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First Time Riding


The kids, my nephews, watched in wonder and awe

as we unloaded the motorcycle from the car
the younger one, excitement on his face I saw
as we lifted the motorcycle by its metal handlebar

We handed him a helmet and a nylon padded jacket
as I pried the starter switch from it's bracket
because my brother had misplaced the key
and we tried to hotwire it rather than let it be

And then I gave my young nephew a lesson
though he wanted to ride and was in a rush
I showed him how to work the shifter and the clutch
and it all confused him much

But finally he understood that the running engine spins
and the tansmission has neutral and 4 gears
though at first this added to his confusion
and I could see, also to his anxiety and fears

Then I explained the handbrake lever
and the turning of the throttle for the gas
I gave him an impromptu test of what was said
and he more or less passed....remember..not so fast!

I had him start the bike and pull the clutch
and click it in gear
and then I said...practice releasing the clutch
Just like I do ...feel it grab as you release it here

And once he understood I said now release clutch slowly
and ride it like a bike you pedal as you ride
and he did pretty good though his eyes were open so wide
he was scared but he tried

And soon he was moving and it was so fun for us to see
this young guy take off on his first ride
worried that he might go too fast and crash
we ran after him like a robber running with our cash

But he did great for a kid
He survived his first ride
and was beaming with pride
his smile he tried to hide, but smiled wider when he did

The neighbors must have been upset
of the engine echoing up and down the street
But must have sensed that the moment they could not defeat
A first time riding adventure is hard to top or beat

©  James T. Adair


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