“I’m Back In The Saddle Again”

It’s been a minute since I’ve sat to write. Winter had my bike parked and then there was that hurricane Michael business that had to be dealt with. It’s good to be back in the saddle now that my roof has been repaired (sort of) and the weather has shifted (sort of). We’re in tornado season now, ugh! Thankfully, my family and property only suffered minimal damages. I say this while realizing many others lost SO MUCH MORE. So it’s with humble gratitude that I move forward.

My maiden two wheeled ride of the season took me through areas still in recovery from storms. Blue plastic tarps and upturned tree roots are a reminder of what happened and of the resilience of people who call this area home. Humankind can be kind of amazing that way, we endure.

The storms and the loss have caused me to think on matters close to home, my family. Hubster and I have one kid who is doing well in college and our youngest who is at home. Clearly I’m a gal who sees the value in having a hobby and our youngest has expressed his interest in motorcycles so we decided it was time to introduce him.

We’ve been discussing it for several months and my mom instincts were tingling quite a bit. Every horror story scenario played through my head & emotion was in danger of taking over. Thankfully I’m married to Mr. Logical and we talked through things rationally. We are a safety first family regarding motorcycling and if our son was to eventually ride someday, why not teach him and allow him to explore this world of motorcycling while he is still under our wing?

We settled on the Kawasaki KLX 250 as a beginner bike. Basically a dirt bike with turn signals. It’s light, it’s fun, and it isn’t an overwhelming amount of power for a new rider.

This bike also comes with the added bonus of my being able to ride it a little as I explore some off road riding.

Day one with the Green Monster (what I’m gonna call the Kawi until my son names it) was great. My son took to riding like a fish to water. Within 10 minutes he understood the gears and using smooth wrist/hand movements with regards to clutch and throttle. He followed hubsters instructions well and didn’t go speed crazy as we had him do open laps around a field. He was a natural, which helped to alleviate some of my anxiety. This was probably not how hubster felt when it was my turn to take the Green Monster for a spin.

When I first got on this little 250, I was thinking, “Wow this little thing weighs nothing,” and I took off. I mean I REALLY took off! Remember that whole safety first thing I mentioned? Yeah, well I had a moment today. I wore boots and a helmet but my arms were completely exposed. Not my finest moment, a fun one but not my finest. I jumped some field mounds and even got a little air, and then I almost dumped it. My posturing was all wrong and my front end went down way too hard and I almost went with it. Pucker factor was in full effect.

Those bushes are full of briars. Thankfully I didn’t dump it, at the very least I would’ve been rocking some gnarly scuffs and scratches from the brush around the field. It was time to stop and reset and also allow hubster to calm down as well. My son got to witness what not to do and we’ve had a day long after action review led by hubster.

Later in the day I took Sarge (Triumph Tiger) off road and went a bit slower. I don’t have the aggressive off road tires on Sarge but the bike performed well, we did not get any air but Sarge handled the rough terrain with ease. This is my sweet spot. I haven’t given up on dirt biking after my maiden voyage today but the ADV bike allows me a great ride while I experience more of nature.

I am thankful for zero injuries today and also for lessons learned. Just because I ride one style of make doesn’t mean I’m an expert on another style of bike. I was also reminded that I like my skin and I paid good money for my tattoos, so GEAR, ALWAYS WEAR GEAR!

As for my son, he’s a pretty happy kid right now and he was reading the motorcycle owner’s manual on the porch with hubster this evening. Bonding with our kids is one of our biggest responsibilities as parents, it’s also the biggest joy. I kick myself constantly for not spending more time with my daughter when she was still at home.

“…and the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon…”

She’s a great gal and we have a wonderful relationship, you just learn a lot of lessons on that first kid. We learned that our daughter staying busy with hobbies during school kept her focused and out of trouble & we plan to encourage our son to stay just as busy with positive activities. For now it appears he’ll like the two wheeled experience, and if that should continue to be the case I can have some peace of mind that we taught him responsibility with a bike, even if the lesson was what not to do😊.

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