16 May, 2007

Motorcycles, revisited

Sandy now has a motorcycle license. Or rather, as soon as she goes to the DMV she just has to pass their written test and gets the "M" designation. I, however, failed the class. In a very frustrating way. For most of the class I was on a DR 200 for most of the class. I had tremendous difficulties with both the rear brakes (situated under your right foot) and with the gearshift (which is situated at the tip of your left foot). The reason for this is I wore my enormous Vasque boots for protection. I couldn't feel where the controls were with my foot, and I couldn't fit my feet where they were supposed to be, so I rode very poorly, in general. Once I got the bike moving, it was a lot easier to drive. I was situated, my feet were properly placed (or at least clutching the bike in roughly the right place), and I had no problems handling the bike. A lot of the stuff you learn for high speed driving in a car applies to a bike. MSF talks about having a "twelve second" view down the road. Yeah, that's about right, as I think about how I drive the Subaru when we're pushing it hard.

So I dropped the bike. That's the big news, I guess, other than Sandy passing or my failing (I think the latter was much less expected than the former). I'm okay. It was on a tight left turn, and I wasn't leaning far enough out (bringing my center of gravity down to the point where it upset the bike). The bike fell out from under me, landed more or less across my waist, and no big deal. But the handlebars were perpendicular to me as the bike was coming down, and I took a real big hit to rib #3 on my left. Right about at the sternum, maybe an inch or so left. It's broken. I mean, you can feel it. Plus, I'd broken ribs before, and knew what the feeling was.

The instructor asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital and I said no. The reason for this is there is no way to "mend" a broken rib. You get X-rayed to make sure you haven't punctured your lungs or heart, and they give you percocet if you're lucky, tylenol #3 or motrin 800 if you're not, and send you on your way. Congratulations, you've broken a rib. Enjoy your pain.

I don't know what I'm going to do about the license. I might be able to pass the class if we could both adjust where the pedals are (they're all adjustable) and get me shoes that meet the requirement for the class but which are thin enough to fit into the right places.

Broken rib. Shit, this hurts.

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