I started the riding experience, many years ago, like most people, on a hand me down bicycle. I barely remember the learning curve. I do remember falling off of course. I also remember the 'bmx' bike which most kids around that time had. Most kids had a bike and we had a track set up so a good portion of the childlike energy could be diverted.
Unfortunately, one guy who may or may not have had the same enthusiasm as the rest of us toppled off a jump and cracked his jaw. I do not remember how long he was sucking through straws. I do remember his parents never really liked him hanging out with us before or after that point. Never knew why that was because they moved away before we were all old enough to ask questions like "why are his parents strange?" Or maybe we were just too busy having fun for that question to run through our heads.
One friend of mine, who was a year or two older than me had some sort of scooter which we took on the trails and broke it. Someone else's parents had a dirt bike and so they took kids up and down a lane. I do not remember if helmets were ever used, but I don't think they ever were..
The better part of thirty years later, I finally got around to my own motorcycle. Why it took so fucking long, I don't know. I think it was just a series of stupid priorities, bills, rules and looking the other way. I wish I could say I started on some big bad sport bike or some big bad Harley and did a cross country tour. That would be so wonderful and great.. Alas, those stories do not exist in many people's lives I fear when most people use their motorcycles for weekend toys and on the through traffic on the weekday drudgery.
I started my two wheel life on three wheels on a scooter where the cost of it was unbelievably high for the amount you got. The scooter itself is still pretty cool, but is really not worth the cost.
The scooter was sold for a Kawasaki Versys which was bought, pretty much sight unseen and on a whim. The reviews were good and the design was so odd that I fell in love with it. It had the potential of carrying as well as being fun, as opposed to the scooter which was just heavy and got pretty crappy mileage for the engine size. The plastic parts on the scooter were also questionable.
A year or so into my life with my Versys, the Versys and I discovered how important it is to have proper signs as well as taking enough rests and having good gear on. The gear saved me from serious injury and the signs didn't do shit.
Finally, we move on to me and my Ninja. You may wonder why I would ride after the accident which could potentially have done me harm and even ended my life. Simply, I love to ride. I love Kawasakis. I love the feel of shifting up and down with the engine not more than a foot or so below me and the handle bars about the same distance. I love the wind blowing through over my face even when the air is cold and has rain and everything is barely visible. I love the raw challenge that it presents every time I ride because, while it may not be a extremely difficult one, the challenge is different every time I ride.
I love my Ninja because it is reliable and starts up on the first press of the starter. I love it because even though there are things to check before starting to ride, nothing needs to be fixed. I love that even though it is not a supersport, people still ask about it, look at it as I go by, and people wave.
That is me and my Ninja.
I no longer have the Ninja.. Sold it as I moved, and frankly need the money. Wish I could have brought the bike with me as it did everything I asked, and made me smile.