On being official
On Friday I finally put the last piece in place by going to the Motor Vehicle Department, taking the written test, showing the waiver I received in the BRC and getting my new drivers license with an “M” on it.
I felt an immediate sense of freedom but I’m still taking it slow, getting the feel of riding on the highway and county roads. I find myself analyzing, rating and comparing my beginning riding skills and what’s happening on the road to the things we discussed in the Basic Rider Course. Tonight a chipmunk, two squirrels and a turkey ran across in front of me!
It’s a strange feeling to be riding on a road I’ve been on in a car many times, feeling myself going over that same pavement on two wheels, unprotected, unrestricted but very focused.
This past week several people have related Scary Motorcycle Riding Stories, i.e., 92 year old woman drives her car into a group of motorcycles, injuring several, a neighbor who bought a motorcycle even though he was a doctor and had worked in an emergency room. He proceeded to crash his motorcycle three times before selling it after only two months—and so on.
I really wish people would restrain themselves from telling a new rider all these stories. Most of us who have made the decision to ride on two wheels already understand the risks and don’t need to be reminded of them. It serves to undermine confidence and I think it is dangerous to ride without it. I try to put all that out of my mind and just enjoy the the ride with complete mindfulness.
Today I rode downtown for the first time and went to the ferry landing. Even though I’ve ridden the ferry many times I wanted to see what it would be like to take my scooter on it. I’m a little nervous about getting in line with the cars and going up the ramp but I plan to do it sometime in the next week.
Madeline Island is flat, about fifteen miles long and has a road that circles the whole island so I think it would be a good place to ride the scooter. The far side of the island looks out onto Lake Superior, which is more like an inland sea than a lake. There are lots of places I want to go now that I’m official.