Discovering motorcycle riding was the solution to my midlife crisis. Between being miserable at work and miserable at home, most of the fun in my life had disappeared. I was secretly fantasizing about just walking away from everything and everyone and starting over somewhere far away.
One day in May of 2007 I started noticing that several of the guys at work were showing up on motorcycles. They actually were coming in to work happy, with big stinkin' smiles on their faces! They talked about the rides they went on the previous weekend or the next ones they were planning. They were having tons of fun and I was having none. I was jealous.
I'd see them and I'd think how it wasn't fair that they were hogging all the fun. It wasn't long before I started thinking “Gee, I wish I could ride a motorcycle” but it wasn't a possibility for me yet. The day I made it past thinking of it as an impossibility and finally asked myself “Why can’t I?” it was a done deal. I decided to find out to see if riding was really something that I wanted to do. I went and got my learners permit. Then I signed up for the first MSF class I could get into which was in early July.
While waiting for the MSF class, with help from my friends Mark and Dave, I bought my first motorcycle, a used 2001 Ninja 250.
It was a Saturday when Mark drove up to San Francisco with Dave and I to look at, purchase, and bring home my little ninja. Mark had David push me around the culdesac where he lived until he was satisfied that I had the balancing down pat. Then he let me turn it on and ride up and down and around the culdesac for a while. Finally, he had Dave lead me around the neighborhood in circles, Dave on his SV650 with me close behind on the little ninja. I rode home from his house that evening and the next day I showed up at work with a big smile riding on my ninja.
I named my little ninja "The Little Red Rocket" or "Red" for short. I don't know why, I guess it's the only name I could think of at the time.