Before I even start, I think I have to say learning how to ride a motorcycle is one of the best decisions I have ever decided to pursue.
That being said, my second lesson rocked. I have a fantastic teacher, my friend Neil, who teaches me how to ride a bike Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance style (which I have decided is the only way to learn how to ride a bike). He didn’t just teach me how to ride, he was teaching me how to LISTEN to the bike to see if you are in the right gear, how to KNOW if you have shifted gears right, how to FEEL the bike to figure out how to apply more clutch or more acceleration etc…
I made it to 3 circles around a parking lot, and then took it out in moderate Indian traffic. Not gonna lie, my hands were shaking because I had to a) make a turn into mild traffic b) shift gears c) apply the right clutch/acceleration combination d) not fall into the ditch e) not get hit by other cars, but I made it out ok. I was definitely skiddish because as I was turning into the oncoming traffic I wanted to get out of the way as fast as possible (so then I applied too much acceleration) which made me loose control of the bike a bit/I started heading for the ditch, but luckily I just kept going and straightened out the bike in time . No harm no foul, but it was still a bit scary. Not scary enough to never get back on again, but enough to make me take a break.
BUT- I did have about a minute of riding time during which I just…drove. And it was AMAAAZING. I have also decided I don’t want to drive in Indian traffic because its not worth the stress- luckily there are LOTS of roads around where I live which are gorgeous and have absolutely no people/vehicles on them which I plan to ride on. They will keep me occupied for months and months. Living in the smaller cities of India definitely has its benefits!
ALSO- I think the hardest part of riding is getting over the psychological barrier of…realizing you are riding a motorcycle. In India, it’s also getting over the stigma of riding a bike as a woman- and yes, all the people looking at me like I was crazy definitely messed with my head. But this morning I had a breakthrough. I realized that pretty much every male over the age of 11 knows how to ride a bike in India- and if 11 year old boys can ride a bike, then so can I. And when I thought about it that way, it totally helped and I made so much more progress than I did the first day.
All in all, it was a great day. I’m super stoked for my next lesson, and hope to actually be proficient by the end of the month 🙂