Be careful what you wish for.
Over the years, any time we would pass by someone on a motorcycle I would wistfully make a comment. I’ve always wanted to learn to ride and with each mention, the better half would tell me “not until the kids are older."
I never thought that day would come but suddenly there was a beautiful green old dirt bike, just perfect sized for my short little legs, in our garage. I may have danced around and whooped like a crazy person. It’s rare that we want something for so long and then finally realize it.
The next day, we headed out to some land east of us. My tiny little dirt bike was strapped down in the back of his truck. I had my helmet, long sleeves and pants on, I was ready.
I had stayed up the previous night learning everything I could about my bike. Then I did what every nerd does when faced with a new situation… I went to Youtube and watched a ton of expert videos on how to ride a dirt bike.
I memorized how to shift the gears and the importance of the choke/brake combo. What I didn’t anticipate was the little fear I had when the process started.
I was excited and never gave any thought to negative outcomes. He stayed with me and worked me through the basics. Then when he got a call, I took off. Lucky for me, he left me in neutral already cranked so it was a smooth transition to first.
I had 160 acres of freedom. That first hour I’m pretty sure I covered each foot of that land. It was once that I was tired and exhausted that I realized I hadn’t paid much attention to how to actually stop the bike.
I started to panic but having learned in high school that driving with a clutch could find you stalling out if you weren’t careful... I purposely stalled out and stopped the bike.
It was obvious to me that I needed to do more homework. So I pulled the book out and read through the whole starting and stopping process again.
However I was too proud to tell my better half that while I was comfortable riding my bike, I wasn’t very comfortable stopping it.
This promptly bit me in the kester as the very next weekend the better half surprised me with a quick bike trip.
A mere few miles from us there was a scenic view area that was an approved dirt bike trail. The idea was that we could ride from our usual riding land to this bike trail easily and stretch my dirt bike legs... sort of speak.
He was so excited to take me, I’d had some six weeks to really learn how to ride my bike and yet again... the whole stopping point was somewhat sketchy. But I love seeing him happy and so excited, so I swallowed my fear and I got on that bike and off we went.
We got to the scenic bike trail and once again, he was right... it was beautiful and while we stood there, I could see for miles. It wasn’t until we got back on the bikes that it hit me. I was exhausted. While I’d been riding my bike for weeks, I hadn’t ridden that long and that far on it. I hadn’t worked on my endurance.
He took off on a clean start and after checking back on me... where I happily waved... he headed on. I started great. I got into second gear and then it happened. I got my sleeve caught on the clutch.
I have to hide from the sun these days so I was wearing one of my better halves’ shirts and the excess got caught on the clutch. This wouldn’t be a problem if I were able to properly stop except I couldn’t.
So in my panic, I forgot everything the manuals and internet said about stopping. The fence left it’s mark... all down my left side and now I have an appointment at a dirt bike school, thanks to the better half. He was not amused.
Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and Colorado, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.