Ok, first some background: 6 weeks ago I got a new 2004 Burgman 650 (black). This was a jump from my 50cc scooter (obviously a BIG jump). I'm a new rider, still on a permit (taking the MSF class first weekend in August). I did take the MSF class 4 years ago but didn't finish due to a family emergency. Starting with rides around the neighborhood to build up confidence, I graudually went into traffic and started riding to work (2 miles) and eventually taking 50+ mile rides.
So much for the background. Being in southern California, I took the 650 out on the well-known Mullholand Hwy (and a big biker favorite in these parts). Very, very relaxing... at least until it starts getting really winding, blind curves, steep inclines, etc. Ok... just as soon as I saw that stretch coming, I'd turn around and head back. Well, the other day I went back onto Mulholland Hwy and was enjoying the ride so much that it didn't dawn on me to watch for when the road started getting curvy. Next thing I knew, I had a death grip on those handlebars that could've bent the bars off!! A cliff on my left, mountainside on my right, narrow 2-way road (no where to pull over), not enough courage/experience to turn around on this narrow road and head back... nope, I was in for going forward with ever increasing altitude, narrower roads, twistier turns, even tighter grip on the handlebars, lack of experience on this kind of road, and wondering if I was going to make it. Next thing I know, the cliff side is on my right, mountainside on my left. One false move and I'm in for a drop of several hundred feet... or into someone's oncoming bumper. Needless to say, I really feared for my life! But... I didn't look anywhere but where I was going and where I wanted the bike to go. That's what made it successful. Man, if I looked down the cliff, I'd be falling down the cliff. Gotta say this though... the 650 handled really, really well. It did exactly what I wanted it to do. No skidding, no skipping of the rear wheel, nada...
When I finally came out of this several-mile-long mess, I hit Kanan Rd (for those who are familiar) and felt a sigh of relief that my life was spared! As a side benefit for my troubles, Kanan road was a breeze. Actually all roads from that point onward were a breeze! Making turns or fast curves was suddenly not a problem any more. This was a real learning experience that carried over. I wouldn't recommend what I did to any new rider, but if they can't be stopped, they'd be surprised at how much better a rider emerges from them.
Now, if this wasn't enough, I took a different mountain road the next day (Box Canyon). Had the fear again but not quite to the extent as the previous day. Once again, emerged even better a rider. My rides are now up to 80 miles/day. Hopefully I'll pass the MSF class in August!
So I ask... am I crazy? Has anyone else who's a new rider (with just a permit, not an M1 endorsement yet) done anything as crazy as this? Or is this just part of the thrill of it all and not much different than something anyone else would do?