Monthly Archives: May 2017

My First Bike: Meet Pinkie

My First Bike: Meet Pinkie

A few weekends ago I finished the MSF Course, and thus began my journey in searching for a motorcycle.

What I didn’t anticipate, and what is now obvious is: I’m short, I’m 5’2″. So, I needed a bike that would accommodate that! This became very obvious after making a trip to see a bike, and loving the look of it, but realizing that I had to stretch to reach everything. Not a good plan. I really shouldn’t have to point my toe out like a ballerina to reach the rear brake! I realized I needed to try on some bikes.

As I visited three different dealerships, straddling each bike, playing “Motorcycle Cinderella,” two bikes fit—the Kawasaki Vulcan 500, and the Suzuki S40 Boulevard (650).

The dealership wanted ten thousand, which included positioning all of the controls, for the Vulcan. I went home and did some research.

After finding some very favorable reviews of the Suzuki S40 Boulevard on Youtube, I looked on Cragislist for a used one.

 

 

I spent some hours with some lovely people, who were kind and helpful. Their S40 had gone through several women riders in their family, and she was well taken care of. I felt all the more comfortable, as the woman I was buying the bike from was built just like me—short and stocky. My research and my knowledge of it all came together, and it felt right.

I brought “Pinkie” home! She is a single cylinder 650. She has one carburetor. She is simple, not a lot of parts (which is good for repair and upkeep).

I am also happy with her styling. I don’t know a lot about her performance through my experience yet, but people really seem to be loyal to the bike. I found an online forum which is excellent with support and technical knowledge. I am so excited for all that I’m going to learn, the confidence it’s going to build, and the adventure!

 

 

Moving Toward (design)

I was playing around with Photoshop, learning some skills, and came up with this.
It seems like a very fitting theme for today, as I’m going to look at a motorcycle, and I’m doing some intense therapy / healing.
This print, various other items, and a throw pillow, are all available at my Redbubble Shop.

 

And a throw pillow that looks like it belongs in a therapist’s office.

Filed Under: Art

Persistence: Learning to Ride

I know I’ve been distant the past month. This is due to many factors—visiting friends out-of-town, which was refreshing, working through abuse memories and healing (always), but the last few weekends it’s been about learning how to RIDE A MOTORCYCLE.

This is something I never thought I would be capable of, having been told since childhood that was so too dumb, too uncoordinated, or just plan incapable of anything! These thoughts have been plaguing me, creeping in—I realized I was experiencing a lot of self-doubt and hurt because of this self-image I still carried.

Recently, I was talking with a friend about working on being more present and connected to my body, and he said, “you should try doing something in your life that demands presence and connection.” After some thinking, I thought: I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Thus, the idea was born. I signed up for a local safety class, and over the weekend I took their written and riding exam and passed!

This may sound straightforward and simple, but for me it wasn’t.

On Day One, I dropped the bike, and snapped a piece off it of. I fought a lot of emotions, crying briefly, as other people whizzed around me. I took a deep breath and determined not to quit. Whether I passed or not, or had more difficulties, I thought, “no one could say that I was a quitter.” On Day Two, I had trouble with an exercise and had to reign in my emotions again. Sweaty, sunburned, and bodily fatigued, I carried on. I failed my riding test. I was discouraged and sad, “maybe what my family said is right—I am dumb and uncoordinated.”

But, I communicated with the riding school, and they were very willing to allow me to take the riding classes again and the test free of charge. I reasoned that likely I wasn’t dumb, but was tired, nervous, and it was a new concept to me. I had never even really used a manual transmission before, so what was I expecting? I gave myself some love in my heart, and became resolute, thinking, “if average people can ride a motorcycle, so can I. I have two arms and two feet, and two eyes, I can learn.”

The bike I learned on—Kawasaki Eliminator 125

This past weekend I took the classes again and the riding exam. Everything was smoother. The fear factor I had before was gone. I was more comfortable being with a group of people (something that was panic attack-inducing to me not too long ago), I was connecting to my body (I suffer from dissociation, so this is a big deal), and working on active listening (asking others for clarification—which also used to cause panic in me, because I used to feel so small and inhuman).

I’m going to be writing some more about what I learned and experienced, and I’m going to be writing about my adventures in motorcycling.

By telling you about my experience, my message is, if you want something, keep persisting. And remember, if average people can “get it,” you can, too.

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