Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another Robinson Takes to Two Wheels

Our daughter Heather signed up for the Motorcycle Rider Course at Conestoga College in Kitchener for the weekend of October 14th. Despite biting cold and some snow and rain, she put in two full days in the parking lot learning how to ride from scratch. Although a very good car driver, she had only a passing acquaintance with a clutch before this weekend. I did sneak over to Conestoga and watch for a while. In this picture, Heather is second from the right. Unfortunately, when the time for the test came, she cut a couple of lines while maneuvering and was a little slow in a few sections so she didn't pass. She was disappointed but immediately enrolled for the review and retest session scheduled for November 4th.

I figured that more seat time before the retest was called for so I called Fred Poysor, a friend down in London who helps people improve their skills. Fred is 77 years old and can put me to shame in the twisties on his GL1800. He agreed that he would bring his dirt bike ( a 1971 Honda CL125) up to New Dundee the following weekend where she could practice in the Community Centre parking lot.

It was cool the next Saturday as we met Fred in New Dundee. Heather had a few moments getting the feel of the clutch, but then she was away to the races. Fred set up some courses using small cones and we were able to watch her improve as the day went by. Here Fred watches as Heather does a serpentine. The next morning we met Fred and his friend Ginger in Kitchener for breakfast with the GWRRA. It was pouring rain after breakfast and we suggested that maybe Heather would want to cancel the day's session but she told us we shouldn't coddle her. By the time we got to New Dundee, the rain had let up and she got in another full afternoon of practice.

Although we didn't get down the next weekend, Heather met Fred for two more days of practice.

Finally November 4th arrived. We headed south the day before through the conditions you can see in the picture. I was wondering how they could possibly hold anything motorcycle related in the snow, but it stopped around Barrie and the roads were clear the rest of the way. Saturday morning, Heather headed off to Conestoga. Sandy and I dropped over in the afternoon to watch the progress. There were only two students, so they got a lot of close instruction. Finally, they took the test and both passed.

We are very proud of what she did, starting from scratch and working hard. I am also a little afraid that my child is going to be out there riding. Now I know how my Mom and Mother-In-Law have felt all these years.

I suggested to Heather that a small starter bike would probably be the best. That first day in New Dundee, we found out that Fred's friend Ginger was selling her very nice little Honda 250 Rebel, so we agreed to buy it on the spot. I don't expect that she will be on it too long, but it's a good place to start.

Anyway, it was hectic but now we can look forward to riding together next season.

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