A few months ago I began to realize that I wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I talked to people I knew who rode. My Ex-Sweet Escape and I started shopping for bikes. As soon as I picked one he was going to teach me to ride, but then after painful months of being in-love but not dating we stomped that friendship to death and I was left with a big ole biker shaped hole in my soul and no coach to teach me how to ride.
Shit. What's a woman to do? I realize that before me, (and long after me) women have jumped on motorcycles and taught themselves to ride. There's actually a great book where this happens called The Flaming Iquanas which I read in my mid-twenties when I had no intention of owning a motorcycle.
The best advice I had gotten was from my therapist. We spent a whole session looking at bikes online and talking about them. He still had big scabs and pink spots all over his face, hands, and arms from a motorcycle wreck he had weeks ago. He limped downstairs to meet me for my appointment. "Get a 250 cc (very small bike)," he enthusiastically told me, "and then work your way up. Before you take the motorcycle class at the local college (which is the easiest way to get your license) have someone teach you the basics." But I was afraid, stubborn, and feeling a little sorry for myself. So as any dramatic mama has the ability to do I said, "Fuck it. Fuck a damn duck it" and I signed up for the class at the local community college called Motorcycle Safety. Fuck asking for help.
In true super dramatic fashion I also picked out a bike on Craigslist and made an appointment to see it after class on Sunday.
Taking this class is no small feat: you pay $135, and give up 3 hours Friday night, 6 hours Saturday, 7 hours Sunday. My babysitter had canceled so I had to call on Savior Single Mama to help with the beasts.
I walked into the class on Friday and it was clear that I was the one with the least experience. I don't ride ATV's, no seedoo's at the lake, no mopeds around town, no riding on the back of a bike. My Ex-Sweet Escape had a bike, but it was a chopper not made for two. The most we did was zip down the block. The last time I had really been on a motorcycle had been 20 years ago. A small Honda my boyfriend owned. But what the hell, I'm super bad right? How bad could it be? And more importantly I am proving a friggin' point. I CAN DO THIS. I can learn how to ride a motorcycle all...BY...my..Super Bad..SELF.
|We were not given the smanschy matching coats.|
Friday night went great. We were in a classroom. Easy, peesy, Lemon, squeezy as one of the the instructors liked to say. Saturday actually also went well. I was scared of that teensy 250 cc bike. I wobbled. I shook. I did not fall down, I don't think I actually went over 15 miles an hour either, but I loved it. I loved swooping around the cones. Gliding through the parking lot. I loved being on a motorcycle.
On Sunday I came to class ready. I got a 100 on the written test. I had on my riding gear. I had an appointment right after class to buy a bike. I was stoked. Until the first exercise. The dreaded figure 8. That is when my new favorite phrase became, "I will not run over my teacher." as he skibbled out of the way, and though that saying started during the figure 8, it continued through the exam. Those men are practiced skibblers. I did not rev the engine and jump forward or lay the bike down. I didn't do anything crazy like that, I just meandered a little and got too focused on the art of shifting and then braked too late. There is a lot of shit to learn when riding a bike, and apparently too much shit for this super bad woman.
Really. I failed the class. The coaches felt so bad when they told me, but I said, "That's okay. I will learn to ride. When can I take the class again?" I blew it off on the outside, but on the inside my super bad self was crushed. I'm just a human being. I failed a beginner's motorcycle class. I am not super bad. I was exhausted and I felt like shit, but I had an appointment. I hopped in my car and I drove an hour away to see a man about a bike. I sang sad love songs to myself at the top of my lungs to my tender little self and lamented the fact that James Brown, Rizzo, and Don Corleone would have passed that motorcycle class. They are Super Bad, me I'm just human and sometimes I just hate that about myself.