Another milestone accomplished.
I went through a riding school in summer of 2007, bought a bike in Oct 2008, and finally started riding in May 2009. I'm a casual rider with almost 3000km of riding this, my first season. I finally feel ready to take on a passenger, so last weekend I bought a hardly used helmet (Snell M2005, Mfr date May 2007) from someone who was a passenger. My wife already had a A* leather jacket I picked up before picking up any of my own gear back in 2007 (guy bought it online not realizing it was for women, sold it to me for good price) So with both my wife and I have the day off today, I decided to take her out for a short ride on my bike this sunny afternoon.
She's had experience as a passenger before when she was a high school student in Asia riding with her classmates (but 125/250cc bikes), so I just told her to tap me twice if she wants me to slow down, and keep tapping if she wanted to stop.
As soon as she got on the bike, it felt very different. I thought briefly that maybe I should ride down the parkade ramp solo, but thought it should be ok. We made it down the turning ramp ok, but the center stand scraped on every speed bump installed in the parkade. It usually doesn't unless I brake as I hit the bumps. Anyways, I'm taking things easy. Taking my time braking, and I'd wait for cross traffic longer than if I was riding solo when waiting to make a turn.
We stopped by Garry Point Park and have some fish and chips at Pajo's, then a short ride over to Diplomat Bakery at the end of No.2 Rd. that she's been wanting to go to. After that, I took the scenic route along the Dyke Rd, and Finn Rd before heading back home on No.4 Rd. A very short ride totaling about 24kms on surface roads just to get my feet wet riding 2up.
I started to get used to the bike with the passenger, but it's still something I have to adjust to, especially when slowing to a stop, or creeping forward in a left turn lane. Once moving, it's really not too bad. She didn't have to tap me at all during the ride, and said it was fun. I'm not sure if I'd describe it as "fun" myself, as I was constantly thinking about how I've never carried a passenger before, that it was riding different, and that my wife's welfare is completely in my hands at the moment. But this feeling in the gut is a familiar one, like when I first started riding my own bike, almost two years after I've been on a bike at riding school. So I think I can get used to it.
But overall, everything went well, and the short trip with two stops was a good idea as we got to discuss the ride a bit and confirm everything is good. Now, any tips for future 2up rides? I know to up the tire pressure a little. Anything else? Like when a passenger should load/unload? Today we did it that I was on the bike, kickstand up, holding the front brake, then she got on the bike. Getting off was me stopping, then she gets off, then I shut the bike off and put down the kickstand. Getting off felt a bit more wobbly, and the last time she got off her pants got caught slightly on a peg or something and pull the bike over a little bit. I was ok this time. but should I maybe have the kickstand down before she unloads?