Events conspired to allow me to ride to work today for the first time this riding season. Having two kids that need to be dropped off at camp means I don't often take the motorcycle, as their camp is about halfway in between home and my office - and I'm not about to drive them to camp, drop them off, then turn around and drive home to grab the bike. Today, however, the Mrs. had the day off for working the July 4th holiday, so I took the Harley to work. It's a great way to start your workday...
It got me thinking, though, about something I've seen a fair amount of lately that's had me gritting my teeth and cringing. It's folks riding motorcycles who, during low speed maneuvers, keep their feet hovering microns off the ground or - even worse - skipping across the pavement. Some of them doing this while wearing sneakers. Every time I see this I picture a broken ankle when they hit a rough patch of road.
It's not quite the same when talking about a 400 pound sport bike as an 800 pound touring bike, of course; I'm certain that some of my apprehension comes from my experience on the Harley. My motorcycle outweighs me more than 4:1 - if it goes down, I'm going to have a hard time getting it back. If it goes down because I folded my leg under me from hitting a broken section of road, I'm in for a world of hurt - and possibly a broken leg to match my ankle.
Here's where I can't stress taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course strongly enough. Whether you've been riding for years or just starting out, there's always something to learn - kinda like with shooting, actually. You can hone your skills and possibly learn new ones by taking classes with experts - and then apply these new skills right out on the asphalt (like a pistol course at a range!). If you're not learning, you're getting stale - and whether it's on a motorcycle or carrying a firearm, that's never a good thing.
So, whatever your passion, make sure your skills are up to date!
That is all.