Sunday, 12 February 2012

It's All Part of the Learning Curve

Out and About
 This weekend I didn't bother going for a long ride. I rode the bike to work a couple of times this week and I'm still finding stopping a pain, not quite literally but it's a close thing. I've worked out what I'm doing wrong and I'm trying to correct it, I am almost afraid to go slowly, so as I approach a stop I put my feet down too soon, and half the time its both feet, stopping with just the front brake which is making me jerk to a stop. I'm trying to think about what I'm doing and make myself approach stops slowly and just put down my left foot, the back brake is a much gentler stop and using it in conjunction with the front makes it go like clockwork. When I do manage to stop like that tis lovely, when I don't, I look around to see who saw me cream myself on the tank.

I've gone for a couple of rides around town this weekend, just for practise and to test out my new riding shoes. New shoes!! I couldn't get boots to fit me properly unless I paid $700 for them, and I really don't know yet if I will get enough use out of them to justify that price, but I want to be safe when I'm doing highway or country rides. The shoes I got are a bit big for me, but they are lace up so i can tighten them enough that they don't slip off my foot. After having them on for a couple of hours yesterday my feet were so damn hot and starting to swell, I was glad for the extra room, and when I get a bit more than town speed up I seem to be getting a breeze in them, probably because of the loose fit, I likes that. Getting used to chunky feeling shoes is becoming a challenge, yet another one. I cant feel the gear lever like I could in my joggers, so half the time I don't know if my foot is actually under the lever or not, caught myself looking down a few times to see, and I have had it stuck under the lever a few times too. The tread is great on them, putting my feet down feels a lot more stable, and I do feel safer with some protection on my feet. That tread also means the boot doesn't slip on the foot peg either, no more sliding my foot a bit forward and down to change gears, I have to lift up my foot and move it now, changing habits can be a huge challenge. Sometimes I cant feel the actual change, I've gone into neutral more times this weekend than I ever have in the past, another one of those moments when you look around to see who saw you ...

New shoes, any girls dream,
not exactly glass slippers tho
 Yep this week has all been part of the learning curve, getting used to new things like shoes and helmets, it's amazing how much of a difference those things can make. I'm still learning so much every day that I ride, and I know I still have a hell of a lot to learn. I went to lunch today and took the bike for a ride otherwise it wouldn't have gotten a run today at all. I've never parked in the main streets down town because they have a pretty mean camber on the roads, and it's angle parking. The angle is going the wrong way for me. I have to park back into the curb because with the camber on the road I would never be able to move it back when I want to leave, I'd probably have to get some burly bloke to give me a push. I don't back the bike out of it's parking spot at home, hubby does that for me and turns it around so I can just take off forwards down the driveway. I parked my bike in a different spot at work on Friday because of the threat of hail, and I had to push it back to get out of that park, it felt a lot easier, I've always said that moving the bike would get easier once I built up the muscles I need to make it happen. I'm also getting the feel for how to do things, it's the same as anything eventually after doing something for a while you find the most natural and easiest way to do things. So when I got home on Friday I was all full of confidence, and Saturday I made hubby stand by while I did the backing out, he only had to give me a push twice when I got stuck on the side of the driveway:) I don't like the angle parking in the main streets, I'm going to have to work out how to park in them, if I park in the direction of the park lines the bike is leaning at the wrong angle, and it actually doesn't sit on the stand properly, it moved back on the stand today and that's not a nice feeling, plus when I take off from that angle it's a hard left turn to get onto the road, I practically had to do a u-turn to do it. Hey I did another u-turn, yay bring it on!!

One other thing today, I washed the bike! (yes again) I was using a you beaut motorcycle spray on and rinse off wash, it lasted 2.5 washes, and when I couldn't finish on Saturday I didn't bother using the shammy, bad mistake. The water marks on the chrome are sinful and I couldn't stand it, had to buy something to make my baby shine, so went with an old fashioned wash that requires a bit of elbow grease, all good I still love my bike enough to bother and now I'm off to polish the chrome :)

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