Late Friday afternoon Amy and I left the kids in their daddies' good care & drove to the Harley dealership where our class was to be held. The course is through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and they hold it up at the dealership. Clever, no? While you're waiting you can browse all the bikes and all the merchandise! (Need to go back and see if they still have that pink button-up shirt...) We wanted to be the first ones there because, as Matt knew from his experience back in March, when the instructor arrives for class he has the sign up list for the next day's session, either morning or afternoon - we definitely wanted to be in the morning class - it is July, after all.
So we were the first ones there & got our slots for the 7:30 am class Saturday and Sunday. Everyone else arrived and by 6pm we were ready to start. In addition to us, our class had one older married couple, 4 college-aged guys, a retired truck driver, an older lady who had a scooter, and two other women (nurse co-workers). We were relieved to see that we would be riding in the morning with the nurses and the married couple, and not the testosterone crew - one of whom would apparently do a wheelie the next day and put a big divot in the practice area.
Friday night was classroom time - we hunted for the answers to questions in our study book & then watched videos, followed by a discussion. Class was finished by around 9:30 & we then headed home to stress about the written test, drink a pitcher of peach sangria and get ready for the next day.
Anyway - we decompressed & had dinner out followed by yummy drinks at home - 1oz Vanilla Vodka & 1 oz Amaretto over ice in a big glass topped with sparkling lemonade (recipe thanks to a tweet from Connie) - and tried to get some sleep before Sunday morning.
Bright and early Sunday we arrived at class to find all our bikes waiting for us to ride them from the garage up to the practice area. Apparently I'd forgotten everything from the previous day and almost ripped my feet off trying to get the damn thing going in 1st (CLUTCH CLUTCH CLUTCH!!!) After that confidence-shaker, things went a little more smoothly & we moved through our drills until about 11:30 when Dave set up the course for our practice and then skills test. The test consisted of doing 2 U-turns inside a box, swerving at 12-17 mph to avoid an obstacle, stopping quickly without locking the wheels from 18-20mph (I think), and being able to negotiate a 135 degree curve at about 17 mph. Most everyone was struggling with the box, but as Dave said in practice, if you turn your head in the direction you want to go, everything else sort of follows along. We went through the course one by one practicing each task in a loop until it was test time, when we all got to watch one another. What a nerve-wracking experience that was. I thought I did pretty good until the curve when I had trouble getting the bike into 2nd gear, but that didn't affect my score. I lost points for taking an extra foot to stop on the quick stop and for not taking the curve fast enough - but I think almost everyone lost points for that.
Long story short, we all passed! Amy and I were pretty giddy and relieved that it was OVER and that we were successful. Never in a million years did I ever think this was something I would do, and I'm so glad I did it. It feels good to have gotten out there and accomplished something for myself unrelated to the care and raising of young children - this is something completely separate from them that I went out and did on my own, and it's been a long time since I've had that feeling. Now to get some practice on my big-ass bike and ride :)
The kids had swimming lessons last night and while I was waiting and chatting, Evie asked me to watch her do a flip - which I of course completely missed the first time, so she went and did it again. My jaw dropped to the pool deck when I saw her do a flip off the diving board into the deep end - I have no idea where she picked up THAT from! Needless to say, I grabbed my handy-dandy iphone and took a quick video of her next two flips. Clearly, this child is not related to me (although I do vividly remember her birth....) Take a peek, please:
Can you imagine? Maybe YOU can, but I can't - swimming always feels like almost-drowning to me, and hurtling myself through the air like that? Can't say I would attempt that. EVER. You go girl :)