In February of 2017, I purchased a bright red 2017 Honda Rebel 300. (named Hankster 1.0) Once I took delivery of the bike in May, it was transported to Mission Cycle in Angus Ontario so that Todd could work his magic of modifying it for me so that I could ride with one (left) hand.
The modifications were actually very minor – a finger throttle and centrifugal force clutch which disengages the engine based on rpms was installed, followed by my front brake being attached to the front left lever which is the clutch for everyone else.
I took my training in early July and successfully passed the evaluation, losing only 3 of 12 points, and as a result obtained my M2 license.
I began to ride as much as possible. Many of my adventures are captured in articles that I have written for The Riders Mag which will also be posted as blogs in the near future.
I also joined several motorcycle groups on Facebook, one of which is called Motorcycle Society (Ontario). Through this group, I met many riders, many of whom became friends. I was fortunate enough to also ride with several during the summer and quickly came to learn the true meaning of community.
In August, I purchased a Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Hankster 2.0) as I felt that I was ready for more power. Once again, the bike was transported to Mission Cycle for modifications similar to the Rebel.
As soon as I jumped on the bike for the first time, my husband Lloyd videoed my experience. Was I nervous? Apprehensive? Doubtful? Anxious? YES!! I even thought about giving up which is something that I never do.
Lloyd quickly convinced me to persevere which I did and after an hour of practice in a parking lot, he and I were off riding. Following are a few clips of my first moments on Hankster 2.0:
Once I got home, I was so excited about my day that I shared the video and emotions which had gone through with the motorcycle group on Facebook referred to earlier. I was overwhelmed by the support extended to me which nearly brought me to (happy) tears until the judgement came from one person…… their comments follow below;
Riding with one hand in itself is very dangerous. What if a dog ran out in front of you no way you would control the bike with one hand. Just my opinion.
This is just wrong for a bunch of reasons. sorry not gonna sugar coat it for you.
If she were my daughter I would discourage it.
Maybe there is a dynamic there that I don’t know about. Geez am I the only one who feels this way. give me a break. I’m the only one who tells it like it is
I only know how it works for me when I sometimes ride with one hand in a slow zone only and I hit a rough patch on the road it’s kinda scary
What I heard loud and clear in the poster’s words was the following: If I cannot understand how you accomplish this (riding with 1 hand) then it should not be permitted.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion – I am fine with that. I understand that it might be difficult for others to comprehend how something can be accomplished differently than what they might be accustomed to seeing.
What I am not fine with is someone else’s opinion impeding my ability to do what I want to do.
I explained to the poster how I successfully passed the evaluation – as a matter of fact, I had already put on 8,000+ kilometers on my Honda Rebel before I purchased my larger bike.
This is how someone’s judgement can impede one’s ability to achieve their dreams.
I invited the poster to ride with me. I am still waiting for them to give me a date/time…..
I am thrilled when I am approached by others asking how I ride. I was and continue to be touched by how so many encouraged and continue to encourage me to go for my dream.
To me, it all comes back to: don’t judge people by how they look.
All you have to do is ask.
Until next time!!