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Old 06-09-2008, 08:08 PM   #1
Gottvonalles
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Cool A Newbies First Ride

As I sat atop my now running KZ, I screwed on my good friend's slightly tiny helmet to my dome. The view through my helmet now resembled the ****pit of a focused stealth fighter pilot making top secret runs over Baghdad. With the key in the on position and the clutch pulled tight, I turned over the reinvigorated cruiser. The motor snapped to life with a bark then purred like a sleeping kitten. I could smell the fumes from the tank and the acrid smell of exhaust seeped into my helmet.

I was instructed to, "Ease out the clutch slowly and let the bike pull itself." With these instructions fully ingrained into my frontal lobe, I eased off of the clutch as slow as a bomb technician defusing a bomb. Blub, Blub, dead. Oops! Reclutch, start, retry. I hear a faint command through the fierce cloud of intensity my brain has stated itself into. "Give it a lil gas 'fore ya get dat clutch out", my friend gingerly calls between the snickers of his wife and her friends. Second time's a charm right? ...............oh, wait, that's third.

The simple task of getting my sticking, rusted, 27 year old clutch cable operating properly was seeming to compare to the task of curing world hunger. A little patience and a lot of focus finally saw the bike taking off for the first time without a restart. As a smile engulfed my face, I noticed the stop sign, panicked, and killed the bike by hitting the brake sans clutch.

My com padre patted me on the back and congratulated me on taking my first baby steps in becoming a racing legend, err, I mean my first steps at learning to ride. With a new set of legs full of confidence, I decided to try my first U-turn and then my first brake with the foot pedal.

This seemed easy enough. Let me mentally run though the instructions again and get a mental Beta Max rolling of how to U-turn. OK, bars totally left, check. Clutch out enough to propel itself, check. Foot down to steer, check. Badda Bing, Badda BOOM! I just did it, put a gold star on my report card folks, my first U-turn has been achieved. Next, I accidentally used my foot brake correctly. As the bike started to slow and my weight shifted to hit the brake, the bike slowed to a stop and my left foot touched the pavement perfectly.

The last step before I officially graduated the school of "N00BZ with two zeros" was to drive around the block and take a few turns. My friend turned instructor was putting around along side me in his CBR F4 walking me through these complex, trigonometric mountain roads of Northwestern Indiana

The bike idled ferociously through the first turn as the clutch pulled me along at a nice angle. As we rounded the final left turn, bringing us back to square one, I snapped the throttle back with the ferocity of a raging bull and the bike took off like a NASA rocket. First gear ended at 12,000 RPM and I grabbed a clutchy 2nd gear. The tire chirped and the front end gave a tidy pull to the sky. 2nd gear ended with the speedo reading 80. 3rd gear grabbed hard as the wind raged through my waving hair and sat me in my seat with monolithic forces. I could hear the turbo spooling up with the whine of a jet engine, venting off furious gasses.

WAIT! .................... sorry folks, that was a Youtube video playing in my head of some Euro folks on Hyabusas. I never got out of 1st gear or got over 5 grand on the tach. This was a really fun ride and I hope I have full summer of learning this sport of bike riding. Safety is in the front of my mind and the top priority while I learn. I hope to share other more enlightening stories of my ride to Virginia if it comes together at the end of next month.

Peace out MO children!
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
The_AirHawk
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It's a Start!
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
bbtowns
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Good start, have fun, be safe. Get some gear that fits and keep practicing those skills. If there's a big parking lot around you that's great for practicing emergency braking. Look where you want to ride and not at what you want to avoid (easier said than done). Glad to hear you joining our ranks.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
Gottvonalles
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I have a college stadium parking lot about 6 blocks away and Abate MSF courses the 14th of next month. Again, safety first. I think it will take some big ones mentally to not look at what your about to smack into, but I'm sure I will get an introduction during the safety courses. Thanks for the sound advice.
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