The First Ride.......
Like many of you, I have been dreaming about the day when I could finally get out for a ride... even a short one. Many many years ago, more than I care to admit, there used to be a commercial on television for Chiffon Margarine. Mother Nature was tricked into thinking that a stick of Chiffon Margarine was actually butter. Once she found out that she had been duped, she became upset and said "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature" and with a flick of the wrist, the weather changed. I feel like Mother Nature has yet to get over being duped since temperatures are still below seasonal and the rain has not stopped falling in my home province of Ontario, Canada.
I live approximately 45 minutes from downtown Toronto and while the snow has just about vanished from the Greater Toronto Area, it has still been cold and wet. In some areas, there is still brine on the roads. As I write this, we are getting a good soaking which will definitely help clean this off... as well as sand and gravel.
The first weekend of April found us at the Spring Motorcycle Show held at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. We had a fair amount of items to bring to the show in addition to three motorcycles. Since we only had 1 trailer, we had to make 3 trips.
Once it was time to tear down on Sunday, April 7, the weather was quite pleasant and as we were fortunate enough to have some assistance in the form of a good friend with a trailer, we were able to transport 2 motorcycles simultaneously. For these reasons, I made the decision to ride my 2017 Honda Rebel 300.
It was not a long ride but it had me smiling from ear to ear. What made it all the more pleasant was riding with a friend of mine for most of the way home. What a way to start the riding season! To be honest, I felt like I had not been off the bike for the nearly 5 months that had passed since my last ride.
While this was my very first ride of the season, it does not compare to the ride that I went on Saturday, April 13. It was a beautiful sunny day but since Mother Nature will never forgive us for the stick of Chiffon Margarine all those years ago, there was a very strong wind.
That did not deter me from getting my 2014 Honda CTX DCT 700 out for a ride. I imported this bike from Bob Weaver Motorsports in October of 2018 only because the. model is not distributed by Honda in Canada. I researched this model because it has a DCT (dual clutch transmission), has a low weight distribution and handlebars very similar to my Rebel.
When I went to look at the bike last year, I did not go with the intent of buying it - I only meant to check it out. As soon as I sat on it, I realized that I had to get it. More to follow in future blogs. For now, suffice it to say that I never had an opportunity to ride it until Saturday, April 13.
Once the bike was imported and made Canadian, I had to have it modified so that I could ride it with 1 hand as a result of a congenital birth defect to my right arm and hand. As a result, the bike was in the shop until a few weeks ago.
I was very anxious, nervous and scared when I sat on my CTX in the driveway. The engine was running and I sat there, with the bike in neutral for a short time before I put it into Drive mode. My husband was standing across the street with the video camera waiting to capture my first ride on this bike and he waited patiently as I thought about riding.
And then it happened!
I was free of the driveway and on the road. I made a sharp left, stopped at the stop sign, then made another left and rode around the block. I loved it instantly!!!!! I knew right away that I had made the right decision and that this was only the beginning of a season which I hope will offer many beautiful days for long rides and journeys.
After going around the block a few times, my hubby (on his Yamaha VStar 950 Tourer) and I were off. We rode west passed Burlington, Ontario on a variety of side roads. I could not stop smiling. It felt great to be out riding! It didn't matter where we were going - we had no set destination. What mattered was being back on the bikes. It was a special feeling being on the CTX - the bike that some told me was not a real motorcycle because there was no shifting involved.
From the 90 minute ride that we did, I can tell any doubters that the Honda CTX DCT is most definitely a motorcycle. I found the bike to new very responsive with great pick-up. It was fun to ride and I look forward to doing so as much as possible this year. We passed quite a few riders while we were out. All of us knew that the ride would be a relatively short one - perhaps no more than 100-200km but it's a start!
Video to follow as soon as I can find the time to watch and edit...... hopefully soon!
Please share your stories of your first ride of the season......... it's an exciting time to be reacquainted with what we hold so dear!!
Until next time be safe and see you out there #justridin!!