Motorcycle Beginner Diary: What I Love About Being a MotorcyclistMon, 06 Jun 2011
Hey folks, it’s Dennis here, Motorcycle.com‘s Designated Newbie. As documented in our Motorcycle Beginner articles (and if you haven’t read them yet, check out the Related Reading links below!) we’re taking a look at the new rider experience and what it means to be a motorcyclist.
I’ve had a couple of weeks’ worth of riding on the new Honda CBR250R (more on that in our next Motorcycle Beginner article) and so far I’m having a blast. For the first time in, well, ever, I can honestly say I enjoy the commute to work every day.
Though I’m still a new rider, I’ve already discovered a couple of little things that I love about being a motorcyclist that I had never really thought about until I started riding. I’m sure this list will grow the more I ride, but here are three so far:
3) When People Ask Me About The Bike – I was approaching a red light on my way to work one morning, and slowed to a stop. The lane to my right was ending and a blue Honda Fit ahead of me wanted to merge. I let him in and came to a smooth stop behind him. To my surprise, the driver got out of his car and began to approach.
I was wondering if I had done something wrong. Did I leave my backpack open? Did I cut him off earlier? Was I about to experience an episode of road rage?
The driver, an older gentleman I’d guess to be in his sixties, walked up to me with an eager smile and asked:
“Is that the new 250?”
“Yes sir,” I replied with a grin.
2) Riding With Your Shadow – I was riding across a long bridge after work one evening with the sun setting off in the distance to my left. I was all alone with no other vehicles within a few hundred yards when I suddenly noticed a dark shape moving alongside me to my right.
I looked over and realized it was my shadow projected against the road beside me. I realized that even when you’re riding by yourself, if the sun’s out, you’re never riding alone.
1) Acknowledging, and Being Acknowledged by Other Riders – one piece of advice I’ve received from a number of people is to ride like I’m invisible; to assume that other drivers on the road can’t see me and will dart in front of me at unexpected moments.
That being said, there are some commuters that almost always notice me: other riders. Whether it’s with a head nod or a gesture with their clutch hands, there’s a moment of recognition from one rider to another. When we’re stopped at an intersection or passing each other on opposing lanes, those small gestures acknowledge that we both belong to the same motorcycling community.
Got something to add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know.
Motorcycle Beginner: I Want to Ride
Motorcycle Beginner: Buying Riding Gear
Motorcycle Beginner: Rider Training
By Dennis Chung
See also: Surely more wins are on the cards for Seeley and the 2011 Gixer?, Honda Reveals NSF250R Moto3 Racebike Specs, Mental Monkey video.