What is it about bikes that people like so much? The freedom of being on two wheels? Riding the twisties in the mountains? Being able to move through traffic quicker and getting to work on time? Feeling the wind in your hair, (well not really, in California we have a helmet law, so I can feel it whipping my ponytail. Or the cold wind on my legs through my jeans.) Through my blogs about being a beginner rider, I will let you know what I feel about it all and what I experience.
So how many of you are beginning riders? Raise your hand… (hand raised). Well I have to be honest, I did get my license a year ago…yeah I know WTF took you so long to ride? Well, I co-own a motorcycle DIY shop. And you know, as with all trade businesses, your stuff is the last to be worked on.
My first time being on a bike was when I was 20. I was visiting a friend in San Francisco and she had a GXSR. I rode on the back to get through the town of hills and tight roads. I don’t remember much about that time except that she was fast and I held on tight. I remember her saying, in San Fran, a bike is the only way to go, because it sucks to try to find parking with a car. Bikes you can park anywhere.
The next time that I was on a bike was the first time I visited Dave in Tennessee. His 1978 Honda CB750 had a solo seat. I asked him “Are we going for a ride?” He laughed. But I was persistent. So for the next couple of days he made a two-up seat pan and then gave me vinyl and his mom’s old sewing machine. That was the first seat that I sewed for a bike. (Many were to follow).
I DO have a bike I am “working” on. It’s a 1982 CM450A. OMG, it is so amazing, if I say so myself. “The Monkey” will be a sight to be seen. But, in the meantime, I ride a 2009 Honda Rebel 250. I know, "it’s so little, get a bigger bike, you own a motorcycle shop you need to be on something to promote what you do". Well, what I say to that…PPPHHHHHHH! I ride what I am comfortable on. And ALL beginner riders need to know this. RIDE WHAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE ON!!! NOT WHAT SOMEONE ELSE TELLS YOU WHAT YOU SHOULD BE ON!
"Well, how did you get the 2009 Honda Rebel 250?" you ask. Dave got a message about a bike turned in as trade in at Sweetwater Harley. A Honda rebel. Something they might not be able to sell. Their description was, “a hipster rode in with his girl on the back with a guitar strapped to her back and traded it for a Sportster.” We rode down, started it up. It sounded great. Looked like sh*t. The whole bike was painted with flat black spray paint. Not just the body work, the whole bike on the frame, chrome and all with a dent in the tank. But it was $700 out the door. Woo Hoo! We couldn’t pass that up. We bought it. Dave rode it home, with me following in my car. He was going about 75 MPH. Pretty good for a 250. But I get ahead of myself. How did I get my license? What was that like. That will be in my next blog.