Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Fun fact - Motorcycles have been around since the 1800's. Edward Butler designed and created the worlds fisrt motorcycle in 1884.
The longest distance ever ridden in a 24-hour period on a motorcycle was in 2014 by Mathew McKelley, who rode 3256.5km across South Africa.
One of the biggest and proudest things I have ever done in my life was learning how to drive a motorcycle. Now I had been a passenger on the back of a motorcycle twice before I got my license, but driving myself was a dream I had since I was a teenager. I must admit I never thought that dream would ever come true; however, one day my husband came home announcing he was getting his license so that clinched it. I was bound and determined not to be a passenger.
On a warm day in May 2010, I took the course. There were three hours of in-class instruction and sixteen hours of on the bike practical. The instructors took the ten of us to the back area of Cambrian College where they had a row of all different styles of motorcycles. I immediately went for the Honda 125, which is a sporty looking bike. Now sixteen hours is not a lot of time to learn to drive especially never having driven one before.
During the next few hours I proceeded to get dirty looks from the instructors as I ground gears, stalled the bike and even crashed in a corner of the course ruining a beautiful jacket in the process. It would not be a surprise to tell you that I failed the road course test. But I was determined and Marc, my husband took me to the back parking lot of the New Sudbury Shopping Center where I could practice. It was there that I dropped my brand new Ninja 250 and the funny thing was that I was not even moving at the time. I still get teased for that to this day.
After a couple of months of practice I was finally ready to take the retest. This time I passed with flying colours getting my M2 license. Over the next few years I went riding gaining confidence with each ride. I will never forget my first ride on a major highway. We were meeting up with friends at the local Tim Hortons at the four courners and it was decided instead of going through town we would take the long route which would take us on the very large and busy parts of highway 69 coming into Sudbury. I have to say it was the most exhilirating and most terrifying ride of my life.
The Honda 250 is actually a very light bike and when you get up to those speeds the wind buffers around the bike, especially when being passed by a big rig. By the time I got to Tim Hortons I was never so glad to see a parking lot in my life. It took a good 10 minutes to even get off the bike. It took a lot of practice but I eventually became very comfortable with the bike. There is nothing like the feeling when you are alone with your thoughts, very alert of your surroundings.
So you are probably wondering what this all has to do with my journey to get healthy. I think that on that path you need to be able to ground yourself in a happy place. A place where you go to when stressed and in need of calm. So when I need my happy place I picture myself on my bike riding a smooth and winding road. I can feel the bike between my legs as I lean into the corners and pull on the throttle. It is a feeling of being so alive in that moment and yet so calm. There is nothing like it.