Monday, September 7, 2009

Adventure Day 38 Part 2 - #40 Go on a motorcycle ride

Clearly this was a busy day for my list, I was accomplishing things left and right. Next would be the item I allowed one of my friends to determine. Yes, it’s true, if it were up to me this item would never have turned up on my list. However when I was given the idea I couldn’t turn it down - since it was indeed the perfect example of doing something I would never try on my own (or even be forced to do), but also something I should for sure experience.

My first reaction to Lovie’s e-mail was that of ‘Oh no! I can’t do that, I’m way too chicken!!! What am I gonna do? I can’t turn her down, it really is in the spirit of the whole thing. But I really am too scared!’ After a few days of pondering I accepted to challenge and decided to even embrace it. Luckily I’d been really busy through out day 38 and hadn’t given things a whole lot of thought. It wasn’t until I got out of my car at the park we were meeting at and saw the helmet and leather jacket that I’d be wearing on my fun little excursion that I began to ponder my sanity.

As we chatted about this and that I nervously made a couple of jokes about my life insurance policy being up to date and asked about how firmly implanted Rider’s (Lovie’s husband and my riding mate that evening) organs were inside his body. I was truly concerned. For two reasons: First I was afraid that I would unintentionally zone out and let go, which would inadvertently make me a glorious piece of road kill somewhere and secondly I was worried that I could quite possibly squeeze Rider’s insides so hard that the would become his outsides. (Two very valid concerns in my opinion). However not so much for Lovie, I was glad she had mountain moving faith.

Once Rider had pulled up and I had suited up, he gave me a quick lesson in being a motorcycle passenger: pretty much stay straight in the back, relax and don’t freak out. Sounded simple enough. He said that he would start out with a brief ride through the park and wanted me to give him the thumbs up at the end to say whether I was adventurous enough to try a highway drive then on to a beautiful back road. I braced myself, took a deep breath and off we went.

The ride through the park was quite simple just going very slowly on a path. I thought to myself ‘This isn’t bad at all, what’s all the fuss about you chicken?’ When the end came quicker than I thought it would Rider looked back to see the status of our outing, I gave him the go ahead to keep cycling. Off we went through town and then cranked up the speed once we got to the country side.

I won’t lie; I had to do a lot of self talking to keep myself calm and to try to really enjoy everything: the ride, the scenery, the whole newness of the experience. It reminded me of those times I’ve entered a store on Boxing Day just to get a great deal, getting in there only to have forgetton that I struggle with claustrophobia. I have to literally stop myself in the store close my eyes, breath deep and say ‘It going to be ok, you can do this, it’s not a race, take your time, you’re going to be fine’, often several times while I’m there. Well this day was no different except for the speed, that my friends was out of my control.

As we headed onto a highway I suddenly noticed the difference in speed (apparently we were going as slowly as we could go on the highway – Rider was very considerate, which I am thankful for!). Right away the wind was whipping about and I had to consciously try to hold my head when we came to any slow down’s or stops in order not to crash my helmet into Rider’s. I certainly had no intentions of injuring my driver. I also continually reminded myself of the positioning of my arms. Were they strangling Rider’s liver? Was his pancreas still pumping insulin? Would he be able to digest his food as he always had done before when this was all over? I didn’t want to maim or injure anyone here. At one point when I was trying to enjoy the trees, sunset, and fields I found myself not paying attention as much to my stance. It was then my mind quickly gave me a glimpse into my future if I stopped paying attention (I know everyone says you’ll be fine if you let go, but I’m not yet ready to test this theory).

After what I’m guessing was about 20 minutes or so we arrived back at the park we started out in and it was time for me to get off the bike. You’d think by my reaction I was anxious to jump off, but I wasn’t. In fact I was ready for more (well, I was ready for a next time – my back was a bit stiff from my slightly over tensed body). In the end I LOVED my #40!!! It was awesome and I will totally do it again sometime!

If you ever make a ‘List’ my advice is this: leave a couple of numbers for other people to decide because it’s the things you don’t expect that you may end up loving the most!

Thanks Lovie and Rider!!