Yesterday was one week since I locked the front brake on a wet road. I’ve been wondering why I have locked the front brake so many times in the last five years — probably about four times before this. Always while turning (twice on wet roads, though I know to use the back brake then).
During the three years of riding my little Honda XL 125 when I was younger in the Peace Corps, I never locked the brakes. I never fell during those three years except once while parking it, when my pants got stuck on the foot stand. In fact, even with the little Honda 125 before my XL 200, I did not lock the brake. I am wondering if it is me, or my bike, or both!
For me, it’s usually not a big deal. Just part of riding a motorcycle. However, this time I did hurt myself, though not seriously. The worst for me is I was taking care and driving consciously and at an even, slow pace. Yes, the situation presented itself where I wasn’t sure whether the other rider was going to gain control of his bike, so I quickly — sigh — hit the brake. But still. I was taking care and, nevertheless, I fell. 😦 Something about this upsets me.
I have been so “in the groove” the last year and “living the power” of confidence on a motorcycle. It’s like I have hit a sweet zone. (A love zone!) I hope I have not lost this once I get back on. (I don’t think so, but know that in the past, I did lose my confidence for a while after falls.) Yeah. I guess this is sitting heavy with me. I don’t want to lose my groove. 🙂
What this brings up is the reality that all motorcyclists to some degree run the risk of killing themselves or maiming themselves severely. I wouldn’t mind dying doing what I love. I have been aware of this for the last six years, and have even told my son that if I die riding, it will be OK. I would not, however, particularly be pleased with being maimed, though I can only hope that the universe would bring me all I needed in such a situation (and I hope I could still have a full and thankful heart). I have met many motorcyclists who were maimed and they still are obviously happy people. (One man still rides even after spending eight months in the hospital.) I also know many ex-riders who stopped riding after accidents or near misses.
To ride or not to ride? That is the question.
The thing is that riding brings me such intense joy and complete pleasure. It’s hard to explain the sense of wonder, awe, and pure fun that I experience while riding. It is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. A spiritual experience beyond explication.
Am I willing to give this up for safety? No. It seems not, for I can’t wait to get back out on my Honda!
Within the realm of possibility is the fact that I may indeed be able to ride another 20 years without a serious accident. My husband rode for 52 years without ever getting in one. Yes, I may still have minor falls, but that is OK as long as I don’t get osteoporosis.
Of course, also within this realm is the reality I have already spoken about.
May the whimsical powers of the universe be on my side, and may I ride for the rest of my life without suffering an accident! Life is just not the same without my Honda.
Sat. July 28, 2018
First one, God only knows where I’d be without you. For my Honda. 🙂
Second one, Don’t worry, baby. 🙂