First Ride of the Spring
April 19, 2010 at 3:47 am #3886
Today was a gorgeous day. In the 50’s, sunny, with occasional threats of being overcast. Finally, I had a day free to get my bike out. My poor Thumper had been sitting abandoned in the garage since October.
For those of you who haven’t been around the forums long, I just started riding last August. So, I had two months of riding and about 600 miles before winter. After I got the bike out of the garage, I took some time to look it over, checking the tires, oil, lights… all of the usual pre-ride stuff, but it has been a while. I actually had to use the choke to get it started. That’s a first.
Then, (and I’m sure my neighbors were amused, my husband certainly was) I spent a while riding back and forth in my driveway. First, I just played with the clutch and the throttle- rocking the bike like you do at the beginning of the MSF class. Then I worked the slow race. And am I rusty. Of course, the slow race is probably easier on level ground, but that is just an excuse.
After I had spent some time reacquainting myself with the friction zone, I practiced some hill starts. Hill starts are sort of my pre-ride pysch-up routine. I have a nice long, up hill driveway. I can usually get four hill starts in before I get to the road. It helps me to focus on the bike and the ride rather than whatever else is in the air (today it was nervousness about my first ride in six months- but you know the drill – work, family, money, whatever else stresses you).
Finally, I was at the road. I after a false start (I live at the apex of a blind corner), I turned smoothly onto the street and started my first ride of the season. The roads were dry, but there was still plenty of left over gravel from the winter. And in my neighborhood, there is always some gravel whatever the time of year.
For my first ride of the season, not wishing to press my luck, I took a short (4mi) loop around my neighborhood. There is a short stretch on the main road at 55mph, but most of it is back roads at 25mph with nice curvy streets, several turns and a couple of stop signs. The ride was beautiful. There are several new houses going up in our area that I didn’t know about. And with the trees not leafed out yet, I discovered a pond in the area that I didn’t know about.
Overall, it was a nice ride. I definitely need to work on the basics, and it is going to be a little while before I take that ride up towards Chilitna that I want to do this summer, but it was good to be back out on the road. So, an ERC class, some PLP, and a summer full of riding to look forward to.
Hope you all had a great weekend!
OwlieApril 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm #25852
I’m sure your poor S40 was feeling neglected. So your driveway ends at the apex of a blind corner? That’s got to be terrifying!April 19, 2010 at 10:37 pm #25854
Tell me about it. It isn’t so bad in the winter when I can see through the trees and headlights bounce off the snow.
In the summer, it is a whole different deal. At least people mostly drive sanely through the neighborhood. There are always alot of people walking around- kids, joggers, dog walkers, etc. during the day and at night you can never be sure if there is a moose around the next corner.April 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm #25855eonParticipant
Congrats on getting out and about, I think I would go crazy after a 6 month hibernation. In your shoes I would definitely take it easy as I’m sure there is plenty of gravel/grit around from treated snow. Not to mention being rusty. Hell, even though I ride all winter I know I get rusty as I don’t corner as fast in winter as I do in the summer (listen to me sounding like an old pro with 2 winters behind me ).April 19, 2010 at 11:22 pm #25856
Compared to me, you are an old pro. Not to mention the fact that I’m a weekend warrior. About the only riders less experienced than me are the ones just taking their MSF classes.April 22, 2010 at 1:09 am #25894
I don’t envy that, though I’m glad people in the area respect the danger of that particular road.April 23, 2010 at 1:18 am #25920
The whole neighborhood is like that. I don’t know who did the platting (30 yrs ago), but it is laid out like a lot of these new neighborhoods with curvy roads and culdesacs, but has too many berms, trees and underbrush to have a good line of sight… I have no doubt that alot of the craziness has to do with where the ponds were when it was laid out, but at this point, it seems to have no logic.April 23, 2010 at 9:17 am #25932
I just spent four hours in a neighborhood meeting over a property border dispute caused by inept city planners in 1891. I’ll leave it at this: I feel your pain!April 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm #25949pixiedustParticipant
I’ve been out a few times this year. On the first outing, I encountered dirty, gritty spots on the roads with salt and sand residue left over from winter. After a good rain, that was gone and the ride was much smoother on the second ride.
My little monster seems to have come out of hibernation quite nicely. We cruised around the WI countryside and enjoyed the 60 degree temps. Lucky for me, I can leave my neighborhood and be in the sticks in about 5 minutes. Very rare to see another car out there. I used the opportunity to remember and practice all my MSF skills. I was less rusty than I thought I would be.
I was looking forward to a ride with my husband this weekend, but the forecast is for rain both days…April showers bring May motorcycle riding!April 27, 2010 at 11:18 pm #26005
Glad to hear that you are having a good time out. We still have plenty of grit and sand on the streets and unfortunately, we have gotten spring snow showers rather than spring rain.April 29, 2010 at 12:53 am #26041madjak30Participant
I bought my first street bike last Friday, then had to take a road trip to pick up a car on Saturday (truck and trailer). Shopping with the wife on Sunday (truck and trailer again, furniture). Road trip to job sites all week this week, and heading home for Thursday night…they are calling for “flurries” on the weekend…this is going to kill me…lol
The only ride I had on my new toy was from the driveway in the front of my house, onto the lawn, through the gate down the side of my house, around the backyard once and park on the patio next to the house. We are going to have to clear some “crap” out of the two car garage so that we can atleast park my wife’s car and my bike in the garage…that will probably be this weekends project…although, if I clear out room, I will have an excuse to move it to the garage…lol
So, I am jealous that you were smart enough to start riding last year and have gotten a ride in this year…April 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm #26058
smart? Not sure about that. originally, I had planned to wait until this spring, but impatience got the better of me…
My sweetie and I are planning to build a garden shed this year so that we can move stuff out of the garage to store my bike more easiliy next year. The summer isn’t a problem, but once we try to fit grill, table, chairs, and potted plants in for the winter, well- you can imagine.
Our winter keeps getting pushed out cold front by cold front too. A couple days after my first ride of spring, we had another set of flurries. Truth be told, the weather was fine enough for riding in early March if your driveway was clear- and I’ve been seeing bikes on the road for two months now. I’m just not confident enough (or perhaps not stupid enough) to have tried to pull my bike out that early.
Hope that you are able to get out and enjoy your new bike soon!
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