That Guy…

I’m that guy! I always wanted to be that guy!

It’s been spring-ish in Ontario for the past couple of days (after the ice storm).  I’ve had the bike out a few times.  I still get a charge out of waving to another rider.

Yesterday I went out for almost an hour.  The front end felt a bit soft, but now the bike feels balanced on a knife’s edge with the right pressure in the tyres (the front was at 20psi after a winter in storage).  That was the first fifteen minutes of the ride, trying to find a gas station with a working air pump and then paying a buck… for air.  Once that was sorted I was south on the small highway out of town.  I’d never gotten the bike properly warmed up before, it’s an eager, responsive creature, even at low RPMs, but it seems happiest between 3500 and 4500 rpm for cruising..  I’d also never gotten it up to highway speed before, wind noise is surprising, though it shouldn’t be; a 100km/hr wind wouldn’t be quiet, would it?

I’m getting better at remembering the indicators.  The stuff drilled into me on the course has stayed.  I’m always in neutral and on the clutch when I start it, and I don’t get on until I’m completely suited up; good habits to have.  Had the bikes we practiced on had indicators, I would have probably internalized those too.  I don’t want to look like a (dangerous) n00b riding down the street with a forgotten signal flashing.

I took a left turn off the highway onto a back road and made one of my few control errors.  I thought I was in 3rd, but I was in 1st.  I dropped the clutch too hard and was thrown forward. As I reacted I accidently pulled on the throttle… my first wheelie!  On Highway 6!  Fortunately I was sitting close (as an instructor had told me during the course).  I let go of the throttle, and with my weight forward got back on 2 wheels.  As I rounded the corner the kid sitting at the stop sign was all worked up by my wheelie, so he smoked the tires on his Cavalier.  Had he known how freaked out I was, he wouldn`t have been so excited by the whole display.

You get cold on a bike, even in good gear when it`s cool out.  I got home with cold hands and a big smile on my face.  I got to know my Ninja a bit better, and have an appreciation of just how athletic she actually is.