The Next Big Thingis a blog meme going around in the blog-o-sphere, and Cammy at Tippy Toe Diet asked if she could tag me to keep it going, sort of like Friendship Bread only carb-free!
Cammy’s Next Big Thing
is a gathering of goals she’s put under the umbrella of “daring greatly.” She was tagged to continue the meme by Sharon at Midlife Moments
, whose Next Big Thing
My Next Big Thingwill make noise. Literally. And I hope to god my mother isn’t reading this.
I’m going to learn to
drive ride this (A reader corrected me saying you ride a bike, both as the person who is in charge of it and the person riding on the back. It seems confusing, but if that’s the rule, that’s the rule!):
This is the Irishman’s Harley, a 1999 Sportster 883, that I’ve had the pleasure of riding on the back of only once and only briefly because spring didn’t get the groundhog’s memo that it’s supposed to start warming up.
I rode on the back of a motorcycle for the first time two years ago (see “A Mental Miracle
”) and went from scared-to-death to badass-in-love in zero to 60. Motorcycle Owner and I only dated for a few more months, so I didn’t get too much additional riding time, but the thrill of the ride never left me.
Knowing this, a friend suggested I take the a Motorcycle Safety Training class after he took it and bought a used Honda Sportster last year. It seemed absurd at the time. Learn to
drive ride a motorcycle? Such a foreign concept. As liberated as I am, driving riding a bike seemed like a guy thing. Women rode on the back. But a seed was planted, and like the crocuses in my yard – despite the wicked weather – it will bloom.
One in 10 motorcycle owners are women. Not great stats, but those women are out there, and I am determined to join their ranks. I just have to learn how to
drive ride one first, something I know almost nothing about. But, hey, I didn’t know anything about driving a stick shift when my dad took me with him to test drive a 1974 Mustang in 1980 when I was a junior in high school. He drove us to a parking lot, got out of the car, and said, “If you drive this back to the dealership, I’ll buy it for you.” Believe me, I learned REAL fast how to drive a stick.
When I married farmer Bruce, he taught me to drive a skid loader, an old Ford pickup with the stick on the column (the 3-speed “H” pattern), a tractor, and a 10-speed Mack truck. Getting behind the wheel of an enclosed vehicle is always fun. But there are no steering wheels on motorcycles. Or doors or windows or anything holding you in. You shift with your left foot, including your toes, and you brake with your right hand as well as your foot, and people warn you about how dangerous they are and they call people who love motorcycles “organ donors” and you’d think that would be enough to scare me away.
But it doesn’t. This is just the kind of challenge I’ve been looking for. Something so outside my comfort zone that I need field glasses to see it. It also gives me something more fun than my 2013 taxes to save for.
I’ll start small (and used), perhaps a Suzuki Marauder GZ125. It weighs what I did at my heaviest!
Or a Honda Rebel 250
Or a Star Motorcycles V Star 250. Look how awesome she looks driving that!
Or a Yamaha Virago 250. Not sure I can pull off leather pants, but I’ll definitely get chaps.
So there you have it. My Next Big Thing. I promise I’ll do everything within my power to stay safe. In the meantime, I’m hoping for warmer weather very soon so I can start riding on the back of that Harley and begin learning all I can about driving it one day.