Friday, January 22, 2010

Embarrassing Moments in Riding

Embarrassing Moments in Riding

I have had many embarrassing moments as a motorcycle rider when I hoped and prayed no one was watching. I’ve only been riding for a year and a half or so now and at times I still feel like a bull in a china store on two wheels, with a blindfold on. Here for your entertainment and pleasure, in no particular order is a list of some the stupider things I’ve done. Kids, please don’t try these at home.

I have managed to walk in the house with my helmet still on, looking like an astronaut walking on the moon, a couple of times, not on purpose. Duh!

I’ve leaned over forgetting my helmet was on with the extra clearance needed, and banged it on things, so much for keeping it in pristine condition. Is klutziness inherited or communicable?

I’ve knocked my helmet off the bike onto the cement scuffing it up. Permanent marks don’t you know and I’m still looking for decals to cover them up.

Almost looking like a cheap fake bake, I have gotten sunburned on my face, ears and hands from not wearing sunscreen on a long bike ride. I now carry a bottle in my saddlebag, thank you.

I’ve been caught in the rain and my clear riding glasses smeared with road grime when I tried to wipe them off with my gloves so bad I could not see out them any more. I finished riding home looking over the top of the glasses. I learned my lesson and will no longer attempt to wipe them once it starts to rain; it’s hard to ride by sense of smell and sound.

I rode off from work half cocked once without strapping my half helmet on and had to pull over off the access road, remove my gloves and fasten it on. Boy did I feel like an idiot. Maybe I am?

I’ve driven off haphazardly several times forgetting to put my eye protection on. My windshield does not block everything from hitting my face, that’s for sure.

I found out that new leather boots are not waterproof and need to be sprayed down with something to waterproof them. Then I found out that you have to reapply the water proofer periodically ever few months or the boots will loose their waterproofness.

One time I neglected to buckle my saddlebag just closing the lid and wound up loosing a good pair of clear riding glasses on my way to a bike night. That’s just brilliant, huh?

Not long after getting the bike I almost dropped it the first or second time I pulled out of my driveway on my way to practice riding at a nearby parking lot. I ended up with a black and blue bruised up and soar leg from that one. OK, so Evil Knievel I’m not.

I completely lost one whole saddlebag while riding home once when I was exiting the freeway. I felt like a two inch tall moron in leather pulling over to walk back and get it. At least I can still use the damaged bag, go figure.

I stalled the engine once like a teenager learning how to drive a standard transmission, after coming to a stop to make a left hand turn into my neighborhood. I think I was too distracted by the cager coming up fast on my six.

One really freezing cold day I got stuck in traffic on the freeway while on the way home from work and the motor was not warmed up enough with the enrichment lever (choke) turned off and it stalled while I was in the fast lane when I came to a stop and I had to pull over to the left shoulder to restart the bike, and I call myself a commuter, geesh.

On at least two occasions I have gone to put the kickstand down and my foot lost grip and slipped leaving my leg above my ankle with a nice scrape down it. I must confess that I may not have been wearing the proper riding foot gear at the time which may have contributed to my pain. What does ATGAT stand for again?

Believe it or not, plastic melts on hot engine. I found that out one day when I left the end cover of my battery tender connector loose and it laid a little too close to the rear cylinder head. It also makes a strange burning odor when this happens.

Several times I’ve had to make the biker “Ya, I’m Cool” move putting my left foot up on the floorboard, while checking to make sure the bikes in first gear. Yes, I’m so cool I’m downright cold.

I have accidently taken off from stops in second or third gear, having forgotten to down shift when coming to the stop. That’s a real impressive look taking off lugging the poor little V-Twin down slowly gaining speed like a trolling motor pulling a forty foot yacht. What was I thinking, or, maybe not?

Every now and then I still hit neutral instead of first or second up-shifting or downshifting. Some times I hit it several times in a row for effect. Yes, that was me revving up the engine and not going any where fast.

One cold but blindingly bright day I put down the internal smoke colored visor inside of my full face helmet as I drove off from work. It immediately fogged up so I could not see, and I was in traffic. Feeling like Stevie Wonder on two wheels, I attempted to put it up but could not feel the lever with my winter riding gloves on, so I opened the face shield and popped it back up. Then when the regular shield started fogging I tried to open the shield and could not open it. When I got home I found that I had accidently locked the visor down tight like a chastity belt when I attempted to put the inner visor up. At least I had not permanently broken something.

Once, like a football player in his first ballet class, I was turning into my neighborhood and had not slowed down enough, so I swung way too wide, and headed for the right curb like a bird spotting a new clean car. Target fixation had kicked in but I managed to lean her so far enough over I scraped the left floorboard with a jolt. I still managed to slightly scrape the right curb with the other floorboard and I almost dropped her. I’m sure the people in the neighborhood watching were probably wondering what the heck I was doing. Just think of all the sparks if it would have been darker.

I hope you got some laughs on my behalf, and maybe, just maybe, picked up a tip or two so as not to replicate any of my stupid antics. Please feel free to share some of your own; it’s a lot easier now that I got rid of that other comment program.

Ride on,