In part one of this series, our friend Sarah details her summer journey of going from passenger to rider in New York City.
After months, possibly years of being asked by one of the Ridexperience editors when I planned on getting my motorcycle license I finally began the journey last week. I delayed the process for so long because I genuinely enjoy being a passenger and had never thought very much about being the driver.
My father made sure that I knew how to drive a manual car when I was sixteen in case I needed to drive one in an emergency. So on the off-chance I am in the middle of nowhere and someone has a motorcycle and a heart attack, I will now be able to throw him sideways on the back of his motorcycle and drive him to safety.
My journey began last week at the famously hospitable New York City DMV. After standing in the wrong line for over an hour I was directed to the permit test room. I had studied the NY Motorcycle Manual and taken all the online tests; I was so excited to get the first perfect score of the day. There were 25 questions: ten questions were about drunk driving, six asked me to identify signs, four were about road rage and slow moving vehicles, and the final five golden questions were about motorcycles. I zipped down the test in under ten minutes and waited patiently for my perfect score. Two people in front of me had just failed their driver’s test and I thought, how hard could it be to fail that test? It was so easy! Famous last words…
My journey began again the following day when I walked into the DMV to take my motorcycle permit test for the second time. I had missed more than two of the five motorcycle questions the day before, automatically causing me to fail. The good news is that if anyone needs pro-tips on drunk driving rules or needs to identify a street sign then I am the one to come to! The questions were different from the day before but I managed to pull through and pass. Second time’s a charm.
I am now the proud owner of a little piece of paper that states I am able to ride a motorcycle while being chaperoned by a licensed motorcyclist. I kindly request that no one has an emergency until I obtain my actual license at the end of July because I will have to call up a friend with a license, wait for them to come over then throw you on the back of my motorcycle and escort you to the hospital all while remaining within a quarter of a mile of the other rider.
I look forward to July, when I will take a two-day course in a corner of Brooklyn. I will spend five hours in a classroom and the remaining time in a parking lot learning how to ride a motorcycle. Until then, I will ride this 1980 Honda Cub alongside my escort on his KLR. I look forward to the weeks of riding ahead and letting you all know about the completion of my license.