been quite a year…no kidding! we’ve lost so many great entertainers (I don’t care about politicians that have left this world), but some really cool people…Prince, Princess Leia, Zaza Gabor, Mrs. Brady, Arnold Palmer (I’m a lousy golfer and wish I could have taken lessons from him!!), Muhammed Ali, Merle Haggard, Abe Vigoda , David Bowie, even Grizzly Adams has passed away.
So instead of being melancholy about these and many others that have entertained us over the years that passed away this year I decided to have a few friends over to celebrate their lives. Let’s have a party, I’ll provide the beer.
Here’s to a much merrier 2017 and a lot of good riding…and if Santa brought you a new motorcycle you must have nice and not naughty….
I have a four year old Grand daughter, when did I get old enough to have a grand daughter? Uh, just look in the mirror. Oh.
She is smart, fearless and loves trying almost anything except spicy foods…she’ll learn. Here is where the good part comes in. She loves her daddy’s motorcycle. She sits on it whenever it’s not covered and always asks daddy to start it.
Daddy didn’t get into motorcycles until he came home from a three month trip to Europe where on a Greek Island he rented a small bike and toured the island. I picked him up at the airport and on the way home he asked if he could ride one of our motorcycles. I said sure, but why? He said “I finally get it, I know why you love motorcycles”.
He slept most of the next day (jet lag) then woke up and went looking for a helmet. I put him on a Honda CB350 and we headed off. From there it was various riding and racing schools, 24 hour endurance races, sprint racing, commuting from Ventura to UCLA everyday…his life was on two wheels.
Fast forward a few years and he has a daughter that also loves motorcycles. He’s doomed.
A few years back I retired from Road Racing. I do miss it but fortunately I can live vicariously through friends that still do. Nowadays I travel a lot on my bike, teach others how to ride better and lead tours. Not a bad motorcycling life.
But, I can’t deny my attraction to the race track. “Once a racer, always a racer” is how the saying goes. Recently I found a perfect way to get back on the race track without raising my health insurance policy rates, having my life insurance policy cancelled and my family not worrying about me…or counting on the life insurance money.
I was up north visiting friends, having a BBQ, you know the basic hamburger and hot dog affair, and some fun on the track. It was a track day that I was really looking forward to but somehow turned a little different than what I expected.