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Whizbang's Spinning Wheels: September 2003

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  • Whizbang's Spinning Wheels: September 2003

    Let's kick this new section off with a special bulletin. Hey! Cool! I have special bulletins! The scoop is, Whizbang is no longer JUST a beginnerbiker. Nope. Not that there's anything mundane about being a beginnerbiker - in fact, it's superexciting! But you knew that already. No, I've changed. I'm no longer what I was before. I've become so much more. As of September 1, 2003...

    ...I became a one-year beginnerbiker veteran!

    What does that mean to you? Absolutely nothing. Except now I can shout it out to the masses via the Internet and you can't stop me unless you petition Matthew to shut me up or send the Mafia after me late at night and I see these two fat Italian guys at my door saying something like, "did you order a pizza?"

    "Order a pizza? Jesus Marimba! It's 3am!! I didn't order a..." - Whack.

    Having a year under my belt feels good, but I had to buy bigger pants. My guess is that the same will hold true for you and I'm - a tell ya why. If you remember, I posted a piece called Portrait of a Beginnerbiker at 7 Months which detailed what had changed about my riding experience seven months after passing the MSF class. Follow the link if you would like to peruse that little jem again. To recap, here's what was different about my riding skills then:
    1. FINE-C (pronounced "fine-see) had become FCNIE (pronounced "fick'-nee"), having gotten to know my bike better.
    2. I rarely if ever stalled at stop signs.
    3. Braking was and still is always done with both hand and foot without thinking.
    4. Clutch control and shifting had become habitual.
    5. My leans had become much more confident.
    6. Swerving maneuvers started to involve the whole body.
    7. The "death grip" on the handlebars had loosened considerably.
    8. My feet stayed off the ground longer at stopsigns and in stop-and-go traffic.
    Fast forward to September 1, 2003. Think polished. Think slick. Think smooth. Not only do all of the above hold true, but now I'm some kind of motorcycling force to reckoned with. Here is a list of what has changed in the last five months of riding:
    1. My car is collecting dust. It's summertime and there's just no reason to drive a car. On rainy days, I opt to ride with raingear rather than start up the car. I'm also spending a lot less on gasoline.
    2. My friends stopped making fun of me. "So are you like a biker now?" has turned into "So when are we going for ride?" That's right. Say my name, punk.
    3. 200 miles is a half-day trip. Having ridden nearly 4000 miles in two weeks on a cross-country trip to Arizona and back to Minnesota, I can ride harder and last longer than I ever could before...something about that didn't come out right.
    4. I've written a song called "The Motorcycle Song" and it rocks. Here's an excerpt:
    I'm a mean, clean pavement eatin' ridin' machine
    I'm a black and silver bullet with a colorful dream
    I'm a throttle-spinnin' rocket comin' on the scene
    Let me hear you shout for The Motorcycle Song!
    5. I'm sexier. I don't know what it is, but something about the way I wear my leathers in conjunction with the smoothness of my motorcycle operation makes scantily-clad women run out into the middle of the street begging me to hold them all night. Thankfully, the MSF class prepared me for such an event. I just slow down as they approach, then speed up at the last second which throws them off. I would add that it's important to keep your eyes on the road at all times during these maneuvers no matter what they're wearing.
    6. I'm tougher. The local evil biker gangs split ranks to let me pass as I come tearing down the highway... of course signaling properly and making sure to wave to each and every one of them as I go by, flashing my BB Rider patch. I've been offered Mentos several times.
    7. I'm broke. Having purchased four motorcycles in one year and accessories for several of them, I've found that Kibbles and Bits actually do taste better than Purina Chuck Wagon.
    8. Selling a motorcycle hurts. As I watched my V-Star 1100 ride away with her new owner I felt like someone had died. But I didn't cry out loud. I kept it inside. I've learned how to hide my feelings, because I'm tougher.
    9. My leather gear is much more comfortable now that it has broken in, but my butt doesn't look quite as good in my leather jeans as they did at this point last fall.

    10. My feet NEVER touch the ground. I'm on Cloud 9 from the minute I start her up until the minute I shut her down. ; )
    That's it for this month! Stay tuned for more really really important information!
    Keep ridin' safe Beginnerbikers!
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