Ready to Rock!
Okay, so where did I leave off? The end of day one… we were exhilarated and exhausted and excited for day two.
Up and at ’em again, early in the morning. Dragging a little from the weight of being tired, but the anticipation propelled us forward. We arrived at the track and after a quick review, picked right up and continued to press forward. We learned how to swerve to avoid accidents, ride over obstacles such as 2×4’s, and we worked on making tight u-turns (ugh!). We had covered so much material and were feeling pretty confident. The day was almost over!
We took a short break and then moved on to a quick review of the riding skills before we would be tested. There was a check list of skills that each student had to demonstrate effectively before we could pass the course and qualify for our M1 license.
So we wrapped up the practice runs with a quick exercise in emergency braking. I sat and watched the students go before me and noticed a pattern. Many of the students were being very cautious and were not even shifting out of first gear before initiating the “emergency” stop. I thought to myself, if you are going to learn to make a quick emergency stop, you have to shift gears and be going faster like they did in the demo if you want to really get an understanding of what it’s like to brake quickly. So I decided I was going to try to learn the lesson.
My turn came and OH, did I learn the lesson! I quickly accelerated and shifted up into third gear. And when I received the signal to stop, I grabbed the front brake. Although his back was turned, as my husband heard the screeching tires and the smashing sound of metal on asphalt, he instantly knew what he would find when he turned around.
I had crashed! I was laying on the ground with my leg caught under the bike. They lifted the bike up and off of me. And given the pain I was feeling in my knee and ankle, it took 2 men to carry me off the course. With my arms slung across their shoulders I quickly asked, “Does this mean I fail?”
Yes, I failed that day. My husband drove me to the hospital, and with me prodding him, went back later that day to another class to finish and pass his test. But alas, I would have to wait. I did return in January 2010 to finish the course and pass the test. Unfortunately my knee has still not fully recovered. I suffered an ACL tear and 3 tears in my meniscus. I have opted not to have surgery. Yet. But recently I have been reconsidering.
My Moto Lesson: Don’t GRAB the front brake or you will lock up the front wheel and crash. SQUEEZE the brake like it was an orange.
My Moto Lesson #2: There is no room on a motorcycle for your EGO! 🙂