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For all you Newbies out there and veterans who want to remember what it was like when you first got started:

It was a beautiful and unseasnably cool day in Athens, Georgia (low 70's) today. I had heard about this DMV office about 45 miles away that gave the motorcycle road tests in a friendly manner so, I wanted to check it out. Oh, darn! No phone number listed so, I figured I just have to ride over there and check it out. I had heard that you didn't need an appointment and I went there mentally prepared to flunk the test but to get the experience so I'd be ready the next time.

OK, I'm going to admit that, with only about 350 road/street miles under my belt, I was a little bit intimitated at the thought of striking out on my own on such a ride that would include both heavy traffic areas and divided highway riding at speeds averaging around 75mph. I couldn't figure out why the whole thing spooked me like it did but, I figured that one reason might be my lack of real riding gear - as well as experience. Only one way to get experience and riding gear is sold locally so....

On the way was my local dealer so, I stopped in. They gave me a really good deal on some matching Cortec GX gloves and jacket - with reasonable armor and in a very smart-looking blue. I was properly outfitted! Let me tell you - you really do get a lot more confident when you have decent gear! Still, I had my doubts.

Off I went. The 650 Burg was a dream cruising with the traffic around 65-75mph. I didn't push it; I just stayed with the flow of traffic and did the constantly looking around me thing until it became very natural. The new jacket (without the liner) was incredibly breezy - never hot except sitting a long traffic light and even then, not so bad. Same for the gloves. In this part of the country, in the summer, you shop for things that breathe and let the air flow through. I bought a size that was just a little bit roomy to allow for something underneath when the weather chills.

Now, one thing I want to say after all the Harley rider bashing that happens on this board sometimes - every rider I passed gave me a wave and most times before I initiated it. I would say that about 90% of them were on Harleys so, just for the record: Harley riders in north Georigia are as friendly as anybody can be! Goldwing riders, too! Maybe it's a regional thing because folks in Georgia are just plain friendly (outside of Atlanta but almost nobody in Atlanta is from Georgia, anyway). In Athens and most of the rest of Georgia, we have a mantra - Screw Atlanta! Who the hell would live there?!

OK, so I rode and I loved it ! My right wrist is a bit sore - I'm not used to the angle and kept adjusting it but what I really wanted to do was just take my hand off the throttle for a while from time-to-time....I know they make things that let you do that. My butt, however, is fine. The seat is comfy and my backrest (from Jac Vinson) was MUCHO COMFORTABLE! Thanks, Jac! (http://www.rvtoys.com)

I got there, took a break, had a Sprite and a smoke, and then went inside to check it out. Sure enough, they have now gone to requiring appointments for the road test and they don't do them on Saturdays. I got the phone number to make the appointments from the very nice ladies there - one of them was a stone-cold, knock-out babe! (Which is pretty common in small-town Georgia.) She was smiling at me so hard that I was sure she was checking me out. Well, no. After I got home, I realized that I had a near-terminal case of the dreaded "helmet hair" so, she was probably just trying to keep from laughing. :oops:

OK, I just got back on the scoot and headed home. Most of the way home, I was following a 2-up Harley but I never tried to pull alongside or anything. It was no trouble keeping up but, there wasn't any reason to pass - he was running the same speed I wanted to run.

Anyway, that was about 2 hours in the saddle and I feel great! I'm ready to do it, again. Now, my scoot is up to almost 450 miles and starting to feel broken in - it just keeps getting better!

I'm happy there is a place on this board for stories because I just had to share. :D

Al
 

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Al, congratulations! Nothing like the "first time"....no matter what it is.

Some years ago I was taking ultralight flying lessons. Had not yet managed to land the 2 seater trainer when i bought a single seater for that magic day...should it ever come. Late one evening, down at the county airport practicing crow hops with the single seater, I had it off the ground about 20 feet flying down the runway when a bunch of deer trotted out in the middle of the runway and stood there looking at me. Was nothing to do but give it full throttle and up and away. That was my solo flight. And a thrill that nothing has ever compared to....of course at my age i've forgot what "those other things" are like!
 

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Al, go to your dealer and get yourself a Throttle Rocker. It will be the best 10 bucks you've spent. No more tired wrist. Then go for an NEP or similar throttle lock to use when you really have to give your right hand a rest.

Cheers,

Bob
 

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Yea nothing like that first crow hop. I would go flying just to make landings, did not care for the take off. What kind of ultralite did you have Ted? I had 2 mitchel wings i built, never flew, a Skyseeker Cdn, 2 seat Quicksilver, last one a Kolb Fire Star, that was the best, oh yea home made hang gliders made from al condue pipe and 6mil plastic, wander Im alive :wink: Wayne
 
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