Ok, for the last few years I’ve been talking to my wife about riding. She has been interested, until just recently! Last week I got a forward e-mail from her and it was a confirmation of her acceptance at a local MSF rider’s course. Wow, I just about dropped my morning coffee cup onto the keyboard! I was so excited for her and proud she’d made this decision on her own.
I had suggested to her that the MSF would be a good way for her to see if she liked this sort of switch from riding behind me on the R1200GS. We recently switch from a R1200ST to the GS, and this has made riding a whole lot more enjoyable for both of us. Although, I miss the power of the ST, the GS better fits my aging body. She has much better accommodations on the rear of the GS, too. All this is to say that our riding together has improved and has become more frequent.
The other day after a short spin around the county on some nicely paved back roads, I pulled the bike into a stretch of unused four-lane. This is one of those roads to nowhere, where there’s no traffic and it’s plenty wide enough to turn, etc. She yelled something through her helmet to the effect, “What are we doing?” My reply, “We’re having our first motorcycle riding lesson.”
I put the GS on the center stand and had her mount up. We went over the basics; front brake, clutch, foot brake, throttle, etc. I then I had her shift the bike in neutral, and dismount as I placed the bike off the center stand and on to the side stand. You see, she has always asked me, why I don’t let her learn to ride on the GS. My concern is that the GS is too heavy and too large (intimidating) for a learning tool. This would be a learning experience for both or us.
As I steadied the bike, I had her get back in the saddle. She was a little hesitant, but we slowly moved the bike forward at a walking pace. Previously, during her orientation I had told her to practice pulling the clutch and the front brake simultaneously to stop. So, this walking drill was from her to relax on the bike and when I said stop, for her to pull both hand controls and come to a stop.
After a few times she seemed to get the drill down pat, although at one point we almost lost the GS to a very low speed tip over. She turned too steeply during a low speed right hander, and the GS started to go down! This ended w/ use remounting the bike and riding home. She was very a appreciative of my efforts, but the reality of my concerns for using the GS as a learning toll were now well taken.
Having said all that, April 9, 10, and 11, 2010 are her school dates. We are searching for a “first bike” for her, but will probably wait until she’s finished the MSF course before we pull the trigger. I’m looking forward to this new adventure for her and for this new journey into a riding relationship.
Her enthusiasm for riding has taken a huge leap upward sending my pictures of this bike or a piece of a blog she’s found on the net; I wonder what sort of monster I’ve created!
We’ve been visiting MC shops and she’s talking to salesman, as I try to shuffle off into another area of the shop so as not to overly influence her decisions or bias her choice. She always asks what I think about this or that bike as we’re leaving. She is amazed that the sales person wants to show her the very bike I’ve talked about as a good first bike or I’ve recommended to her on the way to town.
I’m really excited about this new wrinkle in our relationship. I’m very proud of her for taking this imitative and moving into this unknown world of motorcycling.
Long post, but I've wanted to tell my MOA brother and sisters about this. I'm stoked!