Thanks TKO, and yes, the winds here are ridiculous. That's the #1 thing I hated on my bicycle as well.
Originally Posted by BillsR100
if you can learn to handle that kind of slippery gravel, you've got it made!!
This is reassuring. I didn't expect that ball-bearing feeling, but that's what it felt like to me too.
I took my second ride out of the city today, and no falls this time! I couldn't summon the courage to try standing, and I tried to rationalize it by saying to myself, "I'll try standing once I'm not clenching the bars like a maniac while seated."
No drama on today's ride, but I continue to be disappointed with my low-speed control. I crossed opposing lanes when turning right and couldn't do a U-turn in one go; had to swing my foot once, and generally just felt clumsy. Once I was back to the familiar parking lot near home, I practiced all kinds of low-speed maneuvering. Besides just holding the throttle steady while making a tight 180 turn, my other issue was starting from a stop and immediately dipping into that 180 turn. Practicing in the lot, I could tell my arms were locking and I kept looking in the wrong places. After some practice, it improved significantly. More interestingly, here's a few pictures from today:
I visited the small town of Sedgwick today. Never been there before even though it's 20 miles from Wichita.
This little cat peeked out from the sewer to see what was making a ruckus, but he dove back in when I tried to approach:
While in Sedgwick, I came across two guys around a Harley, talking in their driveway. I had just gotten into town and my hands were nearly numb, so I stopped and asked if I could warm up there. They were fine with it. I found out one of them was a buyer, and the other the seller. I had interrupted their transaction.
I mentioned I had come from Wichita, and they were shocked considering the temperature. I told them I was a new rider trying to avoid traffic-filled roads. The seller told a story about a bug hitting him near the eye, leaving a bruise down his nose. I pointed to my helmet and said, "My goggles should prevent that." Then he said to watch out for bugs that ram into your chest. "I'm covered there too." I opened my coat and knocked on my body armor. "Man, you're wearin' all the stuff for the professionals."
Now... I've heard plenty of Harley bashing here, but read that again. He just gave two personal, real-life examples of things that injured him on his bike; I pointed out how I am protected from such damage; then he claimed that my protection was for professionals. That is simply irrational.
Anyways, they both mentioned how they'd be "uncomfortable in all that stuff", and I let it go. They were easy-going guys, and they wished me good luck as I took off.
On the way back, I rode past a frozen river (an indication of the weather):
Just above, there were several snapped lures hanging from the power lines:
Some random abandoned concrete silo thing (the birds loved it):
A dead end road with some nice houses on it:
And finally, a private drive that really tempted me:
I also passed my first other rider. He was riding a Harley and he was properly bundled for the conditions. He gave a wave back, and we carried on. I never want to get into a divisive mindset. I enjoy that camaraderie. Stereotypes aside, I want to continue being part of the biking community as a whole.