First off .. what's a Noob? Well it is a new rider.. as I just got my license last April that is definitely me. Some will argue that you are a noob for a few years.. some say it is for XX miles ridden... others will say.. "hey we are all Noobs".. whichever way you look at it.. I am a noob. Sure I got 7000+ km in this year but still so much to learn.. experience. I am ok with that! I am riding and that is what matters.. I never cared about labels anyway.
I have had some really awesome moments in year one and some that well.. just scared the crap out of me. Then.. there was the one ride.. yes..that one.. the only one .. which was miserable.
It just so happened to be my first group ride.. exactly 3 weeks after getting my license. By this time I had gotten out in town and roamed around.. I was even happy that I was cool going 80 km/h.. I may have even hit 100km/h by this point..but I wasn't ready. Not for this... I am still not ready... nor do I think I will ever choose to be. lol.. There will be times I get caught in freezing cold bitter side blowing wind and rain... but It better come out of the blue or I won't be out in the first place. HAHA..
A neighbour has a group he rides with and they do an annual fundraiser run.. "Come with us.. it will be a blast" .. so we did. All three of us.. I was already nervous about the segment that was on the highway as I hadn't done that yet.. but what could go wrong when your with a group right??... WELL we knew it may call for rain.. it was even misting on the way to the meet spot... but I was sure it wouldn't be that bad.... I just wanted to ride. HUMPH!!!!
We were going over the "mountain" to stop point one.. then through to check two.,, highway back to town for supper... this is a total of about 100km in total... maybe more... I can't remember.... I didn't do it all.. I tapped out.. openly.. willingly.. eagerly.. tapped out!
Shortly after leaving the meet spot the rain really started.. heavy.. cold... blinding rain..DC had been great and gotten RainX for the helmets.. and I Guess it worked.. I was to nervous to turn my head enough for the rain to really roll off.. and I was fogging up so I am not sure I would have known if it did clear.. lol..
L (riding two up with DC.. ) was lacking in proper rain gear.. my leathers were soaked and the COLD rain was hammering at us straight on from the left side~! I was sooo not ready... I had one thought the whole way over the mountain.. get to the first pit stop,.. go home. OHHHH and HELL NO TO HIGHWAY TODAY!!! LOL...
I wasn't ready for that wind. I was new and learning to control my machine, I hadn't gotten the hang of doing it with that much side wind or with rain.. never mind both together... I couldn't see... I also felt like I was holding up the last guy who was guard... it made me feel horrible to think I was sucking the joy out of his ride poor guy...
I can not say enough... I WAS NOT READY! I am not sure there is any way to really know if you are ready for a group ride.. for a bad weather ride... or for any challenge that you will encounter while riding until you are in the situation but one thing I can tell you... when you figure out that you are in over your head.. there is NO SHAME in tapping out... do it... Tap! tap! tap and do it at the first chance you get!
Which for me was about 3 seconds after stopping at pit stop one. I felt bad for DC but the look of relief on L's face was reinforcement. She was new to riding too... Quinn (DC's gorgeous Harley Sportster) is amazing for one.. not so much for the passenger.. especially one new to riding. She was wet.. tired and sore. Quinns seat is a bit of a struggle to stay up on anyway as it slopes back a bit but in the rain.. but in nylon pants.. it was near impossible.. I was so scared she was coming off the back.. In front of a blind me!
The crew understood and I am sure were secretly a little happy about me calling it, though they were so encouraging and caring about it....BUT.... now they could giver'er and get it done too.. no waiting on me..
The great thing was that we happened to be minutes from my Mom's house... sooo warm clothes and soup.. here we come.
We went over and begged use of the clothes dryer.. bummed a can of soup and at the first sign of a break in the rain made the dash over the mountain for home.
The wind was super strong and scary a couple of times at the top of the mountain but seemed a lot more manageable knowing I was homeward bound.
We arrived at the restaurant behind the crew but in time to eat and enjoy the festivities and remaining fundraising events. They actually seemed relieved that I made it home... like they were worried about me... SHEEEESH>.. ok yeah it was that bad.
I got a little prize too.. There was a little speech (designed to make me feel better and less loser'ish) about the first lesson in riding is to know your limits.. and follow them.
All in all... even though I was miserable... it was a great experience.. if nothing else for the lesson learned..
I look forward to the ride this season so they can see how far I have come... as long as it isn't calling for rain that day..
While I would like to say this was the scariest moment of 2019 on two wheels.. I am afraid there is just one more...
Stay tune for the next post to hear more about Mud sliding on two wheels while fully packed for camping.. LOL...
Until then... Ride Safe and Ride ON! - Noobie J