110 months ago

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How do I get involved like this? Promises, Promises


I've called myself an apostle of motorcycling before. Kinda. What I mean by that is that I like to preach - spread my enthusiasm - for the "sport"/lifestyle/reason to live to others nearly every chance I get. There is community and charity in the sport - a lot of positive aspects to the sport which need promotion and recognition.

That being said, I can put myself in unique situations sometimes.

Which is why on a recent Tuesday morning, I was looking out the window at one of those showery mornings where you really know the rain isn't going to let up before you have to ride. Where I live, we usually seem to get the type of rain that comes down in torrents for 20 mins or so - also known as an "eternity" while sheltering under a highway overpass should one be so lucky - then moves on to put a dent into someone else's summer concert or garage sale. No, it was one of those rare teasingly light not-sure-if-going-to-end-wait-it's-clearing-no-it's-pouring-again rainy mornings that looked like it would last all day.

But I had to go out. I promised. Like I said, I tend to find myself in situations like these.

A couple weeks previously at a local poker run I met and hung with a rider who, like me, was on his first poker run too. To try to fit in, I had the luxury of riding my Virago 750 and left the Ninja 500 at home. It was a good call - it was a Harley/cruiser fest. Pretty much as I expected. But Kevin brought his Ninja 600 "Red Bull" edition. Talk about standing out. Since a lot of other people seemed to know each other, we got to chatting. Which turned into a brisk evening ride a few days later. On the Ninjas.

Turns out that, although Kevin had a lot of experience riding, he claimed, it just wasn't entirely according to the province's highway traffic act. Fortunately, he had seen the error of his riding ways before the insurance companies made such a pastime financially impossible and was now going legit. Which meant he was due to take his M2 test (practical riding test).

Except his beautiful Ninja 600 wasn't fully plated yet - it still needed to pass the safety test. Which it couldn't in time for Kevin to use it for his M2 test. Rescheduling driver/rider examinations is almost as bad as scheduling elective surgery in Ontario - it can take months. So what did I do?

I offered the use of my Ninja 500. Of course.

What else could I do? The guy was stuck. What would you do?

We had a met up a few days beforehand so he could have some saddle time on my Ninja and get used to how it handled. The little doubts were creeping in my head: "What if this is a scam to steal my bike? I hardly know this guy! I think he's all right, but how do I know" and the like. But... I had promised.

Thankfully it turned out all right. And I got to try my first sport 600. Wow...that's all I can say. I can see why noobs and even experienced riders crash them all the time.

But as "Test Tuesday" came around, I realized I had no choice - I had to go out in the rain. Because I had promised.

So, comfortably encased in my full rain suit, somewhat anxious due to a fully fogged visor, but with the rain mercifully letting up, it was off to the test centre the next city over. While repeatedly asking myself: how do I get involved like this?

I like to keep promises. I like to believe in people. I like to help other riders. That's it. Plus it makes for some interesting times, I guess.

Oh, and that silver-blue blur blasting down the highway? That'd be Kevin. He passed.

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109 months ago

"___Apostle of Motorcycling ___" that's a good one. I go with " Evangelist of ESR " some people can take that wrong at first, but we are both on the right track here.  😉