Lessons From The Ride

Took a little ride on the Triumph yesterday. First time I’ve had the bike out in several weeks. Here is what I learned:

1. I need to lose weight! I already knew that, but zipping up my size 40 “Stich” with a heated jacket under it was a bit of an eye opener. The Aerostich Roadcrafter is my go to suit when I don’t want to be reminded that my riding pants are too tight and that I need to lose weight. Well, the one-piece suit apparently has joined forces with my other gear to convince me it is “gym and diet” time. It is cheaper to lose weight than to buy more riding gear. Of course, I’ve been telling myself that for years, and I now have boxes full of gear of various sizes that I can no longer wear!

2. I need to sign up for a yoga class! Swinging my leg over the bike with all my gear on is not as easy a task as it used to be. I am stiff. I used to enjoy watching my father-in-law and his buddies try to swing their legs over my bikes and nearly fall down in the process. “Ha ha! What’s the matter old man?” Well, you know what they say about last laughs…I take it all back Crum!

3. My bikes need to lose weight too. I do not want to own another large, heavy, tall motorcycle. Well, hell, that rules out half the bikes I’ve been looking at. After getting on the Street Triple in all my gear, I realized how much more uncomfortable I would have been if I had been riding a large machine. I”m not asking for much; I just want some wind protection, hard luggage, an exciting motor, a 32″ seat height or less and a wet weight under 500lbs…nope, not much at all!

4. Some days you are in the groove…and some days you are not. I have owned the Street Triple for about 3.5 years. I have always appreciated the front brake on this machine. Powerful, yet very easy to modulate. The more I ride it, the more comfortable I am with it. And then you get too comfortable…or just out of the groove. I hadn’t been riding more than 15 minutes, turned down a twisty backroad, cracked the whip…and encountered a Buzzard or Turkey Vulture or whatever you prefer to call them. He was happily enjoying a mid-day snack of the dead deer alongside the road and I interrupted his feast. I’ve danced with them before and I know they are slow to fly. So what does dear Mr. Buzzard do? Raises up and flies right into my path! This bird looks like he’s got the same problem I do…he’s been eating too good! Huge! I really don’t want to hit him and it looks like he is going to run headfirst into my helmet…not my first choice. So, I grab the brakes. I manage the front just fine; predictable as always. No real panic here; just trying to scrub off enough speed so as not to have Buzzard breath and deer guts all over my helmet. Apparently, however, I grabbed the rear just a little too aggressively. The wheel locked. The back end stepped out to the right about a foot or so. It was never out of control. It was just a little dirt bike slide. Done it a thousand times before…on dirt bikes in the dirt. The problem with making a dumb mistake like that on the road is, if there had been a slick spot, my riding day would have been over…and Mr. Buzzard might have been pecking on my carcass!

5. Learning to ride is one of the best things that ever happened to me. After 46 years, riding motorcycles is still the most enjoyable experience I have ever been introduced to. I thank God for the day my parents had a momentary lapse in good judgement and bought me my first bike. It stuck. Not a hobby; much more than that. At this stage in my life, I only plan to ride more, ride farther and wring all the pleasure out of it that I can.DCIM111GOPRO

Later,

Shep

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