Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fighting the flinch

Motorbikes. They have become an unavoidable force in my life.  If you've been reading along in these first few weeks, you'll know it's not been an easy road (no pun intended. . . well maybe a little). My latest observation is regarding the an unintentional flinch or wince.

I've become very comfortable on the back of a bike. I occasionally ride side saddle when I'm in a skirt.  I know enough to always mount from the left side because there's no hot muffler there (I do have a brilliant purple scar on the back of my left calf from a muffler, but not my driver and not when I was on the bike).  A friend has noticed that I hop on and sit stone still looking and feeling relatively at ease while she spending the entire ride terrified and lurching. I believe that my nerves of stone - I'm building up to nerves of steel-have come from just being on the bike for tens (and twenties) hours, literally, every week.

Keys to success: don't try to look around the driver, it unbalances the bike. Not looking also help you fight the flinch.  All the modes of transportation move about here in EXTREMELY close quarters.  As a rider, if you wince and pull back, the bike moves.  This may unintentionally cause a hit/accident as opposed to helping avoid one. I can't count how many close calls I've had but only one hit. Finally, good posture and a good position. When you first get on the bike, scoot, move whatever so you'll be in a position that you can sit in for the duration of the ride. Use your core strength to stay firmly planted on the seat and skip the ab work at the gym.

I spend my time learning new Indonesian words and watching the people who are watching me.  My head and neck swivel for many reasons.  One of which is watching the world go by from the back of a bike.

This was me on Monday, in a downpour with headphones, mask against pollution, helmet and rain coat on.  Not pictured are my sexy blue plastic pants.


  1. About this post, the only thing I have to say is YOU ROCK! (and I thought the packed metro or train were bad).

    P.S. Your eyes look pretty in that picture ;)


  2. You forgot to mention that as a pillion you hug the driver tightly and trust him/her with your life ;)
    The rain has come to Madrid now... I expect to be less smily tomorrow...

  3. I don't hardly touch the driver.If it were my boyfriend it might be different. I I grip the bar under my bum and try not to get interested in looking around his helmet.