"Motorcycle Mama"

Wanda Holderman: January 18, 20080 Comments

Albeit self-proclaimed. There is however, a friend of mine in Modesto (the Mayor of Modesto) where my husband and I lived for over twenty years that every time he sees me, calls me by that name. Those of you who know me are surprised that I ride. By the way, I'm not the passenger, I have my own.....not a Harley, but one that costs a whole lot less but is just as functional-a Yamaha V Star, 650-she's a beaut! Black and red. Studded saddle bags, a large studded "tractor" seat, and loud pipes! (that's for safety you know, so folks can hear you coming).

I'm a newer rider and advocate taking the CHP motorcycle safety course, even for the most veteran rider. I took the course where two brothers participated who had been riding Harleys for a long time and almost didn't pass the riding test/obstacle course because they had taught themselves "bad habits" over the years.

Speaking of lessons, there are a few cardinal rules when riding: don't look down because you'll go down, keep your head up at all times. When I had only been riding a few months, I actually tested this once, not planned by the way...I was navigating a tortuos curve that was elevating at the same time. Instead of keeping my head up, I looked down at the road and guess what, I went down! We'll, thank heavens for leathers, I got up, brushed myself off and "got back on the horse" Another rule: when you are at a stop sign turning right (or left), if an oncoming car has their signal on to turn, don't assume they're going to turn. I also tested this (by mistake)...well, the lady had her blinker on, I trusted it and pulled out....yikes! She hit me and miraculously, I did not go down but it scared the crap out of me! Oh, and rule number three: when an oncoming car has their blinker on to turn left in front of you, you can bet they will pull out in front of you at the last minute, count on it. And thank the Good Lord, I've not truly tested this one, and let the cars go each and every time!

So back to taking a course....even if you are a veteran healthcare worker, you can always benefit from continuing education and even learning something in a structured fashion for the first time. Maybe you have some opportunities to learn things the "right way"....you know, evidenced based medicine for example-it raises the bar for us and gets us out of our comfort zone so we can be on a higher alert for things we have done over and over for years, possibly as "bad habits".