In Hindered Pursuit of Two-Wheeled Glory

This is where I write about my struggles and triumphs of being a motorcyclist
This is where I write about my struggles and triumphs of being a motorcyclist

In Hindered Pursuit of Two-Wheeled Glory

Okay, ignore my last post (I am leaving it there for my own motivational purposes). What I said still remains true: I won’t be covered by an insurance company until 2018... but... BUT... I have had time to calm down, focus, and figure some things out. Let me get into the reason for that previous post, though.

Two years ago, I received a DUI.

Me when I was pulled over (not an actual picture of me).
Me when I was pulled over (not an actual picture of me).
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I am making this public because, while it was a shameful thing, I am no longer ashamed to talk about it (if you know me personally and find this, and I haven’t told you, well, there it is!). Without going into crazy detail, I honestly didn’t feel the affects alcohol, and I was pulled over for speeding (I was speeding due to a terrible personal trait: impatience with slow people), officer smelled alcohol, and I was not going to lie to a cop (because I am not a stoopid person), and there you have it. Those are all the particulars I am willing to go through here. If we somehow meet, and you want to know more, then I will tell you then.

People, do not drink and drive/ride. I know you know this, but let me tell you as someone who has done it and been caught: it is NOT freaking worth it. Let me be your example. It is VERY expensive, and it is costly beyond just monetary means. Do NOT be comfortable having a drink or three, and then getting beyond the wheel or handlebars. That is my official life moto after getting my DUI: Don’t Get Comfortable. This applies to more than just getting comfortable in the future with having a beer and getting in control of a motorized vehicle, but that is its main function as a life moto.

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(I am not saying to not be this guy:

Cereal is best.
Cereal is best.
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...especially when you have the opportunity to do so when you have been insanely busy in life, because damn does he look like he is comfortable. We all need a little Jason Segel in us.

Wait....)

Moving on: The reason that no insurance will cover me (aside from the DUI itself) is because of a little form called an SR-22. Now, when I received the SR-22 from my insurance company, I thought that it was a form that allowed me to get my license back after a one-month suspension and providing proof of insurance (I was dropped from my insurance company). At the instruction of my lawyer, I got new insurance with the same company I was dropped from (Mercury, from what I am told, is the best insurance company to deal with after getting a DUI, just for your reference if you happen to be reading this post), then received the SR-22, and took everything to the DMV to have my license reinstated. Back to what I thought the SR-22 was really about: I thought that when I presented proof of insurance, and gave the DMV the SR-22 form, that it was essentially an application that for a 6-month restricted license that would allow me to drive to, from, and for work only. I was on a restricted license for 8 months (this is because my final hearing was at the end of the month AFTER I had my license reinstated, and they upheld that restriction for a further 6 months), and I thought I was home free.

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Until Saturday, but we are still not quite there yet.

Last Wednesday, 10 months after buying my first motorcycle helmet (which truly did set into motion me finally fully pushing myself into my pursuit of living the motorcycle lifestyle), I finally got my license. I cannot tell you how happy I was! I finally did it. I finally achieved a goal that I had set my mind to complete. I am going to go more into my experience with getting my license at the age of 29, and what I would do differently in another post. BUT I FINALLY GOT IT.

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Look, they even punched a whole in my old one (as noted by the bright red arrow), and gave me a paper one. You know I’m officially official with a paper license. (important personal bits covered so ya’ll can’t steal my identity or come stalk me at my house).
Look, they even punched a whole in my old one (as noted by the bright red arrow), and gave me a paper one. You know I’m officially official with a paper license. (important personal bits covered so ya’ll can’t steal my identity or come stalk me at my house).

So… Saturday I am at home for what feels like the first Saturday in months, and I decided that, now that I have my license, I can start motorcycle insurance shopping. I discovered that no company would insure me while I have the SR-22 on my record. I started digging around, and discovered what exactly an SR-22 is. If you saw my previous post, clearly I was disappointed, and I still am. The SR-22 will come off of my record in the late Spring of 2018, which means that I cannot own a motorcycle that I can ride on the streets until that point. I also know that I cannot go buy one without full coverage unless I purchase it outright, and I just do not have that kind of money right now. Yes: I am disappoint (said purposefully that way because that is how I talk in person, and this blog needs to be an accurate representation of myself).

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Boy did I mope Saturday. I discovered this, then decided I needed to go spend money (which I do not regret, because it was at VG’s warehouse sale, which was awesome) and eat food (a lifeguard egg-white burrito at my favorite spot in Newport, Malarky’s Irish Pub. Seriously some of the best food in Newport outside of fine dining restaurants. Tell Randy (the manager) JD says hey if you go in). I felt a little better after a drive back up PCH to Long Beach, but I was still mopey.

Since then, as I stated earlier, I have calmed down, collected myself, and decided I am not just going to sit and mope for the next year and a half (which in the grand scheme of things, truly is not that much time, especially when you consider that I work full time and I am a full time student in my Bachelor’s program).

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Photo by Sam Bendall of Sean MacDonald from his article on CycleWorld, which is linked to the right.
Photo by Sam Bendall of Sean MacDonald from his article on CycleWorld, which is linked to the right.

As I was reading this great article about American Supercamp Riding School by Sean MacD, I asked myself a question; a very, very important question: How can I ride motorcycles as much as I possibly can, without being able to purchase one to drive on the highways and twisties?

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The answer: I have no idea, but I think it involves spending oogles of money going to as many schools that will accept me without being an experienced rider. Maybe I’ll go back through CMSP with OCMT (who truly are great). I’ve sent an e-mail to Motorcycle Training Services up in Hesperia about their intermediate riding clinic (because they currently have none scheduled). Maybe I’ll have to do some traveling (which I love to do, but why you do you no longer love Cali, MSF?), and go find an MSF basic RiderCourse (BRC) – Skill Practice someplace, and keep going back until I’ve mastered it, and then move up to BRC2 and other intermediate level courses, and continue from there. Who knows! Maybe this will be a failed experiment, but I am determined to not let it be, and to not let the man (literally this time… freaking insurance companies) get me down more than he can.

What I do know, is that I am going to write about it here. If I actually get to do anything and truly pursue this (currently hindered) passion that I have through as many (unhindered) means as possible, my experiences will be posted here. I am going to keep this up. I do not know where it is going to lead, but hey, I have to take steps to get to my destination eventually, right? No more moping. Maybe Sean will discover some cool new school (since you really like doing that, and those are my favorite posts, Sean) that will accept me that I can go to with my zero experience. Maybe I will have to do some serious digging and some serious traveling over the next year and a half. But so be it. I will do what I absolutely have to do.

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This is my first very serious post here, so I do not really know how to conclude this, so… until next time, where I will talk about the steps I took to obtain my license, and I what my advice would be for those who decide to pursue getting their Class M.

Stay safe. Don’t get comfortable.

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