Monday, May 7, 2012

My First Motorcycle Ride: Seeing the City a New Way

You may recall that I was going to make a concerted effort in April to do new things, and then keep a list of them so I wouldn't forget them at the end of the month. I wasn't wholly successful in meeting my goal, as I often wimped out and just went to new restaurants. But a wonderfully willing and motorcycle- owner friend name John helped me close out the month of April doing a new thing that I never actually thought I'd want to do.

I'm the sort that considers a motorcycle a death machine, but I've been trying to do more things that scare me or make me nervous lately. I trusted John to take good care of me and not let my last moments be the seconds before my head splattered on the pavement. And we made an adventure out of it. I picked four different outlooks in the North, West, South, and East and we figured out our routes on the go.

John wasted no time in getting me acclimated to going fast. We zipped down the 40th Street hill and across the bridge and onto 28. It was scary, but awesome. And I was immediately hooked. Our first outlook was the Troy Hill cemetery. Going up Troy Hill Road I could watch the skyline in the reflection of John's shiny helmet. The cemetery probably wasn't the best place we could have chosen, but if I have the opportunity to rope a cemetery visit into an adventure, I will.

From Troy Hill we got back onto a numbered road (here's the thing about not owning a car: I don't know anything about our highways - I just know they are numbered and fast and not safe for me to bike on) and flew across the West End Bridge to the West End Elliott Overlook. I don't think John had ever been there, so I was really excited to share of one my favorite outlooks.

Back down a hill we went, and then up Mount Washington we climbed. At the outlook we stopped at on Grandview Ave, we could already tell we were in for a amazing sunset. The PPG building was glowing and orange. The weather was so temperate and clear. We got back on the motorcycle and headed to our last destination.

I've only recently found out about this gem in Schenley Park, and it was a spectacular sunset to end our adventure with. We sat in the grass and watched the orange sky turn slowly into night.

We were nearly back in Bloomfield when I shouted to John and asked if we could go down Bigelow into the city. He obliged and that little addition to the end of the ride was definitely the most thrilling. I won't tell you how fast we were going, but know that the city was coming at us very very quickly. From the city we took Liberty back up to Winebiddle and hit nearly every greenlight until we got to Bloomfield proper.

I survived my first motorcycle ride. We celebrated at Brillobox.


  1. Those pictures you took clearly tell how much fun you had riding the motorcycle the first time, Allison! It can be scary at first, I bet you know that, but it becomes a breeze once you get used to it. Aside from riding the motorcycle itself, customizing your ride is one more activity you can enjoy. You can do a custom paint job or add accessories! I guess that’s one more thing that you can add to the activities that make you nervous. I’m sure John will be happy to help!

    Nelson Heimer

  2. Congrats! You were able to conquer your nervousness with motorcycles, and based on the pictures you’ve shown here, it seems your first ride was a fulfilling one. An amazing ride, isn’t it? When I first rode a motorcycle, I was really nervous. But after some time, I gradually enjoyed the experience, and the enjoyment grew even more as time passed by. In the end, it was that experience which sparked my love for motorcycle to this day!

    -Clare Westby

  3. That’s an experience that you should definitely treasure all your life. It’s unique because you didn’t just see lots of beautiful sceneries around, but you were also able to conquer your fear of riding a motorcycle. And I’m pretty sure your first motorcycle ride won’t be your last after that wonderful experience!

    >Claudio Mccarty

  4. I suddenly remembered my first motorcycle ride with your story. My dad told me to ride his motorcycle, but I was a bit hesitant to hop in because it was going to be my first ride. He told me to trust him, and I did! The first 10 miles was quite scary, but I was able to conquer my fear when we reached 40 miles. The fresh breeze and the beautiful sceneries around had helped me get through my fear. Now, I have my own bike and I’m enjoying every second driving it.

    >Hannah Parkin