I’ve dreamed of the day I would be on a motorcycle probably since I was about 4 years old…around the time when I realized how cool all things vehicular were. For one reason or another getting a bike hasn’t worked out for me until recently. I have many friends who ride, and for years they have been asking me to get my permit, get my permit…and then finally this fall I came into a little extra money that set things in motion. I started off by getting my learners permit (who knew a 32 year old would have to answer so many junior operator questions!) and began to search Craigslist for a good bike to learn on. Ever since my first edition of a mail order magazine called “wheels and wings” I had my eye on the Kawasaki Ninja. My friends all thought I was nuts, as they are “sport tourer folk” almost all of which ride Kawasaki Concours. They told me the downsides of getting a sport bike, but I was in love, and had my heart set on a Ninja. A few weeks of searching turned up a result; a young guy who had an older model Ninja, and was in need of money to get his license back (yeah…guess why?!) so I jumped at this deal to get a higher mileage, 1995 Ninja ZX-6R. It seemed like a good deal $1200, the bike ran well, and really didn’t need anything major to make it road worthy. So I bought it, thinking that I would wait till spring to ride it. But you know guys, we’re impulsive…so a few days later the bike was registered and ready to go! Now I will say that this all happened around thanksgiving in New England, so the temperature was getting a little “nippy” for a new, slightly under equipped rider. But I didn’t let that stop me! Saturday morning before turkey day I was up at sunrise and ready to go! (6:30 AM). Again, I will say that at this point I have never ridden a bike on the street, so I wasn’t really sure what I was in for. I started out ok, decided to head down my street to a gas station to fill up. Managed to make it there without any issues, within the first minute I taught myself how to up shift, downshift, turn, brake…I was really surprised by how natural it all felt to me, like my body had just been waiting for this day, preparing itself for the motions required to ride a bike!!! I filled up, then headed out for what I intended to be a nice little 30-45 minute ride to get used to the bike a little. Then I realized something that I hadn’t anticipated, it was ridiculously cold outside!!! About 25 degrees F!!! I headed down the road picking up speed and in about 2 minutes my fingers were completely numb (even with leather gloves on). So after only being on the bike for about 5 minutes I reluctantly headed back home to warm up. When I arrived back in my garage my wife had a look of major relief on her face, and I couldn’t stop smiling because I was so enamored with my first bike, my first ride! (And my face was frozen!!!). After a few hours it warmed up to about 45 degrees and I headed out again, this time to meet up with a group of friends to go for a ride. I had an amazing afternoon of riding around with 3 of my best friends, and they all complimented how natural I looked riding the motorcycle! Now, every chance I get I am tinkering with my bike, getting little rides in here and there as the weather permits, and falling completely in love with my old…kinda beat up…NINJA!!!!