Motorcycles on the runway of Astoria/Warrenton airport
Jen and I spent the weekend in Astoria on the Oregon Coast for what Jen thought was going to be a romantic getaway following her birthday on Thursday. She was wrong. The trip's real purpose was for me to participate in a Motorcycle Safety course.
Just for the record, we did stay in a nice bed & breakfast and had a couple of great dinners. I wouldn't recommend that same bed & breakfast to anyone since they actually tried to kick Jen out shortly after our check-out time while she was waiting for me to come back from my course. But it's the thought that counts.
So what Jen didn't know
was that I was going to be spending both Friday night, and all day Saturday and Sunday (only from 6:30am till 3:30pm) on either the the air field of the Warrenton/Astoria airport or in the classroom at the Clatsop Community College. A note for my more loyal readers, Clatsop Community College is not affiliated with Jen's alma matter - Concordia College.
What I didn't know
was that in order for me to participate in this course, I needed to be equipped with gloves, sunglasses and boots. Since I didn't learn about this until approximately 7:30pm on Friday while sitting in my first lecture, one needs to give a lot of credit to Jen who rushed to the Astoria Fred Meyer on Friday night to purchase just those necessities. Thank you Fred for taking everything back on Sunday. Since this is an educational blog post, I would encourage all of you future course participants to read all the materials sent to you prior to the event. And yes, gardening gloves work just fine for motorcycling purposes.
Anyways, so I spent all weekend riding around some small-town airport in my still price-tagged Fred Meyer's leather boots and gardening gloves. People didn't think I was weird at all. I learned how to start a motorcycle, take a corner, come to an abrupt halt, swerve and that a motorcycle always goes where your eyes are pointing at. After all that practice and studying, Sunday morning was scheduled for our practice test. There were five exercises, all of which seemed pretty darn easy at the time - driving around cones, taking a steep turn, riding around a corner, doing one swerve and then coming to an abrupt halt. All very simple stuff.
Sunday afternoon, the course wrapped up with the group taking the written exams and then we got to learn how we did in the skills test.
First, I nailed my written test. One wrong answer out of fifty. Apparently, I am really good at taking multiple choice exams. Apparently, I am not that good at coming to an abrupt halt since I hit the brakes before the white line which resulted in a mandatory and very significant point reduction that led to me not passing the skills test. Nice. They really could have told me that before I leisurely started my second try of the abrupt halt during the test. Note to self, do get nervous from time to time, don't think that everything will just work out - especially when asked to repeat one of five exercises during an exam ---And Never Ever Stop Before The White Line again.
We're now driving back to Portland. Jen stopped talking to me the minute we walked out of Fred Meyers, which could be caused because a) I tricked her into going to Astoria for three days to take a motorcycle course or b) because I didn't pass that motorcycle course.
So...I was asked to come back* and my Scooter purchase (have you voted on my color choice
yet?) will have to wait for me to re-take the skills test in some parking lot of some community college somewhere in Portland. Who knows, maybe Jen's alma mater will play a bigger role in some blog entry in the near future after all.
Yours truly, who is still walking.
*FYI, I don't have to do another full weekend but rather just come in and re-take the actual driving test. Apparently, they have whole days for people just like me.