At about 15 or 16 years old my daughter decided she wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I was roadracing at the time and she had come out the track a few times but somehow the ‘bug’ never got her. Until, she met a boy who rode motorcycles. Great? Well, at least it was better than falling for a surfer or football player…maybe?
“Dad, teach me to ride!!!” I was one happy guy. My daughter had gotten ‘the bug’. The good thing was we had a little Honda ‘Step Thru’ (a 1959 Honda Super Cub) in the garage that was a perfect basic trainer. Ok, that training session lasted about 15 minutes…”Dad, can I ride ‘The Mighty 350?”
Now this is one of my prized motorcycles…it’s not a museum piece, it’s just a bike I have had forever and have ridden everywhere. In a weak moment I agreed to teach her to ride on ‘The Mighty 350’. By the way, ‘The Mighty 350’ is a 1972 Honda CB350 with a sh#t load of miles on it. Again after about 15 minutes, my daughter was off into the sunset. She returned an hour or so later with a great big grin on her face.
Leah moved her way up onto her brothers Honda HawkGT but as she has told me many times, it was that little Honda Super Cub that really gave her the biggest fun.
The boy she had met was also a roadracer. While out at the race track on weekend, she and her friends decided to take on the boys to see who was fastest. The boys were quite surprised.
So, yesterday was worldwide ‘Ride To Work Day’. I’m all for that, I’ve been commuting to work on my motorcycle for more years than I care to remember or can remember for that matter. I have ridden to work in every weather condition from snow to rain,to blistering heat. You just deal with it and eventually get used to it. The life of a motorcyclist.
Over the years my commute has gone from as little as ten miles round trip to one hundred ten round trip. Years of splitting lanes on the Southern California Freeways raised my blood pressure and stress level. But it is a way of life that becomes normal.
I have commuted on everything from a Bultaco Matador to a Honda SL350, a Yamaha RD250 to a Triumph Bonneville, a Ducati Darmah to back on a Honda 350. You name it, it’s been in the company parking lot.
Riding to work in a business suit get’s some unusual looks, I developed a bit of a reputation in Albuquerque as the ‘radio station guy on the motorcycle’, I’m not sure if it was a good reputation though. Riding to and a from a motorcycle dealership each day I think is a rule, and to a surf shop raises only a few eyebrows. Again, it’s just all part of being a motorcyclist.
Commuting on a motorcycle has it’s hazards. We have all heard the stories of accidents at intersections and on the freeways, the old story of “I didn’t see you”. If more people did ride a motorcycle or scooter to work, more automobile drivers would see us and may start to pay better attention to the two wheel commuter. That would make our daily travels to work a bit less stressful, don’t you think?
I still commute to work on my motorbike, some habits are hard to break. My commute has a changed a bit though, but I wouldn’t trade riding a bike to work for anything.