Joined: Sep 2005
Location: much too close to San Francisco :P
whooooeeeee I LOVE this thread!
I'll phrase the first question in my Mom's exact words, "WTF were you thinking?" (5 years later her opinion hasn't changed)
Good question. I believe I've related elsewhere my first utterly disasterous acquaintance with a bike, in the person of my idiot scumbag Hell's Angels wannbe brother-in-law and his Harley when I was 15; the time that he decided to terrify the kid sis by taking her for a ride sans helmets or instructions and gunned it into a high speed knee scraper type sudden turn...and I leaned the other way instinctively. Served him right! His shrieking screaming name calling assertion that I had almost killed us sent me walking back home with the firm conviction that all bikes and bikers were dangerous, and I stayed far far away for years.
Then someone I knew and trusted informed me --to my utter shock-- that he was a motorcyclist while I was grad school (about 24) and invited me to re examine the issue. (That I actually did prompts a Harley rider I know currently to say I have big brass ones ) Turned out he was an MSF instructor, and you can imagine the differences in the way he went about doing a passenger ride. I rethought the matter and decided SOME bikers are dangerous assholes.
Almost 30, and my fiance is a bike freak with a Yamaha XT, street legal. I rode behind him now and then. 30, and one day he says to me he can't imgaine spending forever with someone who doesn;t love them as much as he does. I agree to try operating the XT in the big empty KMart parking lot at dawn....fateful decision. It ain't NUTHIN like riding behind, is it? I had not gone ten feet before I was totally permanently hooked. I rode around the bloody lot doing circles, figure 8s, circling the light posts, yelling WHEEE!!!! and URBAN PONY!!!!! like a madwoman, grinnning that maniac grin, and leaving my fiance in the dust. He couldn't get me to stop!
As soon as I got home I called and enrolled in MSF. (And can someone PLEASE explain to me WHY, in a class where they provided the bikes, a sea of 125s and 2 250s, I had enormous trouble with the 125s? Slow speed manuvers oopsies, stalling them out, dropping them...how on earth can a novice do better with a bigger engine and a heavier bike?!?) After taking the license I got a Kaw midsize.
What was I thinking? From the moment I felt the XT balance and took off I never stopped thinking "WHEEEEE!!!! URBAN PONY!!!!!!"
But if we're gonna bring mom into this....she never saw the little Kaw. It wasn't until a few months later, when I'd sold it and bought a BIG Kaw --750cc-- that she knew about this, when I went home for a visit, pulling into the gravel drive and carefully scraping a nice level dirt spot for the kickstand with one foot before setting it down and walking up to the house. She stodd there with saucer-sized eyes, looking from the bike...to me...and her eyes slowly traveled the length of my gear and stopped on my helmet. You could just hear her thinking "Oh....My....God....." and then disbelieving it because of the example of my borther-in-law, and THEN realizing I was better protected than he'd ever been riding...and not caring!
But what she said was, "Come in and have some coffee". And she never once attempted to get me to reconsider. Smart woman....
2. What was your first bike?
80 something Kawasaki 454 or 440 LTD
3. How do you feel about starting so late?
Just fine. It came when it was time. Earlier I had way too much else to deal with and take care of.
4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
After the Kaw 750, there was the BMW K75. I loved that bike like a family member, went everywhere and did everything with it, from dirt country roads, to gravel, to fields, to claycuts, to freeway to paved streets to the airports, daily and recreational riding, all over the bloody state of California and a bit of the surrounding area. I have trouble understanding why people call it "the flying brick" or talk about how it hasn't got enough get up and go, or can't go anywhere that is not paved, or is no fun, or...etc etc etc.
The silver baby K was wrecked by an asshat in a car, who darned near wrecked me too. Now I am back with a Kaw little bike, a 440 LTD junker. It needs tires, which I just got, and when I have found a eway to get them on it I'll be out and about again.
But I dream of another K bike...just like my lost baby. Someday...