Easy Rider. Watched this movie back in a college film class and for me that film has always epitomized what the experience should be like with a ride. Wind in your hair a hippie attitude, freedom, just you and the road.
Cut forward more than 10 years and I’m in my office at work talking to a coworker about having never ridden a motorcycle. He gasps, and tells me he hasn’t met anyone our age that hasn’t ridden a motorcycle, and will gladly help me check off this bucket list item. I tell a tale of how I just grew up not having friends who rode. Which is entirely true. But I leave out that a couple years back where a date wanted to take me on a motorcycle ride, but I, having not great trust issues for someone I just met, just didn’t feel like going.
This is the story of how on Friday, Sept 27th, 2013 I rode on a motorcycle for the first time.
Just another Friday like any other Friday, we do the normal “Lunch?” question in the chat window. My coworker complains that everyone that he was supposed to go on a riding adventure up to Alice’s with bailed, so we could go for a lunch ride. I am not sure I want to commit myself to dying at this point because well, let’s face it I don’t have a need for speed, but wanting to be “cool” I suggest we ask other coworkers if they want to go to lunch with us and how it would be more fun if we all went together in a car. Bwahhhhh.
Completely foiled, all the other coworkers bail on group lunch. After consulting with Yvonne on chat who says, “Um who hasn’t ridden a motorcycle?” I’ve committed myself. Off we go to The Habit Burger, which is a short freeway trip away.
Head outside, put on the helmet throw my stuff into the back box. Then… we run into a cluster of other coworkers outside. Dah. They make comments like how we should go quickly over all bumps and I just imagine myself getting skin graphs in the ICU. Because just a couple weeks prior to this moment another coworker was subject to a hit and run on his motorcycle and has had a lot of surgery since.
But no, I fought the fear. I must be relaxed and fun and cool, not my normal conservative and uptight self.
Head on the freeway, clutching to the arm bars so hard that my nails dig slightly into my palms. I suddenly regret having let my nails grow out so long and then suddenly it becomes, “Hrm, this isn’t so bad.” Kind of scary not being strapped in, but it almost feels safe since I’m wearing the helmet and there is no wind blowing in my face and my hair isn’t flipping around.
After eating and taking street route back, I think “Yes. This isn’t so bad if there weren’t cars around. Cars are scary, but this without cars… might almost be relaxing.”
Now my arms are sore from death grip, but I generally think it was fun. Don’t get me wrong, I have no need for speed, but it was nice of my coworker to help me accomplish something new, and nice of myself to let myself go through with it.