My Motorcycle Story is unfolding

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storysunfolding
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My Motorcycle Story is unfolding

#1 Unread post by storysunfolding » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:44 pm

*Edit* My injury left me to a spotty start on my blog. Pages 1-2.5 are pretty much about the accident. Page 3 starts my life back on a bike
____________________________________________________

I started thinking back on my experiences with motorcycles recently and I realized that I have alot of stories to share. However, in the next month I plan to write about the following.

1.) Painting and fixing the problems on my beloved Yamaha Vision
2.) Taking the BRC a second time around with my g/f (bluemonkie99)
3.) Becoming an MSF Rider Coach

I'm taking the BRC again because it's recommended for my rider coach training.

Some information about me. I'm a 23 year old guy who was born in Virginia, grew up mainly in Virginia and thinks he's going to stay in Virginia for a reasonable amount of time. I graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Economics and Biology (majors) and Chemistry (minor). I've been riding dirt bikes since I was a kid and I've owned the following bikes
2 1982 Xz 550 Yamaha Visions
1981 Yamaha xs 400
1981 Kawasaki Kz 650 CSR
1979 Suzuki Gs 750
1978 Kawasaki kz 400
1985 Honda Magna v30
1983 Honda Nighthawk 650

I didn't hit the street until I started college at 18 so you can see that I've ridden quite a few bikes in the last five years. Before then I was an avid bicyclist. I still feel that moving to a motorbike is simply a matter of natural progression.

As I got into street riding, rebuilding and customizing bikes became a hobby of mine. I exhaulted in finding a gem of a junker and making it a great bike again. It wasn't too expensive a hobby seeing as 4 of those bikes were free, most of it going to new seals/gaskets/tires and chains.
If I find another major project I'll be sure to detail it here as well.

Let me know what you like, and what you don't like by PM and I'll try to modify the posts to fit the audience. If you have something to share with everyone then please feel free to do anything but hijack my blog. :laughing:

If you haven't done it already, make sure to sign up for the TMW user groups, donate some money or just tell Mike he's a great guy.
Last edited by storysunfolding on Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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storysunfolding
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MSF Rider Coach

#2 Unread post by storysunfolding » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:55 pm

We had a monsoon last night. It rained so hard that you couldn't see a car moving 10 feet in front of you. Thus I was late for a dinner I was attending to get my rider coach materials and go over the dates/requirements/expectations.

Starting Friday Oct 20th at 5 pm, I'll embark further on my journey into MSF-ness. For three weekends I'll be spending my Sat/Sun's doing class room exercises, range work and then working with current rider coaches to teach a Training Class. If I pass, I'll be an MSF rider coach.

For now I have an MSF rider coach manual, my range cards, my rider school t-shirt and a handy dandy MSF whistle with a compass and thermometer.

I can't wait for my first student to say
"It's like a million degrees out here"
To which I'll respond
"Actually, it's 92.5... and that ways north... TWEEEET"

For now I have a homework assignment where I have to answer a whole range of questions and cite any and all sources I used to find the answer. It seems like a cleverly disguised ploy to have me learn all this information before the class. Just like Brok Samson, I'm going in even though I know it's a trap.

Well- that's chapter 2 of my story. I hope to have something more exciting for chapter 3.

Coming soon chapter 3: Steven saves the world from aggressive mind controlling egg rolls. Same Blog time, Same Blog channel
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#3 Unread post by sharpmagna » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:17 pm

Dude, we still have to go for a ride sometime. Maybe after blue gets her license 8)
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The BRC

#4 Unread post by storysunfolding » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:20 am

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider course:

Last weekend Monica and I took the MSF BRC. On Friday night we headed down to Richmond Virginia to stay with her brother at VCU, just a jump skip and throw away from our course the next day. Unfortunately we were unable to stay there in the end and it took us awhile to find a hotel with an available room. We only managed to get 6 hours of sleep in a very uncomfortable bed.

Saturday morning found Monica and myself in a classroom at DMV headquarters in downtown richmond. Of a class of 12, only 10 showed up and we were seperated into two groups.

After meeting our first instructor, Doc Brooks, we introduced ourselves to the people at our table and discussed our experience, why we wanted to ride and what we wanted to ride. Next we introduced someone to the rest of the class. Obviously everyone wanted a sport bike, most a liter bike. The exceptions were myself, Monica and two other women in the class.

The classroom portion was fairly simple. As a group we would look up the answers to a list of provided questions that was divided between the group. We highlighted them, then shared what we found with the class. As we finished each section we watched a video and discussed it afterward. We got most of the way through the book before going out for our first range session.

At the range we met our other rider coach, Glen Jones. Glen was a colorful, bearded, living the life harley rider. He walked with a cane due to a car accident from a year prior and was full of great advice and good spirit. Glen and Doc went about setting up the range as we started arriving, then they took their road king and heritage special respectively and ran about the course. It was incredible watching these two old men dance their bikes around the course.

When everyone arrived we got our bikes. Since Monica was relatively new to motorcycling she was given one of the 7 kawasaki eliminators. I, on the other hand, was given an old nighthawk with dual drum brakes since I was a ridercoach student and therefore a better rider. They only had 2 suzuki gz 250's, 2 honda rebels, 1 nighthawk and 7 eliminators to choose from. I wished they had a ninja, or a dual sport like their website indicated, but those must have been on the other range (They have two ranges so they can run two classes at the same time).

Then we got started. Even though I've been on bikes for awhile the beginning exercises on learning to use a clutch and balancing a motorcycle were still fun.

It became apparent in the first 2 exercises that 2 people were going to have a rough time. They kept stalling and had trouble learning the concepts. One was the g/f of a guy there taking the class b/c he was taking it. The other was a deputy sherrif who had never used a stick before. By the end of the day they were the only ones to drop their bikes and they definately slowed down the exercises to the point that we weren't learning the intended information.

The deputy actually gave us a scare part way through the day when she gunned the throttle while navigating a turn. I heard a whistle, stopped and turned off my bike and caught her on the other side of a curve with both of the rider coaches next to her. She got right back on the bike and she smiled all day long even after going down. That said, she was the only one to not come back the next day.

After getting through 9 exercises the first day we called it in and had one last peptalk from our coaches before heading out for the night. Another hotel incident later left Monica and I in a Courthouse sleeping soundly. We would have stayed closer but two hotels were booked and the other couldn't tell us where it was located

"We're at 1600 Robin Road"
Me- "Can you tell me how to get there"
Her- "We're at 1600 Robin Road"
Me- "Is it off 64, 95, near any landmarks?"
Her "We're off 95... I think"

No wonder they had vacancies.

The next day was fun, we did the rest of the exercises which were mainly of the fun and not challenging variety but they did hone our skills. We then took our skills test and the results were incredible. Everyone there past.


One of the guys who stalled all day, never did the figure 8 right or stopped on time managed to accrue only 1 point. The box was the most incredible thing. While coming back from the second u-turn he almost ran over the line and was ridiculously off balance... so he lifted his inside leg straight out and barely managed to ride the line. It was simply awe inspiring. Think cirque de solei.

I ended up with 3 points for not stopping in time. Doc later told me that was because of the dual drum brakes, and that they weren't even good dual drums. None the less, my ego was bruised.

After we passed the range we went back to the classroom for our last section on alcohol then took the written exam. Again we all passed. It was definately a fun weekend.

Monica and I both got different things out of it. Monica learned alot more about riding and she was great to watch. The instructors kept asking me how long Monica had been riding because she was taking to it like a duck to water. They seemed a bit surprised to hear how little she'd been riding.

I got an entirely different experience. After each exercise I did get some critique if they found something wrong with my form, but most of the time they gave me tips about how to run the class and what to look for in students. One of the main things I heard my first day was "There's no way you're not having fun as sweet as that was, but try to do it slower at student speed. You don't want to tempt a new rider to do an exercise that fast" :twisted:

Some of the best advice I've heard came from these guys. Though my favorite was when we were talking about animals in your path and what to do. There were alot of the basics, slow then speed up and don't kick dogs, avoid horses/cows/deer etc and the best "If it fits on a plate, hit it"

So that was the BRC. It was fun, easy going and lots of people who had never ridden or were horrible the first day past. Hopefully the ones that looked horrible and still needed their parking lot practice don't follow up on their plans and jump on GSXR 1000's.

I didn't hear it but apparently Monica overheard two of the guys talking about the sportbikes. They were saying that sportbikes were safer because they were built better, had better suspensions, had better tires and were more reliable. :frusty:
Last edited by storysunfolding on Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#5 Unread post by storysunfolding » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:25 pm

It feels awful being without a bike for the moment.

Both bikes are getting some repairs. The magna I should finish tomorrow night or on saturday. She has a blown head gasket or a cracked head affecting the front right cylinder. Luckily there was a head for $10 on ebay and a head gasket only costs $22. A head from Honda costs $600+. It was a glorious day for scavenging.

The Vision needed a major patch on the tank. I ended up going with a Renu dealer. I highly recommend the process but steer clear the guys in Rockville Maryland. They do a horrible job and charge a premium price. Their patches were ugly and they used a primer that didn't adhere to the materials they used. After that they wouldn't talk to me. Of course after this a guy at ridersofvision.net found a place to get NOS tanks for $170 shipped... FRUSTRATION.

Starting tonight I'm covering the bottom of my tank with bondo. It'll fit in along the edge and if all goes to plan get rid of the stamped tank look. Then over the weekend I plan to do this $50 paint job.

http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/sho ... art=1&vc=1

I plan to photograph the whole process and let you know what I find.

It's a bit irritating not being with a bike for two reasons.
1.) It's being without a bike
2.) As a MSF ridercoach candidate and later as a coach I'm expected to be riding regularly. This may demand the purchase of a brand new 07 v-strom :twisted:

Of course the Vision is set to ride right now but she would just be butt ugly. Since I have the tank off I might as well use this time to get everything up to snuff. Hopefully by Tuesday she'll be a lean mean riding machine again.
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out of action

#6 Unread post by storysunfolding » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:22 am

I was in a car crash on Sunday. G/f was driving, going about 40 mph when she tried to merge left. She hit a ridge in the road that threw the car back to the right. the car started swerving and she was unable to regain control of the car. We hit the guard rail pretty much head on. She's ok but the crash shattered my humorous into at least 3 places (too drugged to rememver if it was more). Thw arm is back in one piece after emergency surgery. Apparently the swelling led to a compartment syndrome. Currently the arm is im a sling and soft cast. i get that off thursday. currently i havea radial nerve palsy and can't open my hand or have any feeling on the outside of my hand.

thus

blog is currently interrupted
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#7 Unread post by VermilionX » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:27 am

sounds bad.

get well soon. :D
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#8 Unread post by rapidblue » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:36 am

holy dodo, get better soon!

hopefully no major permanent damage.
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#9 Unread post by KarateChick » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:15 am

Wow, glad you two were able to walk from that. Take care of yourself and heal up. Not even going to ask how long it took to type that out. Thanks for letting us know.
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#10 Unread post by sharpmagna » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:10 pm

Holy crap man!!! Well at least you and your girlfriend are alive. Hope you two heal up soon.
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#11 Unread post by storysunfolding » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:42 pm

some pics

Image
Image
Image

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#12 Unread post by storysunfolding » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:33 am

and the insurance company let us know that the car is a total loss
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#13 Unread post by -Holiday » Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:48 pm

can you at least take the roof rack off before they take it away?
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#14 Unread post by storysunfolding » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:34 pm

Did that right after taking pics.:wink: the roof rack actually slid forward 6 inches from the wreck even though nothing was on it! :shock:
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Re: out of action

#15 Unread post by jstark47 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:25 pm

storysunfolding wrote:currently i havea radial nerve palsy and can't open my hand or have any feeling on the outside of my hand.
Is that permanent? Man, that kind of stuff gives me the creeps! (keyboard musician). I wish you all the best for your recovery.
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#16 Unread post by storysunfolding » Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:51 pm

98% chance of full recovery in 3 months. Possible to be back to new in a week even
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#17 Unread post by bluemonkie99 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:11 pm

what amazes me is that he let me drive him home from the hospital, i certainly wouldn't trust me behind the wheel of car again...although, haven't heard too many bad female driver jokes yet.

actually, overall, we were damn lucky and Steven is amazing, kept a calm head with his broken arm while i was hysterical and repeating "i'm so sorry" over and over again as we stood on the highway. now begins the aftermath...dealinf with his rehab, the insurance claim, my court date...one day at a time.
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#18 Unread post by CNF2002 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:13 am

How did they come up with a 'reckless driving' charge? That seems a little odd for an accident.
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#19 Unread post by storysunfolding » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:17 am

stole this from the vision forum

Not really my area of law, but most police officers tend to assume there has to be some sort of driver error in any "accident". Their theory is that the driver should always operate the vehicle in a safe manner so as to maintain control at all times. Thus, from their perspective, there is no such thing as a vehicle "accident". Great theory but at times, you may be more of a traffic hazard going the safe speed than if you are keeping up with traffic.
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#20 Unread post by bluemonkie99 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:18 am

well apparently, the fact that i failed to maintain control of my car is considered reckless driving...because i normally go into front end spins while driving along. i have no idea how they got reckless but i guess they have to pin the fault on someone...and the ininjured driver with a speeding record seems like a fine choice, despite the fact that was actually only going about 35 mph and i have witnesses who said it wasn't my fault.
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