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First “long” ride, first lay-down…

This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 11 years, 6 months ago by AvatarClay Dowling.
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    So this morning I had a podiatrist appointment in Burien, WA. I live in Puyallup. It’s an hour easy in good traffic on the highway. 100 miles round trip easy. But this week the weather is nice (meaning it’s not raining, not freezing), so I’ve been doing my work commute on my motorcycle. So I think “this is EXACTLY why I got the motorcycle in the first place, so RIDE!” A little bit foggy, a bit cold (saw 31 degrees on the way back), neither of which bothered me at all, stayed on backroads the whole way. The only thing that wigged me out was going through a tunnel (I have no idea why this is — same thing happens on my bicycle — it’s like some kind of visual disturbance where I feel dizzy).

    Anyway… On one of the right hand turns, T-intersection with a light, there’s a semi parked on the shoulder to the left, so I can’t see traffic coming all that well. I creep up to the line way over to the right, see an opening, and start the turn. Problem — I’m in 2nd or 3rd gear, and don’t give it enough throttle. Engine dies, bike stops, and my lean becomes a tip-over. I can’t save it, so I walk out of it and lay it down as gently as I can. Fortunately it’s far enough that it doesn’t block the traffic lane at all. I get it tipped back upright with the help of a nice lady whose husband and sons own motorcycles, then push it farther off the roadway (still on paved shoulder), put it on the side stand, and gather myself back up.

    Damage? Hmm… I look. And look. And check again… NO damage! I gear back up (backpack, helmet, gloves, start ‘er up, and proceed on my way.

    Of all the scenarios that could have played out, this is the best outcome I could have hoped for.

    Oh, and on the way back south, I stopped at the DOL and got my full motorcycle endorsement on my license. I’M LEGAL NOW!


    Grats!!! on both events!!


    Okay, so you got the falling-off part over with. Be happy that it went so well.

    Many of us who’ve been riding for a while have had an unscheduled get-off. When I did, it cost me an injured foot and about $1000 in spare parts which I paid myself as I didn’t want my insurance premiums to sky-rocket.

    I don’t know if it’s true or not and I’m hesitant to perpetuate what I think is probably a myth, but they say that there are two kinds of motorcyclists. Those that have fallen off and those that will fall off.

    Congratulations, you’ve now graduated from the group who will fall off, to the group who have fallen off.

    That means you’re no longer in the the group who will fall off, so everything’s cool.

    Well, at least that’s the way I look at it :-)

    Hope you’ve done your MSF BRC. If not, you should (as should everyone who rides a motorcycle).

    Congrats on the license.


    Glad there was no damage, I was fearing the worst when I saw the title of this thread.

    Just wait till you try going through a tunnel with sunglasses on. The first time I went through I-90 Mercer Island tunnel (which is pretty long and has curves in it) I panicked a bit as I belatedly realized it’s not so easy to lift your sunglasses up when you are wearing a helmet. Going from bright sunshine to a dimly lit tunnel leaves you blind for a little bit and that’s not a nice feeling. Since then I have ditched the sunglasses and got a little sun visor thingy for my visor. Will see if that suffices when it actually gets sunny again.

    Clay Dowling

    Had one myself shortly after I started riding, pretty similar scenario. It’s good for encouraging humility, always an important part of any rider’s gear.

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