Moto Diary #6: Other riders, tickets, and tippy toes
Since the last post I've rode a couple of times, mostly around downtown Toronto so I could actually get somewhere.
It's been alright! There's still some specifics I have to get better at, such as doing a tight U-turn. I have a really tall bike for a beginner which makes this a bit more difficult.
Last weekend I rode out to the Scarborough Bluffs to check it out, and to get some reading done somewhere nice. Got there early in the morning and saw a gorgeous view.
Getting in formation
That same day when I was heading home I pulled up behind 2 other riders at a stop light. Looked like a couple, as they both had headsets on and were in a tight staggered formation. When they saw me in their mirrors they turned to wave and I waved back. I fell into position behind them and rode with them for about 5 minutes, and it was pretty cool!
There's a nice sense of community when riding. I'd say 4/5 bikers I've passed have waved or nodded to me, and I've gotten comfortable to do that same now. Doesn't matter what they ride.
Anyways, after not too long the other 2 went to turn at an intersection and I continued straight ahead. But that temporary group ride, without anyone actually speaking to each other, is really cool.
Realizing I'm not as tall as I thought
I only just realized today that I can't actually touch both my heels on the ground if I'm stopped, I'm actually on my toes. What I've learned to do is when I stop I immediately shift my body left on my seat so I can get my left foot all the way down, while my right stays on the peg. It's recommended that beginners be able to flat foot both feet when stopped. It probably leads to fewer drops.
I must have started doing that without realizing it, and having to learn that was probably what added to my first few drops over a month ago. The bright side is since that's normal for me, I should be able to deal with other taller bikes in the future.
I've lost count of my drops at this point, but I did drop it once more today.
About to make a right turn onto a main road, and the road was downhill to my right. Didn't account for it when I stopped, and it tipped in that direction. Bit frustrating since I haven't dropped it in awhile, but it's a good reminder of how much of a beginner I still am. I've had one other drop in a similar situation a couple weeks back, so I gotta get used to that.
Going well overall though!
On Tuesday my M2 comes into effect which lets me on highways and out after dark, and I'm pretty damn excited for that. Gotta plan a day trip or something soon for August to get further out into Ontario.
Ah, one other lowlight of today was getting a parking ticket, which I'll be disputing. It was in a valid parking spot on the street, metered, but motorcycles are exempt as tickets tucked into a motorcycle tend to blow away or be just stolen. In the end it costs the city more money to manage disputes than they'd get from the tickets. This ticket clearly says it was for not putting a payment slip on my bike, so, definitely wrong.
And of course I'll be disputing this, which should be pretty cut and dry. It's a bit annoying that these rules aren't evident to everyone giving these tickets out.
Ah well. Never had to dispute a ticket, so that's a learning experience I guess!