First Steps

My goal is to become a licensed AFM Racer.

2007 AFM Top Novice Oliver Rowen (photo from

But first, some history:

The first riding I ever did was in Vietnam on a tiny little Honda scooter.  This bad boy had about 50cc and a max speed of what felt like a galloping llama, which is fast.  Listen — it felt exhilirating being able to ride the coast of the South China Sea without wearing a helmet and without any gear (or underwear).  It was just the wind in my face and the sun at my back[side]! I felt like a gangster.  A Vietnamese gangster…no.

Bad. Ass.

As soon as I got back, I took my motorcycle permit test.  Nailed it.

Next thing I did was sign up for an MSF RiderCourse.  That was back before they raised the prices so it was a steal.  I scored top marks in all areas and passed that too.  One of the instructors, who at the time had probably been riding since the Lincoln administration, even said to me, “You ride like you’ve done this before!”  Well, I have.  In a foreign country. Baby.

After that, I was hooked.  I knew I loved motorcycles and wanted to ride them all the time.  The problem was that I couldn’t afford one of my own.  Newly equipped with an M1 license, but no M1 to ride.

So I did what any motorcycle enthusiast would do — I leached off a friend.  My kind friend allowed me to beat up his old beater.  And what a beaut she was.

But anyway; like I said: history.  Nowadays, I’m soo money.  So I bought a motorcycle of my own.  It’s a 2008 Suzuki SV650 Naked.  And it’s mean.  So when you see a charcoal grey, bone-stock (with factory stickers), SV650 blazing past you at speeds of up to 35, no, 45 mph, you’ll be scared.  You’ll think, “That’s The Devil of Stevens Canyon!”  Because I ride around there, you know.

I like. Yes.

So now the only thing left to do is practice!  I’m going to be doing slow-speed maneuvers to start: 100 figure 8’s, 100 quick-stops, 100 corners, and 100 swerves.  I should be able to get a good feel for the bike by then.  So far, I’ve done about 4 of each, which means I’m 4% complete. Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes.

NOTE: I know there are millions of readers of this blog so I expect the comment section to be relatively empty since so many people will be trying to leave comments at the same exact time, causing the system to overload and not post the intended comment at all.

What’s next?

On July 19, I have a “post-MSF” class, and on July 26, I’m taking the MSF Dirt Bike Class.

Stay tuned!


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