Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Near MacLaren Park
Thursday afternoon


My Life in Motorcycling

I had my first ride on the back of a motorcycle at age 15. I was immediately hooked, but it wasn’t till I’d been living in San Francisco for almost a year that a friend of mine at work happened to mention the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) class. Until then, I had no idea there was a class one could take to learn how to ride; I assumed I’d have to find a patient biker friend. I cut the conversation short, RAN upstairs to my desk, and phoned to reserve a spot in the class.

A few months later, I had a license and a bike of my own, and it was then that I began to really love San Francisco. The freedom and mobility opened up the city, the Bay Area, and the whole state to me—I saw a lot of gorgeous places in my pursuit of curvy roads. I was so excited about riding that I would get up earlier on the weekends to hit the twisties than I did during the week to go to work. I explored the coast north and south of the city, the East Bay hills, the Santa Cruz mountains, and the back roads of Marin and Sonoma, including many places I would never have thought to visit in a car.

Often riding alone, I met a lot of people in my travels, including some who are good friends at least a decade later.

I can’t omit mention of my awful accident; I was hit by a reckless driver on November 26th, 1999, suffering a compound fracture of my right tibia, and breaking both bones in both my wrists. That happened on 14th Street and South Van Ness. I was taken to SF General, which fortunately has the best trauma unit in the city, though it’s not the best place to recuperate. I was subsequently transferred to Saint Mary’s—by two incredibly hot, butch, tattooed, lesbian EMTs. Only in SF!

I really didn’t think I’d keep riding after that, but at the end of a 6-month convalescence, I found that my passion for riding was still with me, and I bought another bike.

Almost exactly a year after my accident, a friend of mine invited me to head to the annual motorcycle expo with a group of her friends. We met at Seal Rock Inn at Point Lobos. My friend brought a passenger—a friend of a friend who’d just moved to town and wanted to learn to ride. He sat next to me at breakfast, and we engaged in polite chit chat. At the time, I had no inkling whatsoever that I would be married to him a few years later, living in a house in the Excelsior with a garage full of motorcycles.


tucker said...

Great post! Fun to see another motorcycle related tale. I too have been in accidents, but the idea of a life without riding is so much more painful.

Iran, you and your husband should come down to the club some night. We're there every Thursday. Hope to see you!

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

m e l i g r o s a said...

rad. I like Iran, she is a rad gal.