I spent the weekend sweaty and dirty and exhausted, which is not a bad way to spend your time. On Friday, I drove out to the middle of nowhere Long Island in order to go to a three day basic skills class taught by the Big Apple Motorcycle School. It’s something that I’ve been talking about for years, but now that my car is being monopolized by a teenager, the issue has been coming to a head. There have been times when I’ve wanted to go somewhere and been stuck in the house because all of the cars are gone, which is something that I am too old for.
But at the same time, I take a train to work, which means that I drive less than a thousand miles a year. Taking on the expense of a car doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially given the huge expense of insurance in this area. Insuring a scooter is about $50 a year and it would get me where I need to go when the cars aren’t available, which is mostly in the summer anyway. I think it’s the perfect solution.
The original problem, of course, was that I’d never driven one and didn’t have a license to do so. One of the big perks of the basic skills class is that New York State will recognize the test they give you at the end as an official road test. The entire class is geared towards building the skills that you’re going to need for the test, so if you’re paying attention and picking up the skills fairly well as they’re being taught, you’re pretty likely to pass the test and get the paperwork you need to get your license, even if you have absolutely no prior experience, like myself. That’s actually sort of a scary thought, but the premise is that you already have your driver’s license and quite a lot of experience in a car, so you’re just translating your skills. That mostly works. Stopping a motorcycle can be “fun”, because it actually requires two hands and two feet to do it fully for the DMV’s purposes. (Guess where I lost points on the test.) But the instructors were really great and very helpful. And I met some women that really love their bikes, which inspires me.
I passed. By the skin of my teeth, but I passed. (I am now just a little bit more like my mother.)
I am returning to work this morning exhausted and sore, but awfully proud of myself. The next step is to figure out what I’d like in a bike or a scooter and then bring that home. The next few weeks are packed full, so there’s little chance of actually managing to purchase something, which gives me plenty of time to research and window shop. I admit that I feel a certain pressure to hurry up and get back on a bike before I forget everything that I learned, so now I need to make that happen.
Even my wrists and fingers hurt, but it was totally worth it. One more thing has been crossed off the list of things that I need to do before I die. On to the next one.