Soon after my wife and I began dating, I asked her if she'd be interested in going out for a ride on my motorcycle. She had never been on a bike before. She decided she'd give it a try. I told her I'd start out slowly and on local roads. If she didn't like it, we could quickly head back for the barn. I showed her how to put on a motorcycle helmet, and where the footpegs were. I also made sure she knew that the motorcycle turns by leaning. When I leaned to the left, she needed to lean with me. Some people get very nervous, and lean the other way. This can actually cause the motorcycle to go straight!!
She was doing just fine on the local roads, so I kicked it up a little bit, and headed west, towards the mountains. After about an hour, we stopped at a gas station to have a bite to eat and to stretch out. I took a look at my tailpipe... what was that on there? Melted rubber?? "Ummm, Laya, did your foot feel warm at all?" Yep, turns out she didn't realize her foot wasn't on the peg. Instead, it was on the tailpipe. So her brand new shoes then looked like this:
(She still uses these shoes today!)
After leaving the gas station, we continued on to the Shenandoah Mountains, going up Rt. 211 to Skyline Drive. This stretch of 211 is a biker's dream, heading up the mountain, very twisty, left, right, left, right... Wow!!! But as soon as we got onto Skyline Drive (located just before 211 started going downhill) I could feel Laya's head bobbling around a little bit. I pulled into the first rest area, which also was a picnic area. Oh wow, I guess the road got a little bit too twisty... Laya was dizzy. We stayed there for about 45 minutes or so, resting, letting Laya get her balance back, and eating some pre-packed sandwiches.
The speed limit on Skyline Drive is only 35 mph, so even though it was twisty, it wasn't enough to get Laya dizzy again. Plus I took my riding back down a notch. After exiting Skyline Drive, we continued heading back to my place. About half way before we got back, we pulled into another gas station, and got some ice cream and again sat down to relax and talk. (While I have done 1,000 mile days, this was Laya's first time on a bike, so I didn't want to push it by any means!)
While we were talking, I congratulated her on her first motorcycle ride, and had a gift for her to remember it by. I knew that she loves to collect key chains (I didn't know how much so until after we were married, and I helped to move buckets of them into our new home!) So I got her a keychain with Popeye and Olive Oyl riding on a motorcycle together. (all together now... aaawwwwwww...)
From there, we rode on to a gathering of motorcyclists in the DC area at a bar near my office (shooting pool, kicking tires, etc.) After all that was done, we arrived back at my place. It was a long ride, and she did a great job on it! Now, with the two kids underfoot, it's hard to get away for a ride together. Hopefully some day this summer will find a nice day where someone can take the kids for a few hours, and get out for another ride somewhere. Or actually, now that they are at camp some days, I might even take a morning off of work. The mountains keep calling...
Oh, and it only took about 2 hours to scrape off all of the dried up rubber from the tailpipe. :-) At least she never did that again!