Sandra and the White Dragon

by Sandra

Let's Ride

Let's Ride

My White Dragon – it was not love at first sight – I had been shopping for a big ‘ole “hogg”: A Harley Davidson…when I saw a snap of what would become my White Dragon, I copied it to my list of “possibles” because it was big, it had a windshield and bags, and because it was in my price range. But I did not think it was particularly pretty or sexy or “me”.

I found several used bikes that I called on. A pretty bright blue might be good! And it’s had a lowering kit installed. Oh, here’s one, maroon and gray, but it’s a bit older than I wanted. Here’s one that’s PERFECT…except it’s black…blech.

I finally sent an e-mail inquiry on the Suzuki Boulevard C50T, that white thing. Got a ton more pictures…hey, look! She’s not just white; she’s got ghost flames painted on her. And she’s big and broad – built low and powerful – all very attractive qualities in a cruiser! I took her home with me the night I went to look at her…

The first time I attempted to ride her I was nervous. Petrified, terrified, but so excited! I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and had no idea how I was supposed to turn her out of the driveway and take her to the end of the street. That’s when I found out she was most definitely not a machine – she has life; and she read me like a book. There was no doubt that I was not in control; knowing how dangerous that could be to both of us, she took over! I hung on for dear life when I lost control just letting the clutch out; I tried to grab the front brake, but rolled on the throttle and she darted out from under me in a heaving rush and roar. I stayed on through sheer terror and a death grip! She headed for the nearest piece of grass and laid herself down there, giving my left leg quite a bruise in the process. But except for that and my severely injured pride (of course, several neighbors were witness), we had both survived my stupidity. My husband bolted out of the house and jerked her up with one hand – golly men are so strong when adrenaline is pumping through their hard bodies – he was so angry with me! What the hell had happened??? I could not answer him because I truly did not know. Not a word had been spoken, but at that moment I knew – she lives – and she has a will to survive. She had just given me my first riding lesson: I could take control or take the fall; but she would not put herself in jeopardy just because I was an idiot!

Well, it was impossible for me to get back on her right then. She was upset, I was upset, and my husband was in no condition to teach me. He had decided I wasn’t born with the ability to drive a motorcycle and that I would die if I persisted in riding this beast. Luckily for me, I have a brother who COULD teach me; he had already taught me to drive a stick shift (in his wife’s brand new Corvette – I was 16 at the time – I’m 48 now). He would come help me face my dragon!

He arrived a few days later; we went over my bike. He had me lead him to a school parking lot a few blocks away where my lessons would begin. I was again nervous…but confident. He had me mount up; we went over the controls again…yes, I know that’s the clutch! ...and he taught me the art of easing off the clutch. Ease off, start to roll, ease the clutch back in. Huh, this was really rather easy! Wish I’d thought of it myself a few days ago! In no time he had me driving the length of the parking lot; duck walking the turn and driving back. Next I took her out of the side lot and drove in front of the school – room to hit 2nd gear! – practice a U-turn at the far end. No, I did not accomplish the U-turn without touching down a foot that day; but progress was made. Okay, run the gauntlet again, this time shift up, shift down and stop; start, shift up, shift down…about 10 times; pull a U-ie and come on back.

I kept that poor guy out there for over 2 hours, standing in a parking lot on a cold spring day, while I repeated the simplest of exercises over and over again. He’s amazing. When I finally felt guilty and said it was time to quit for the day, he truly acted surprised we had been out there that long. He drove my Dragon home and I followed in my car. He praised me copiously and really boosted my confidence. He said he never dreamed I’d accomplish so much in one afternoon.

Neither did my Dragon! I could tell she was satisfied and would give me the opportunity to master the art of flying her now. But the highlight is the bond forming between me and the White Dragon. She still won’t tell me her name; says I would not be able to pronounce it right; but she’s willing to be my partner now. She still laughs at me when I stall at intersections; she still calls me a sissy when I refuse to relax and lean into a turn with her; she still teases me when I slow down to the suggested speed limit heading into a curve. But she knows now…she knows that as we continue to work together, practice our skills, work on our body language…that we have a lifetime ahead of us to work it all out. We’ll be flying together for all eternity, because Dragons are forever, and they bond for life…

Comments for Sandra and the White Dragon

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Nov 10, 2011
A Reason...A Season...
by: Sandra

Friends come into your life for a "reason", a "season" or a "lifetime"...I received that e-mail again this morning...

The "season" with my beautiful bai'Shen lung, my White Dragon, came to an end Tuesday. My husband and I could just not find a happy medium in riding; money is tight; responsibility kicked in; we sold our motorcycles. His was a toy; mine was a friend.

I will miss her. But I will hold onto the fact that she was evidently sent to me for a "season"; the lesson has been taught/learned; it is time to move on.

No regrets - I am so happy to have walked (FLOWN!) for a season - or two - with that beautiful spirit!

Aug 16, 2010
Turning 60
by: Margaret

Hi all,

Four years back I was feeling a tad blue re: my approaching 60th birthday. Had to have a challenge and had never ridden a motorcycle before - so bought a Vulcan 900 and challenged myself to handle it.

Well, I made it. But when the dealer first delivered it, I suffered sheer terror from just looking at it. I had never seen such a huge bike up close. What madness was this ?

Took me a week to get up the courage to start it up.

A lot of scary rides at first . . all alone as did not know any bikers. Dropped it once but the adrenalin kicked in and I managed to lift her off the foot board and back onto her wheels.

Now my big beautiful gal and I are a pair and it was all worth it.

There are very few places we have not traveled together, including frequent camping holidays in the summer.

So ladies, if you are thinking of learning to ride a m/c go for it. Any age. Hard to beat it for sheer joy.

Aug 09, 2010
You are my story!!
by: Karla

Oh girl, after reading your story, I had to kind of chuckle as it is almost like mine. After deciding I wanted a bike and after many searches, I decided I wanted to test out my husband's Honda Shadow 1100. He gave me a few pointers and let me ride in our front yard....I was so incredibly nervous. I did pretty well even though I was dodging trees left and right, until I reached for the brake and accidentally twisted on the throttle. In a shear panic and not knowing what to do, I dropped my feet to the ground and ended up laying his bike over. Thank goodness I didn't damage it any, but I was in tears for hours. I think part of it was embarrassment, but another was the feeling that I had been whooped. I was devastated. After a few days, those feelings passed and on a whim, I bought my own with the full intentions of learning to ride. I am now the proud owner of a white/silver 2007 Suzuki Boulevard C50, almost identical to yours. I've ridden her twice now and it feels amazing. I've now managed to maneuver to second gear and am extremely excited. Your story gives me the encouragement that I will master learning to ride. Thank you for sharing it and giving me the confidence that I can do this.

Aug 09, 2010
West Chicago
by: Sandra

Good luck, Sheila! I'm sure you will do great...and by the way, we're within 50 miles of each other - I work in Downers Grove!!

Aug 09, 2010
Glad I am not alone.
by: Sheila

I am 43 and just brought my first bike a 2009 Suzuki TU250X she only has 102 miles on her. She is Red and Black, and sleek. I was terrified yet happy when I bought her. No one in my family rides, but my son can drive a stick shift. I will be going to get a permit tomorrow and next weekend taking lesson in west Chicago. I have learned how to start her, put her in first and take off, and up shift to second. I have made it to the corner and back a couple of times. I am still scared but we have one life and fear can not rule it. My six kids are grown and have a lives and I am alone looking for what excites me. That would be my precious( the name of my bike). It is nice to know that I am not alone. That being over 40 is not a bad age to start riding. I am a RN when I told the guys at work I wanted a bike they smiled and told me to buy a moped 150cc. I have to learn before it gets cold so that I can ride to work and make their jaws drop.

Aug 07, 2010
Reply to Brenda "Well"
by: Sandra

I was BORN ready to ride, and although my first trip through our small town and stop lights was intimidating, desire won out; and my brother's leading the way! Within a week of getting my license, bro and I took a 140 mile day trip around our general area in a 30-40 mile radius. It was a wonderful day.

I would hit the interstate and rush traffic NOW, but husband is tentative and afraid for my safety, so I keep it local and less congested for his peace of mind - for now - LOL.

I am also 48 and this is the first time I've DRIVEN versus ridden a motorcycle. I absolutely LOVE it and want to ride everywhere - but have not figured out the practicalities of that desire yet.

Aug 02, 2010
by: Rosebud

I just got my license two weeks ago at age 48 and have only taken my bike around the neighborhood for now. I am encouraged you guys got up and rode again. Tell me how long till you felt comfortable going out on a major road?

Jul 28, 2010
bai' Shen-Long
by: Sandra

She finally shared her name with me! In Chinese it literally translates to White Spiritual Dragon - there are 4 main categories of eastern dragon lore and "Shen-Long" represents wind and air!

I call her "Shen" for short, but when she makes me mad I just call her "Bausch and Lomb"! LOL

Yes, I'm crazy, but not a danger to myself and others...


Jul 11, 2010
OHHH! Brenda - OUCH!
by: Sandra

That's quite a harrowing story! I'm glad you had the courage to mount up once again...see that patch of grass over my shoulder where the neighbor is showing off his car? That's where the White Dragon dumped me!

I crossed the yellow line once in a curve just out driving and remember thinking, HEY! What the Hell?? Get back on your own side...luckily in my case the oncoming lane was empty.

My husband rides a Heritage - he does not even like me sitting on it! LOL They are great bikes; but my Dragon has totally stolen my heart!

Jul 10, 2010
I feel ya!!
by: Brenda

I to have the fever to ride. I rode behind my husband and loved it right off. We would go to different rallies all over and I just drooled over all the bikes there. My husband knew (he was in trouble)... One day I ask him if we could run up to the Harley shop cuz I had seen a shirt I really wanted and I wanted to get it before it was gone. Sitting right there, right by the door, was a beautiful 883 red sportster L. Of course I had to set on it as it was lowed for someone about my height..4'11. Wow, it felt GOOD. Of course I had never rode myself so I just let it go and went in to get my shirt while my husband went and talked to the guys as he always does..so I thought. He bought me that pretty little baby and rode it home for me..I had to let it set for over a month in our garage till I took lessons. I didn't make it with the first set of lessons, my stomach tied up in knots every time I was tested on certain riding skills. I sure wouldn't have passed me either. So I took another riding lesson and I got my ticket to ride. I started riding and was doing really well, until I made a error turning and just barely going over the line into the other cars-(vans) lane. Me and my pretty little red bike went flying through the air and I landed on the hard payment and honestly I never seen my bike again. I went to the ER and my bike went to the insurance adjuster. I healed but my bike didn't. All through by healing process I grieved about my bike and the stupid mistake I made crossing into the other lane. My son had been behind me and my husband was leader of the pack that day. They had transformers to talk to each other and when my son told my husband "Mom is down" he turned and came flying back. We were in a group of about 10 that day. I had great friends and other citizens of that town that came to my rescue. A man somewhere behind me somehow kept people from running over me and I am very thankful to him. Anyway to make a very long story shorter, I now have a beautiful 2003 Heritage Softail. It is even bigger than my sportster but ooohhhh, what a beauty. I am riding again and loving it. I have great respect for the 2 wheeled machines but the freedom you feel while remarkable.. RIDE ON

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