Remember the proverb “For want of a nail”?
For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. All for the want of a horsehoe nail.
That is what I felt like over the weekend. Everything was thrown at me except for the kitchen sink. And the rain.
The work week last week was Atrocious. Absolutely atrocious. To the point of questioning myself if it was worth it anymore. Should I be looking for another job that will give me more time at home, less stress, fewer responsibilities. I needed to get out, and Oilburner surprised me with the night in Savannah. I wanted to ride so I could feel the wind in my face. I wanted to clear the cobwebs. Oilburner has been having his own issues, and was not physically well enough to ride. I didn’t want to drive because I knew I would stew in my own head. So what was the compromise?
He said it was time for me to learn to ride with a passenger. I have been avoiding that little experience for a very long time. In the beginning I was able to use the excuse that I was new to riding. Then it was the excuse that I was afraid to drop the bike and hurt my passenger or my bike. We won’t debate the order of priority. Hehe
This time I was out of excuses. If I wanted to ride, I was going to have to suck it up. And I was ok with that. It was surprisingly easy to get over that mental hurdle. However, he then threw in that I should ride his bike.
Please realize that I have ridden his bike a total of 3 times in 2 1/2 years. For a total of about 35 miles. The first ride was picking it up from the dealership, for 7 miles. Mind you they were an exhilarating 7 miles. It was the first time I had tested the new water cooled engine, and I managed to get that thing from 0-60 in lightning speed. The second time Oilburner forced me to try it in the mountains to see how I liked the handling. Don’t get me wrong. It is a nice bike, but too big and bulky and weighty for me. The third time was out of absolute necessity when we took a weekend trip and I didn’t have warm enough gear. The windshield and fairings kept enough wind off to keep me warm until we arrived at the hotel about 15 miles down the road. (Yes, I had on just about every article of clothing before I gave in to riding his bike.)
Like I said, his bike is nice, just not the bike for me. It is weighty at 604 lbs wet. Compared to the GS coming in at 525 lbs wet, it is much heavier, changing the center of gravity. It is wide. I mean, I know I am wide…but not nearly as much as that bike! The seating position makes me feel like I am sitting on top of the bike, not feeling integrated with it. With that seating I’ve had difficulty getting my feet off of the pegs , around the fairings and onto the ground. It just wasn’t what I would consider a comfortable bike. Plus I always worried about the cost of all the plastic in the event that I dropped it and scratched it.
Well…it took me another couple seconds to acquiesce and get over that previous sticking point. He had a point that the windsail they call a windshield and fairings would make for a more comfortable ride. And help keep the rain off if the 50% predictions came true. Ok. Suit up!
I jumped on his bike and took it up the street to get a feel for it. Forget that the end of the street is a cul-de-sac and I had to execute my first u-turn. We started the day on the street as I was not riding down our steep driveway with him on the back. Thank goodness he is a great passenger. Leaving our neighborhood I opted for the right hand, downhill turn instead of the left hand, uphill start. Those haven’t been successful for me in the past. First turn under my belt. Small curves and stop sign was next. Huzzah! Uh oh. Next stop sign was behind someone that was not in a hurry to get into traffic. Then I had to cross traffic in a left hand turn on a fairly busy road. Ok. This isn’t so bad.
Which way to head out of town? Freeway would be steady and require fewer stops and balancing and shifting. But by the fourth stop…I was feeling pretty darn good. Yep. The backroads with tons of waiting stoplights was the way. Again…good passenger led to good experience and there were no problems. I knew this was the way to go as I was too focused on technique and safety to even think about my bad week. I wasn’t going to have any time to wallow. And Oilburner not riding was also the right decision when he informed me that he was getting dizzy and nauseous whenever we stopped. Yeah…I don’t want him piloting his own bike.
We eventually made it to the interstate and I must admit that I enjoyed that windsail. Very smooth. So smooth that when I got tired of a car pacing us I was easily able to out distance it. I still regret not going 3 more mph and reaching my first ton on the big RT. Bummer.
Riding was a breeze. There was nothing to worry about with a passenger. I even executed additional u-turns for lunch without a second thought! Getting to Savannah was a breeze. Still fun to imagine what the other riders were thinking when we passed them and they realized a girl was piloting with the boy riding pillion. Or did they think Oilburner was just a masculine girl? HHhhmm…..
Sunday was where it got interesting. I slipped. I slipped in the shower and sliced my toe open. Lots and lots of blood and pain. Luck would have it that it was my big toe. On my left foot. And which toe is used for shifting? You got it. All day Sunday had me hissing Ouch into our communicators each time I had to up shift. Or put my foot on the ground. It made for an interesting ride home. I’m just glad the rain staved off for another hour. We got the bike tucked in, wound cleaned and bound, and were just sitting down when the skies opened up.
Thank you Oilburner for being such a good passenger and teaching me the joys of riding together. And for trusting me with your bike.