Buses, Bikes, and Bucket Lists…

Tomorrow is my birthday. Today my husband and my best friend and myself are leaving on vacation. We are heading to Oregon to one of my most favorite places in the world. The River Inn in Elkton is a wonderful little bed-no-breakfast that my husband’s best friend and her husband introduced us to several years ago. It is my go-to place when I just want to get away and recharge my soul. I can’t wait!

Meanwhile this past week has been one of extreme mental stress as I studied frantically for my Class B certification license renewal. My license expires on my birthday. I took the renewal test last Friday and I passed three of the necessary tests but I failed the General Knowledge section. I had decided to add a motorcycle certificate to my license as well, since my son purchased a scooter recently and apparently  you must have a M1 license to ride the thing. Who knew? When I was a kid all you had to have was a  learner’s permit and be 15 1/2 years old and you could ride a scooter wherever you wanted. Not any more. You must have either an M1 or M2 to ride any scooter over 50 ccs. Of course his is 80 ccs. Wonderful.

So yesterday I had an appointment at the DMV to take the General Knowledge portion of my license. I had decided not to worry too much about the motorcycle part since I need my Class B to make a living and that was the most important thing on my list of things to do. I found practice test sites on-line and spent a few hours each day this past week going over the tests and answering questions. Some days I passed the tests–some days I did not.  So needless to say I was a little stressed out about the entire thing.

I arrived at the DMV on time and requested to be given my test on paper instead of using the computer. I did the test last time on the computer and discovered that isn’t a great option for me since you can’t go back and go over your answers to make sure you didn’t make a stupid mistake. They had room for me in the testing room so the clerk printed off the test and handed it to me and  I settled down to take it.

Did I mention the fact that I drive a bus for a living? Yeah. The problem I  have is that the General Knowledge is just that–GENERAL knowledge. In other words for both trucks and buses. And very heavy on the truck questions. I can honestly say that the test I took yesterday had nothing about buses on it and everything about trucks. One question that had me stumped was concerning radiator shutters and a stormfront. I had no idea what they were talking about–I study the bus-related parts of the CDL handbook (Commercial Drivers License) and pretty much ignore the rest. So I just guessed and moved on.

I was a nervous wreck as I watched the clerk go over my test. My anxiety level increased substantially as I watched her mark answers wrong–I wasn’t sure if I should watch her or walk away! Finally she was done and she smiled and said “You missed 8–congratulations!!” I could miss ten so I made it! Woo hoo!! I told her I didn’t want to take the motorcycle test right then–I figured I could study for it some more before trying it again. No problem. Yeah… not so much.

Apparently because I had applied for the motorcycle permit I had to finish the licensing procedure or they could not give me my license. I asked if I could just delete it and they encouraged me to take it anyway. What the heck right? So I took it–and passed! I could NOT believe it!

Then things got interesting. Apparently since the motorcycle permit is just a permit it made it impossible for them to finish my license and give me my VTT certificate–a necessity for my job–while it was in permit status. Hmmm. This was a definite problem. I still have to take the motorcycle class and there is no way I can do that before Sunday. Definitely a huge problem!

Thankfully the woman I had helping me was a supervisor. She backed me out of the permit and took it off my application. She finished my license then had me fill out a new application for the motorcycle permit. She transferred the fee I had already paid, instead of making me pay again, and set it up like I had applied for the motorcycle permit AFTER I  had done my renewal. Now my permit is good for a year, I can ride the scooter with no issues, and I have time to go and take a motorcycle class at our local Harley dealership and get my actual license/certificate of completion through them.

Here’s the thing. I have been scared to death of bikes most of my life. As a small child my mother hung out with the Hell’s Angels and I remember riding on the front of their big black Harleys and loving it. Somewhere about the time I had to start riding in the back I became afraid and the last time I got on a bike I was a freshman in college.  Getting the scooter and riding it around triggered those old memories of fun and the rush of feeling the wind in my hair as we drove up and down the country roads near our home and suddenly I wanted to experience that freedom again. Maybe I am crazy–I know absolutely nothing about a motorcycle so the learning curve may be a little steep! But I am excited to try! Even if I never get a real motorcycle I can still have a scooter, and today’s scooters are way more cool than the ones I grew up with!

A new adventure and just in time to celebrate my 53rd birthday. That bucket list? Yep, things are getting checked off! So what things are you looking forward to doing as you go through life? Anything really crazy or fun? I have a friend who is going to swim with the sharks for his honeymoon. How cool is that?! Let me know!