Take a ride with this quadruple amputee woman and her son as they go for a motorcycle ride.
Amputee Life

Lessons Learned from my Motorcycle Experience

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

There I was speeding down the street at 25 crazy miles an hour. The wind blew against my face and surprisingly, not a single bug had intimately introduced itself to my face. I was on the back of Michael Jr’s motorcycle. I wanted to test my ability to be a quad amputee motorcycle rider.  Please don’t tell my Dad.

Could I possibly be a quad amputee motorcycle rider?

This was a test. I’ve never been a huge fan of riding motorcycles but we have three of them in our garage and my whole family enjoys riding. I was in the mood to take another chance to see if I liked it. If I’m being honest here, I will admit that every other time I’d ridden I was using a snowmobile helmet and couldn’t figure out why my head felt like it was going to fall off during the ride. Keep in mind, because I’m a beginner we never went very fast during those rides but I still felt uncertain about holding my head straight in my snowmobile helmet.

As it turns out 1: The helmet was too big and 2: Snowmobile helmets aren’t meant for riding motorcycles. Since we reside in the “Live Free or Die” state, I was going to test my merit on the bike without a helmet. I REALLY don’t want you to tell THAT to my Dad.

A close encounter with a turkey

So off we go, speeding down our road when we see a turkey take off from the side of the road. We saw the bird defecate on takeoff (DOT). This should not be confused with the Department of Transportation. Within seconds that turkey was within two feet in the front of the motorcycle and Mike’s face. From my perspective that bird was the size of a Volkswagen but that’s just because I was freaking out. Mike and I ducked our heads and before you know it the bird was long gone, on to enjoy the rest of his day. The first lesson I learned is that turkeys really do fly. We were thankful for God’s watchful care.

The challenges of being a quad amputee motorcycle rider

There we were, riding along when I started thinking, this whole bike thing is kind of enjoyable. My biggest concern was keeping my feet on the pegs. I really don’t know what would’ve happened if my foot came off the peg, but I wasn’t going to find out. The foot pegs on the bike were very short and so far back that I was unable to bend my leg enough to fit comfortably. My prosthetics go so high up my calf that they obstruct how much I could bend at the knee. Therefore when I was riding I was nervous my foot would fall off the peg and then I would’ve fallen off the bike. I held on tight though and we made it home safely.

An experience to remember

My experience was quite invigorating.  As you can see from this video, you will see that I liked it.  I suppose motorcycle riding isn’t so bad for me under the following circumstances:

The first thing I learned was, I would need a properly fitting helmet. Even though my test ride was sans helmet, I’m not so daring to do that on a regular basis. Secondly, I would need longer, more stable pegs for my feet. Third, I would never get on a bike without what I refer to as a sissy bar. You know, that bar on the back of the bike that keeps you from bouncing off the back when you hit a bump. Mike’s bike did have one of those.

With those three things in place I would be willing to go out with the family on one of their rides around town. As lonely as I was when they went out without me, I was too chicken to go with them.

So now we have a plan for those rides. I can’t promise I’d love riding like they do. But I’m willing to go with them because there’s nothing I like better than spending time with my family.

Update:  Several weeks later, my family decided to take our motorcycles out for a bike ride.  Obviously, I was a “professional” quad amputee motorcycle rider by now (spoken in jest).  Check out our next ride in my post called Things to do in New Hampshire:  Castle in the Clouds.  We had a beautiful time!

If you would like to continue the conversation, head on over to my Instagram page or my One Exceptional Life Facebook page.  I would love to hear from you.

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2 Comments

  1. Love that you tried it and are willing to give it a go again! I was nervous the first time I went on a bike (and don’t tell my mom – she hates them!) I was sure I’d be falling off so I can only imagine how you felt. I’m glad I subscribed to your blog too – very enjoyable 🙂

    1. Thank you, Celeste. Would you believe I got back on another bike yesterday? This one was a Harley and it had huge foot pegs so I was much more comfortable. I rode behind my husband to a local museum. I’ll be writing about it soon. Thank you for reading.
      Wendy

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