Even though I was signed up for the MSF class that weekend, I still spent time second guessing and working to convince myself for a letdown.
I had spent so much time during my life on bicycles of various sorts, I did not expect any problem with balance or steering. No, I convinced myself that changing gears would be a problem. Instead of left and right hands, it was left hand and left foot! On top of that, the back bake was the right foot? And of course, as I told my wife, “I might not enjoy it”.
Looking back, it seemed like I was building up a safety net to back out if needed, but I was also so excited at the same time.
I even had a motorcycle picked out. In the past, when I kept talking myself out of it, part of that was pricing myself out of a motorcycle that was “within reason”. With the bonus, “within reason” ended up being less than $10,000. At this point, I cannot even remember where I first saw one, but I did: the Ducati Scrambler. Retro styled like many of the Japanese bikes I remember from the 70s, sharp looking, and in a beautiful red. All for $8,999!
So with a motorcycle in my sights and an easy let-down if I needed it, the class began.
I was not the oldest nor the youngest in the class. The types of motorcycles that the students were interested was also all over the place. The first day, a Friday evening, was all classroom work. We went over the basics of operation as well as covering a number of safety topics and acronyms.
The next day started at 7:00 am, and we were introduced to our machines.
Mine was a Suzuki TU250.
As soon as the helmet was on and the leg was over the bike, everything just fell into place. The shifting and braking that I assumed would give me trouble was no issue at all. And I had a blast. It was a long day, but between Saturday and Sunday, reviewing the material, and taking the test, I had a perfect score on the written and only one mark-down on the practical (u-turn within a specified area with only “one of” out of bounds or foot down).
Monday was going to be difficult: neither the DMV nor any motorcycle dealer is open on Mondays!