appeasing the rain gods

The rain finally stopped, because yesterday I drove to Seattle and spent $200+ on rain gear. You are welcome for the no rain – I hope you used the dryness well.

The recalling of the rain was for mostly selfish reasons though, because today was the reboot of my motorcycle class. We had to postpone two weeks ago because of the snow, and I was NOT looking forward to mastering two non-scooter wheels in a fucking monsoon. The purchasing of rain gear was to appease the weather gods, and they were evidently satisfied by my foray into a terrifying store for hunters (it was FULL OF GUNS and there was a huge display at the back of the store featuring THINGS YOU CAN KILL WITH THE GUNS seriously what the fuck. It was like being in an enormous MEC or REI, but replace all the cyclist gear with camouflage and everything else with guns and crossbows and ammo and Ted Nugent) – it was an expensive gesture, but it worked so I guess it was worth it (and now I have my first raincoat ever and rain pants I’ll never remember to wear).

Riding a motorcycle on a lovely day is SO MUCH BETTER than riding in snow! Who knew? We got a lot of practice in, and ended the day doing our motorcycle skills test – the very test that I’ve been having nightmares about, and have failed once already. The orange cones were a enormous obstacle for me to overcome, thanks to some awesome mental blocks I put in place. Every pass we made at the cones resulted in my running them over with extreme prejudice – hell, even as I was walking into class today, I tripped over an orange cone. I hate them. They’re trying to kill me.

.. but that’s all in the past now, because I passed my skills test! I am now one step closer to being truly legal! Tomorrow I’m going to upgrade my yellow paper license to a slightly better yellow paper license, and then we practice actual road riding for two nights. I’m much, much less concerned about the road test than I was that stupid skills test, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. I’m still not sold on motorcycles versus scooters, but that isn’t what this is about – I just want my full class 6 license, and then I can do whatever I want. After today, I am more than halfway there. I’m sore and bruised (I dumped the bike on a really bad turn attempt) and achy and exhausted in six new exciting ways, but I’m also pretty pleased with myself. I did it! Go Team Venture!

let’s go rent some guns! except no, because that is terrifying.

awww look at all the examples of wildlife .. that you can kill with our many, many guns. want to know how to kill the noble moose or elk? we have specific ammo for that!

I LOVE GUNS YEAH WOOOOOOOO and it comes in pink, for the ladies!

I LOVE GUNS YEAH WOOOOOOOO and it comes in pink, for the ladies!

the red badge of failure

I took my motorcycle skills test this morning, and I failed spectacularly.

Logically, I know this isn’t a big deal. It was my first time taking the test, I was nervous, a lot of people fail it the first time (including the two dudes who tested before me; they were there for their second and third attempts respectively), chin up lil’ lady you can try again in a week. I know all this, logically. I can choose to be calm and collected about this, practice what I messed up on, and just try again next week: no harm, no foul. Logic!

Naturally, I am beating myself up and freaking out and foreseeing a future in which I am forced to hitchhike my way around the city, inevitably ending up in the trunk of an axe murderer’s sedan and never heard from again. I am angry at myself for failing and for letting something as stupid as an extra traffic cone throw me so badly off my game (I failed to successfully navigate a tight u-turn – something I had practiced and repeatedly nailed for hours the night before). I am sad that I have to wait a week before trying again. I am annoyed that legally, I am facing the next week with no transportation (Ed is driving to Edmonton for a week tomorrow, leaving me with no car and a scooter I shouldn’t ride). I have all the feels: I AM NOT USED TO FAILING! I am Good At Things! I shouldn’t have failed! I am overly miserable about this, and feeling as though I’ve failed LIFE ITSELF instead of just a notoriously tricky skills test using skills you generally don’t use in real life. It’s like trigonometry: sure, maybe someday I will find myself in a life-or-death situation that can only be resolved by calculating the ratio of the adjacent leg to the hypotenuse and/or successfully navigating a slalom of small traffic cones on my scooter, but it’s somewhat unlikely. I’m onto you, skills test: you are the useless applied mathematics of motorcycle licensing, and you will not trip me up again.

I’m retaking the test next Friday, and I am going to kick it’s ass. In the meantime, I am going to feel sorry for myself and eat chocolate (I have a 5-day weekend in which to wallow). I WILL NOT FAIL AGAIN!

.. but if I do, I can just keep retaking the test. It doesn’t cost anything until I pass, so there’s that. I’m still mad at myself, though. I hate sucking.