Sunday, September 19, 2004

One step closer to a motorcycle driver's license

Seated at "my" window table in A'Roma Roasters. A breathtakingly beautiful day. A day to be out on a motorcycle!

Actually, I was. Awakened early this morning by the sound of rain. A welcome sound. Autumn is arriving early, I hope. Very chilly, this storm clearly being out of the north. Immediately, the air is amazingly fragrant. "It smells like Halloween!"

My body heavy and aching. Slowly "moved into gear", making some breakfast, straightening up around the apartment, then turned to cleaning out e-mails, disposing of about 70.

As I prepared to leave for "the range", I had no idea if the motorcycle training class would be canceled. Up on Sonoma Mountain, the rain was torrential, falling in big drops. The thirsty ground was drinking it up, however the roads had turned into streams.

Coming off the mountain, I could see blue sky to the southwest, the direction of Petaluma. By Penngrove, the rain had subsided, though the northern sky remained ominously dark.

Class was on. I was too late to see the morning session ending, and to hear how it had gone for others.

Today, we focused on negotiating curves, swerving, braking and confronting obstacles. Occasionally a shower would overtake us, but nothing severe enough to stop the class.

There was no locking up the front brake today. We concluded with a skills test: executing a figure-8 inside a small rectangular area, a swerve test, a braking test and a curve-handling test. In this last test, I stalled out while waiting at the starting gate, having forgotten to turn on the fuel petcock. Despite a few missteps and widespread nervousness, we all passed. I had a couple points deducted from my score, but came through with the second-highest score and some reassurance that, twenty-five years on, I had not totally forgotten how to ride.

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