18 June 2007

Keep the Shiny Side Up...


This is the reason why I haven’t been stamping much. I’m now a proud owner of my very own shiny, loud, Chopper Blue 2005 Harley-Davidson FXDL Dyna Low Rider custom motorcycle. The only thing I have to do is … LEARN HOW TO RIDE IT!

Ours friends, Patrick and Silvie will be moving back to Montreal (Canadian Military) within the year and they decided to sell both their Harleys before they left. When Bryan sent me the email about the bike… I had to have it, especially since the Harley has been customized to fit a shorter lady… I’m only 5’2, same as Sylvie! The stock seat and shocks have been changed out and new Vane and Hines exhaust pipes added (the pipes don’t change the height, they just give the bike a tougher sound… which I love)! I’ve been so envious of Bryan since he bought his Kawasaki Vulcan last year. I knew I wanted to ride my own, instead of riding on the back of his. I didn’t want to be 80 years old, telling my grandkids “I wish I learned how to ride that Harley” and regretting it.

I bought the bike last Wednesday. Patrick and Sylvie delivered it Thursday afternoon and I was so excited when it arrived. Sylive took excellent care of the bike and she was a bit sad to see it go, but she knew I would love it and take care of it like she did. I was so nervous I didn’t even want to sit on it!

Finally, later that evening Bryan moved it into the garage for me… my truck lost its parking space! He then suggested that I sit on it for awhile without the stand, so I could get the feel of the weight. Once I was okay with that, he talked me through how to start it up…turn on the fuel, pull out the choke, turn the Ignition to On, Switch to Run, pull in the clutch, shift to Neutral and then finally Start. WOW the sound of the pipes and feel of the bike idling was such a rush. That was my first lesson!

My second lesson (Saturday evening). Bryan drove the bike over to the elementary school, the kiddos and I followed along in the truck. I figured that would be a great place for me to practice since school is out (no large objects (cars) to run into) and then Riley and Austin could play at the playground. Once there Bryan had me put the bike in Neutral and roll it back and forth… that sucker is heavy. Next Bryan wanted me to get the feel of the clutch release, so with the bike in first gear, I slowly let out the clutch. If you let the clutch out to soon the bike will jerk and then engine will die. Once I did that for awhile it was time to actually give it a little gas and let the clutch out all the way and go! The bike felt much more stable after putting my feet on to the pegs. Whoo hoo I was actually riding (in first gear)! Then it was time to learn how to stop, and even better was to learn how to make a controlled stop, coming to a complete stop before taking my feet off the pegs. I got the feel for the hand brake and foot brake… the hand brake has massive stopping power! Time to go home, my hand was getting tired from all the clutching!

My third lesson (this evening): Again we went to the school… this time I didn’t start out so great, I popped the clutch and then I almost laid the bike down… when I went to grab the hand brake I rolled my palm while grabbing the brake, which gave the bike more gas… I came so close to running into the curb! I was a bit shaken up and nervous to start up again. Once I was relaxed I tried again. Tonight I practiced shifting into second and then down shifting when I was coming to a stop. I also made it around my first left turn… I was totally scared. I was to drive down the lot and turn the corner. Bry told me don’t look at the curbs, look at where you want go… and lean into the turn, DO NOT brake while in the turn. Twice I stopped before I came to corner. It was terrifying, I told him the turn was too tight, I didn’t have enough room and I would never make it… he got on the bike and reassured me that the turn wasn’t tight. I tried it and surprised myself on how well I took the curve.

I’m taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course next month, I need to have that endorsement in order for me to get a Colorado Motorcycle License. Since Bryan took the course last year, he’s been taking time getting me prepared and he’s a great instructor.

Sorry this post is so long, I’ve just been so excited about my new adventure I wanted to share. My plan is to keep sharing my learning experience and occasionally I’ll throw in a stamped card... lol.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!







18 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see a picture of you in your leathers!LOL Enjoy!

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  2. Oh my goodness. How exciting. Enjoy!

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  3. Nice bike. My husband rides and I've been wanting to learn to ride too. You go girl! Ride safe =)

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  4. Great bike!! My hubby rides and I want to learn ... someday! :) Your ride is gorgeous! Enjoy and ride safe!

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  5. You GO GIRL! Wooohooo. That is so awesome. Thanks for sharing your learning adventure. You'll be burning up the road before you know it.

    Mary

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  6. Holy Catfish...I'm Jealous of you!

    It's been a Few years since I've riden. I too love that feeling on driving down the road and letting the wind and bugs hit me in the face.

    Good luck to you! Be safe

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  7. I'm glad you found my blog. You have a great one yourself. Congratulations on your new motorcycle. It's gorgeous!! Just before I bought mine I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginners course. Wow, did I learn lots and it helped me sooooo much.

    Hey, I love to stamp also. I love the cards you have done. I only have one mouse stamp, but I do love them. They are very cute.

    Have a great day,
    Betty :)

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  8. OMG, your a biker babe! Congratulations and ride with the wind !!!

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  9. I never would have pegged you as a Harley Babe! LOL The bike looks great Jovi! Like you said, you need to make a scrapbook page about it.

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  10. wow! have fun and be careful!!!

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  11. I am sooooooooooooooo jealous. I used to ride when I lived up north but sold my bike before I moved. I just told dh a week ago I want another. Now I will hafta hound him now that I saw yours. You are going to love it.

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  12. You go "Biker Babe". It's beautiful

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  13. Gorgeous bike but you have to promis to be careful and wear your helmet!!! Have fun!!
    Hugs,
    Gina K.

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  14. Oooh, Jovi, you'll be one "hot" Biker Momma! :0) Beautiful bike. Yes, promise to wear a helment - and enjoy!

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  15. this is so neat to read. I have been reading your blog to my DH who use to own a motorcycle, (and taught motocycle safety courses) he is glad you are are getting lessons and take the course. Enjoying reading your updates!

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  16. GO JOVI!!! I'm so excited for you!!!

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  17. holy cow Jovi-that is a beautiful bike!
    We need pics with you sitting on it!!!

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  18. I used to say the exact same thing as you....I don't want to be 80 and saying "I wish I had" !!... with anything ...

    I am also only 5'2" and the only bike I felt comfortable on was a Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I took classes from two women who ran a class called E Z Riders.. one had raced for Yamaha for 20 years. They started us out on small bikes so that we got some confidence just feeling in control of the weight and size. They were such fun and so encouraging. All of their students pass our provincial motorcycle testing all the time. They even have testing done at their parking lot site. We practiced on city streets with them, but only one time...then... got our license and my hubby tutored me from there. Shopping mall early in the a.m. for me... til I got the feel of my new bike. Hubs drove it to the mall for me. LOL ...
    Last year I didn't get to ride as I broke my foot..doing who know what, early in the year... it was still unable to hold any weight all during the summer months.... this year..... I sure hope to be golfing and riding.
    Too bad you don't live closer; don't have any friends who own cruisers anymore... and I tend to try to keep up to the sport bikers...which is not a good thing. Hubs doesn't have a street bike anymore..... sigh.....need some new riding buddies.
    Enjoying your blog...

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