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More Alive While Riding a Motorcycle

More Alive While Riding a Motorcycle

I see more, I feel more; therefore I am more alive while riding a motorcycle.

I have driven these roads hundreds of times since I was a kid but never have I experienced them this way. It is different on a motorcycle. I feel the road, see the imperfections; I notice the subtle changes in temperature, the smell of the fresh air, grass, even the water. When I arrive at work I remember the ride. I enjoyed the ride. I am not just another commuter mindlessly driving to work. I have driven a car since I was 16 and have always enjoyed driving, but as time goes by, it is more about the destination and not the journey. Now, every day is a new journey on a bike.

Motorcycle ride on Highway 2

I have always enjoyed trying new things, I love camping, horseback riding, and I have tried white water rafting and rock climbing. I am envious of people with a bohemian lifestyle; I have always secretly dreamed of quitting my job and traveling. But my responsible side always had me at a Monday – Friday job my whole life. Eventually I got married and had a daughter. I am very happy with my life and after “mastering” motherhood I slowly started to realize I hadn’t tried anything new/different in a while and was looking for a new adventure, so I started to think of things to do that would fit into my life.

It isn’t a new story, but it is mine. Call it a midlife crisis if you like but at some point I realized that I had to stop thinking about what have could have been and just do it.

Suzuki GS500F

When I was a teenager I had wanted a dirt bike to go up and down the dirt roads at our summer camp on the Kingston Peninsula, but my parents wouldn’t allow it. I might fall and break my teeth. I think my mom used that excuse for everything. Then in my twenties my ex-boyfriend and I talked about getting Harleys and traveling (cool thing to do live like rock stars). But that relationship ended along with that dream. I couldn’t imagine getting a motorcycle by myself; I like to try things with people that have common interest and looking back at my life I would have to say that I am more of a follower then a leader. Maybe in order for me to realize my dream I was going to have to be brave and do this by myself.

(Just like writing this article, this is way out of my comfort zone. I keep putting it off and think that no one is going to want to read it. But I want to finish it, I know I can do it too.)

I started to wonder if it would it be like I had imagined. I don’t like the windows down in the car: it’s too windy, and it makes the music hard to hear. Would it be like that on a bike? It had been so long since I had been on a bike I had forgotten what it felt like. What about the cost? Aren’t motorcycles expensive? What about the insurance? There was a lot to figure out.

New helmet

To get started I enrolled in a Motorcycle Safety Course as suggested by new and experienced riders. MSQ (Motorcycle Safety Quest) in Saint John, NB on Long Wharf, a 2 day course then on the 3rd day take the test, that simple. I signed up during my August vacation. I had to get some gear, but I didn’t want to invest too much money. I used an old pair of Dr. Martens boots, work gloves, jeans and a borrowed helmet. I found a used Joe Rocket textile jacket on Kijiji for only $50, a perfect fit! The course was great, there were only 4 of us and I was riding by lunch time, easier than I thought. I knew I was hooked.

The first thing out of anyone’s mouth when they heard I had gotten my license was “when you are getting a bike?” All I knew was I couldn’t get it now, summer was almost over and I didn’t have any money saved. I spoke with my husband who had many concerns about my riding; safety on the road and other drivers, time away from him and our daughter and the cost of a bike. I was planning on using the bike primarily for commuting to work, it is a 35km drive and I can take some nice back roads instead of the highway. I told him I was looking for something sporty around $2000. I had been scouring the internet and discovered that used motorcycles went from $500 and up.

Smile!

I started saving and planned on getting a bike next year. Well, I almost made it. Dec 27th I found my bike: a great winter deal for $1500. I didn’t know anything about motorcycles, so I asked friend who knows bikes to come with me. He gave it thumbs up after letting it run for a while. He thought it might need the carburetor cleaned and new tires, but otherwise a good investment. It had a few scratches on the fairing, but I didn’t mind. I would feel better when I drop it myself. I was the proud owner of a 2006 Suzuki GS500F. I had done some research on the internet and it was recommended it as a good beginner bike.

A few days later my very first motorcycle was delivered to the house. I was so excited and proud, I couldn’t wait to show my daughter but I couldn’t even get it started. It was -10oC that day so I had to push it to the garage and impatiently wait for spring.

Written by Tracy Kilpatrick.

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5 comments

  1. I love that you were brave and did this all on your own! Maybe, in time, your husband will get his license and you can ride together after your daughter is grown. My husband and I do. It’s the best thing we ever did together (besides our daughter and son). Our son rides with us too but our daughter won’t go near a a bike. Her fiance rides with us too. Great article!

    • Thanks Monica, I also think it would be a great family pastime but I am enjoying riding as something I do on my own. I would like my daughter to get started on a scooter but that is a few years away. Thanks for your comment.

      Tracy

  2. Hey read this it is my story.
    More Alive While Riding a Motorcycle https://t.co/VP2WQVFOLd via @YouMotorcycle

  3. Well done! When you doubt, the answer is always to ride

  4. I’m glad that you did all the things like a genuine biker. That’s great, Tracy :) . Spring is coming now. My advice for new bikers is to focus on the road, and go slow to build up your skills before going fast. Cheers.

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