Seven Turns

March 1, 2008

I can feel spring in the air, how about you? The birds are chirping when I leave the house in the morning and the deer, usually about 5 or 6 are content walking across our lawn on a daily basis, adding much excitement to the mundane day of our dog, Diesel.

Although I realize we are still bound to get a few more dumpings of snow, I am still anxious to get out to practice some new riding techniques I have found on a video called “Ride like a Pro”.

In a previous article I touched on my lack of confidence with slow manoeuvres. One of our subscribers told me about a DVD called Ride Like a Pro. Since receiving the DVD in late October, I still have not had a chance to try the techniques out, but find myself now, on a regular basis, anxiously waiting for the snow, sand, gravel and salt to be washed away so I can actually get out and see how I do with them.

Watching the DVD Jerry “Motorman” Palladino demonstrates various exercises you can do to improve your slow riding and cornering skills. From a basic U-turn exercise, to counter steering and push steering, to a more complicated figure 8 exercise, the DVD goes into great detail describing the various techniques used to perform these so they become routine to you. The description on the back of the DVD claims you should allow yourself three to four hours to master these techniques. I have watched the DVD once and will do so once again just as a refresher before heading out to practice. There is also a pamphlet included with the DVD which will be handy to take along to a parking lot so that you can reference it quickly when needed. If you have a portable DVD player that might also be a good item to bring along, then you can actually watch the DVD again as a refresher if you are unsure of certain moves.

As well after mentioning in the article my issue with slow tight turns, I was surprised to get such a number of responses from people with the same issues. Once I get out and try these techniques, I will let you know how I do and perhaps you may want to try this course. You could also sign up at a rider training centre for some one-on-one training with a professional instructor to guide you through your difficulties. I might end up doing this as well. You can never be too prepared!

International Female Ride Day has now been announced for May 2, 2008. Last year’s introduction in Canada was such a success that this year it has gone international. The event takes place annually on the first Friday of May, spotlighting women who ride.

Last year I rode my bike to work on Female Ride Day and that evening my daughter Emily, got her dirt bike out in the back yard and did a bit of showing off for her Mom. With Glenn behind the camera we captured some great images and then sent them to the MOTORESS website and they were posted shortly after for all to see. It was interesting when checking out the website to also see many friends’ photos posted who had also made a point of getting on their bikes and going for a ride that day. After forwarding our photos to Motoress we also received a gift in the mail from founder Vicki Gray. A nice touch! (www.motoress.com)

As riding season gets underway, I have a couple friends who have made the decision and ordered their new bikes and are anxiously waiting delivery. From past experience, I know it is very exciting when you finally decide on the colour and make of your new bike, then start dreaming of the accessories and options you might want. The day can’t seem to come quick enough to take delivery of your new bike.

I have also met a number of people still thinking about what is suitable for them. There are many options out there, but not so much if you are vertically challenged, I’m talking 5’3” and under. All you can do is try a few out to see if you are comfortable sitting on them and can put your feet on the ground. Sometimes a boot with a bit of a heel can make all the difference as well, if you just need an inch or so.

Throughout the past twelve years I have purchased one used bike and three new bikes. For different reasons each one is just as exciting to finally receive as the other. For the most part, the different bikes were due to moving up to larger displacement engines as I became more confident. Of course it would be nice to be able to keep them all, but not many of us have that option.

My daughter Emily is now on her fourth off-road bike, of which the newest in her collection seems way too tall for me, as she has now surpassed me in the height department by a smidgen. This year she will also be old enough to ride on the road. I find this extremely exciting as my goal is to find her a bike that she will like, but that will also be suitable for me to ride so we can switch every now and again. Emily is leaning more towards a sport bike, mostly because she likes the riding gear better (go figure). So during the shows this year I have a couple bikes lined up I think she might like. I’ll try them out making sure I like them first, then see if she will go for them. Makes perfect sense to me.

Perhaps this is why this spring is much more exciting for me this year. I actually feel like I am getting a new bike in a roundabout way. Now what colour will I choose…I mean will Emily choose.

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