Get Your Tail on a Bike (a motorbike, that is)!

The sirens know that exploring is important to the human soul! We also know that exploring can be easy, and that it can happen anywhere. We have lots of ideas for quick and easy ways to explore your own world (and your own mind)!

But sometimes, it’s worth exploring something that takes a little more effort, and a little more planning.

We recently added a call for challenges on our website…and it is our challenge to ourselves to accept and conquer each one of them (so, there’s your challenge to challenge us!). The Challenge included these words:

Long time listener, first time poster. I am, without a doubt, the show’s, greatest fan. And I have a challenge for you to consider.

I’d like for each of you to have an experience with a motorcycle. Specifically, I challenge you to learn to ride. You don’t have to become a master at riding. But the challenge is that you become comfortable enough to pilot a bike by yourself, in a vacant parking lot or other safe space.

-Bill Cole
And…here we are! (left to right, TC, LC, Jess, Mur, Sara)

So, for episode 37: Motorcycle Adventures, we did exactly that! Two of the sirens – Sara and TC – already ride (Siren TC has not really ridden since an accident, so she had to face a fear to succeed at this challenge). The other three sirens – LC, Mur, and Jess – were all riding for the first time.

I know there were some nervous people at the parking lot that day…but not for long! Our teacher, Bill Cole, and his assistant (and sister), Lisa Cole, were patient, methodical, and very safety-conscious. We took the lessons one step at a time.

We learned about the physics behind a bike (or wheel) in motion:

Bill spun a wheel as Siren TC held it. It was easy to feel the wheel pulling to stay upright.

We learned each part of the bike, and when and how to use it (we nicknamed the clutch “Mango” since we could apply it any time we felt out of control):

Siren Jess is demonstrating her knowledge of the clutch, ignition, front break, start button, and kill switch.

We learned how it felt to lean the bike right and left, then move it upright again:

Bill stands over the bike in case Siren Mur needs assistance as she leans it right and left.

And eventually, we felt the bike pull forward as we engaged it in first gear and slowly walked it forward. Then…the exciting moment when we took off with feet on the pegs:

Bill got his exercise…running alongside Siren LC as she puts both feet on the pegs for the first time.

In case you’re curious…each siren succeeded in piloting the motorcycle down the parking lot with our feet on the pegs! Success on conquering this challenge!!

If you are interested in learning to ride a motorcycle, these are the steps we recommend:

  1. Read through the The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course Handbook:

2. If possible, find someone you trust who is very experienced and get some tips:

In this pic, Bill is teaching us the parts of a bike. From left to right, Siren TC, Bill Cole, Siren Mur, Siren LC, Lisa Cole, & Siren Jess.

3. Take a Motorcycle Safety Class. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has courses internationally. You can enter your zip code at this website to find a course near you!

4. Get your motorcycle license and insurance (in many states, a certificate showing that you passed the safety course is all you need…well, and a fee). This website lists the steps to get your motorcycle license in your state.

5. Research beginner bikes, and find one that is comfortable for you. Two beginner tips: First, starting with a less expensive bike makes dents and scratches less painful to the bank account, and second, consider a starter bike that allows both of your feet to touch the ground with the bike standing upright.

6. Practice, practice, practice…especially in less busy areas!

7. Zee Traveler, a guest on episode 37, also suggests taking a class on riding off-road, so that you can learn how to handle a bike wherever your adventures take you! Her website has lots of tips for new riders and experienced riders. Check it out here.

Zee, on one of her motorcycle vagabond adventures.

8. ENJOY!

A special THANK YOU to the Indian Dealership of Northern Kentucky for allowing us to use their parking lot! It was a safe space for us to learn to ride – it was absolutely perfect and helped us all feel a little more comfortable getting our tails on a bike and our feet on the pegs! This would be a great place to begin looking for your next bike!

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