Motorcycles have been apart of my life for 35 years. All throughout that time, I had experienced some of the best and worst (read: painful) moments of my life, all of them memorable nonetheless. I’m often asked why am I so passionate about riding, and the answers usually point back to these memories.
PART 1 – FARM FRESH
I learned how to ride at the ripe age of 11 years old, in a farm.
My cousin, who was 15 at the time, would ride his father’s 1971 Honda C90 around the farm and into the woods. He taught me how to ride on that same bike, with him riding pillion.
That C90 had a “see-saw” type of gear shifter pedal and peculiar shift pattern: 1st to the back, press forward through Neutral for 2nd and 3rd.
One day, I decided to take the bike out by myself. What else was there to do on that farm besides collecting eggs in the morning? I’d already tasted the exhilaration of riding a motorcycle, after all.
However, I’d forgotten the shift pattern. I tapped the shifter forward, assuming it to be 1st, then took it up to some speed on the dirt road, with my hair blowing all the way back and shirt lifting up. The barn, coops and enclosures went by in a blur.
Born to be wild, man! (I thought in a Dennis Hopper kind of way)
Time for 2nd gear. I kicked (yes, kicked) the rear part of the shifter in excitement for more speed. Instead of going faster, the engine went BRRRRRRRRAAAM and the bike felt like it hit an invisible brick wall. The rear wheel instantly locked solid and overtook the front on the right side. I just sat there on the bike in confusion while it lowsided onto the pebbles and red dirt. SKKKKRRRRIIIISSSHHH!
I was enveloped in a red cloud with my left leg pinned underneath the bike. And dirt is far from being delicious, I assure you. I started to hear yelling through the fog, the loudest being that of my parents.
My relatives took me inside to clean up. I was covered in red dirt from head to toe, punctuated by scratches that were starting to either ooze sticky liquid or blood, looking like a skinny version of The Thing from the Fantastic Four.
There were three takeaways from this one experience: A) Make sure you fully know how to operate a motorcycle before riding it
B) Crashing isn’t fun, and
C) Those farm fresh eggs were tasty.