Ok, so I spoiled the outcome with the title, but the interesting part is the "barely." This past weekend I took the Rider's Edge course through Ray Price Harley Davidson. At the beginning of the class the instructor asked why we wanted to take the class. For me, the main reason was for safety; if for some reason I had to drive the bike somewhere (you know, like if Jim got abducted by aliens), I would know how. The other reason is pure curiosity. I wanted to know what the rush felt like. And now I know. It's pretty darn cool.
Thursday and Friday night were classroom instruction. Saturday and Sunday was actual field work out at the VIP parking lot at Walnut Creek and by 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, I was driving the bike. Granted, it was in a huge, flat, empty parking lot (with Bojangles' fried chicken and some puke leftover from Friday night's Tim McGraw concert), but wow. I have to admit, it was very stressful. There is so much to think about when you ride. Shifting, braking, swerving, leaning, the list goes on. Saturday afternoon we took the written test, and since I work at a testing company, I use that term VERY loosely.
Sunday started out with the figure 8. Whoever invented figure 8s should be shot. Luckily, there is never an instance in real life where you would have to use this. To get out of a tight spot you could do a three point turn, walk the bike, or have your much more experienced boyfriend turn the bike around for you...see, options! For some unknown reason, some moron decided it's a good idea to put it on the driving test. I would like to show this moron my scraped hand. During the figure 8 portion of the test, I dropped the bike. For those that have never done it, it's not fun. It's a little scary, could be painful, and is super-embarrassing. Thankfully I was wearing gloves, boots, and jeans (safety first people), and the training bike had probably been dropped 100 times before (not by me!) so everything was cool and off I went to the next part of the test.
As it got near the end, the stress began to build. I was tired, hot, and very nervous. This is the time that I was thankful I had selected the ladies-only class. Because I began to cry. Yep, biker chick crying. Not. Cool. The other girls in the class were so encouraging and helpful. Instead of quitting, I got through the last portion and was done. The six of us breathed a collective sigh of relief as he told us our scores. We all passed! Girls rule!
As a bonus to the class, I got to reconnect with one of my first friends when I moved to Raleigh at five years old. Neither one of us knew the other was going to take the class. We've come a long way since playing Barbie's, Nintendo, collecting stuffed animals, and riding bicycles. Now, we're both engaged to big bad bikers and learning to drive our own (different type of) bikes!
Through a teensy bit of blood, buckets of sweat, and a few tears, I passed the class. Next step, NC DMV!