When I was 12 a kid down the street got a Sears Moped. While my friends and I were riding solo on a bicycle, he was tooling around town with girls on the back. I begged my father for a moped. He made it very clear that if I ever asked again he would kill me.
Fast Forward 37 years. My best friend and I are out fishing one day when he casually mentions that when he turns 50 a year later he is buying a motorcycle and taking a month-long trip out west. I immediately said count me in.
We took the MSF new rider course and, against everyone's advice, I bought a bike that was way too much for my skill level: a BMW R1100R. On my first day of ownership I decided to ride over to my friend's house and show off my new (used) bike. It was a hot, humid summer day and I was dressed in all the gear. I stopped at my first stop sign. I dropped the bike. I finally got it up on two wheels and continued on. I reached my friend's neighborhood and stopped at another stop sign. I pulled out and turned left. My hand grabbed way too much throttle and I ripped across the street, into his neighbor's yard and crashed into a yard man's trailer. Fortunately, the bike was fine but my ego was shot to Hell.
For days I would look out of my second story window and see the BMW sitting there in the driveway, all the while getting a major pit in my stomach. WTF had I done? I would have quit riding at that point but too many of my friends knew I was getting into riding and my damaged ego could take no more abuse.
A few days later I decided to venture over to the empty Vanderbilt University parking lots near my house and practice stopping, turning, etc. After a couple of hours of learning throttle control it was time for the highway.
After about 6 months of riding, my friend and I rode to Atlanta and took the two-day Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School course at Road Atlanta. It all finally came together and riding became the fun I hoped it would be.
The next summer we made a 25-day trip to Colorado. It was the trip of a lifetime and I was hooked.
Now, at 53, I am riding a 2004 DL1000 vStrom and a 2001 Aprilia Futura.
The morals of the story are; first, it's never too late to do the things in life you really want to do. Second, when people tell you not to buy a 1000cc, 550 pound bike as your first ride, listen to them.
bojohnson screwed with this post 10-08-2005 at 11:38 AM