This morning out of nowhere, the Grateful Dead appeared in my head’s musical archive and I began humming “Truckin” for no good reason. It seems my psyche is torn, between heading for the open road or hanging in the safety of my home studio thinking about all the art I haven’t been doing. “Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me, other times I can barely see, lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it’s been”. Well ya, it has and as I approach having less time ahead than behind it’s easy to get introspective, and more or less complacent.
Complacency is the nibble of death. In the garage sit two amazing motorcycles, one, my old bike a 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S and the other a 2007 BMW R1200R. Both are ready and roadworthy and in need of a good workout, but then I look into the mirror and realize that they are not the only ones. So, does one need to ride to workout or workout to ride. Nibble nibble. I have many a rider pal who wouldn’t even consider riding her motorcycle without having some sort of physical mastery over the machine. Hmmmm….well, it seems a bit far fetched at this point to think that I have physical mastery over much more than say the gauge that checks my tire air pressure. You know, it gauges how much air is in the tires of the big and powerful moto while it can do nothing more about it. I believe I need to kick complacency’s arse.
Knowing this, I signed up for Liz Janson’s webinar, “Updating your motorcycle skills” and joined other riders from all over the country and Canada. The webinar was fun, stimulating and full of information, but what I took from it was one illuminating fact; skills need MUSCLE memory that is instinctive not impulsive. Yep…how freakin’ true is that?
As the weather gets warmer and dryer, it’s time to consider taking a class to polish up my skills after several months off the bike. Yes, I’ve ridden locally, and done a few hundred miles here and there, but I know that my muscle memory is also a bit complacent if not a bit impulsive. I need to tighten up and fine tune everything. I need paddock practice, turning and braking, U-turns from a stop and getting back to that tight relationship one feels with their machine.
So, what course where? There are plenty of refresher courses out there, but my favorite has always been Streetmasters for their instructors, their course and the care and nurturing we receive as a student. I always leave feeling more confident and more masterful, which is the what I hope for! The majority of my riding is done touring, dusted with a bit of local riding, so for me this is the perfect class. For dirt riders there are others and the same goes for track riders, but for good overall riding skill practice, you can’t beat Streetmasters.
Looks like I just need to find the right date, sign up for a class and get that light shining back on me. And maybe, just maybe with it, I’ll find the inspiration to start making art once again.