Motorcycle (training) diaries

Well, our Freedom of Independence Ride is coming up August 29. I’ve got to get myself trained biker-chickand licensed to go on the ride. Here’s Part 1 of a five-part diary I wrote during my recent motorcycle safety class.


Some might have wondered whether I was prematurely having a mid-life crisis. Others might have wondered if I was taking on too much risk. But I contend that I was merely feeling restless – perhaps even a bit rebellious – the day of my first motorcycle riding course.After all, that morning I pulled into Caribou Coffee and ordered a Raspberry Mocha (with caffeine and full fat) in lieu of my usual Starbucks® decaf, tall, skinny caramel latte with skim milk and sugar-free syrup.

There’s nothing like 24-ounces of liquid energy to make a girl feel like she can conquer anything that lies ahead. The lyrics to “Born to Be Wild,” played through my mind as I traveled on I-35 north from Des Moines to Hampton. The beat in my head was keeping time with the rain pounding down on my Torrent. The rain didn’t let up as I headed north, so I was actually thankful that the first four hours of the class involved lectures and DVDs.

Four hours is a long time to sit in a high school classroom on a hard-seated chair after having just worked a 10-hour day. And, I honestly wondered how I was going to stay interested – let alone awake – from 6 to 10 p.m. (After all, I’ve been known to fall asleep while playing cards. My friends and family have actually had to awaken me to play my hand or to deal a round.)

But, I was a captive audience from the moment our three instructors introduced themselves and told us why they enjoy riding. Reasons for riding included:
• There’s freedom on the road. You feel free on a bike.
• A bike gives you independence. You can get to places that you could never go by foot or by car.
• Owning a bike is like joining a fraternity. You have a bond, a commonality, with others who otherwise would have remained strangers.

“Welcome to the club,” one instructor said. “Welcome to the passion,” said another. “Welcome to the ride,” said the third.

“Welcome to class!” I thought. If there is one word that describes me, it’s “independent.” I like to be my own woman: Think my own thoughts. Do my own thing. If there’s a second word that describes me, it’s “passionate.” I’m passionate about my family, my beliefs, my values and my job. I’m also passionate about taking on new challenges, learning new things and developing new skills. Yes, this course was right for me!