1997: Ninja 250. Down in Panama City Beach, FL for spring break. Just got my NY class M learners permit, and had never touched a bike in person. Well, I find out that's all you need to rent a bike in PCB. I handed over my money, and took the bike (which was already running) on down the strip. I stopped in an empty parking lot to practice turns a bit when I promptly stalled the bike. Hey, it's my first time not only on a bike, but driving a manual. Well, needless to say, I could not figure out how to start the damn thing. I tired everything, I turned the key (works on cars right?), put it in nuetral, flipped the kill switch back and forth, etc. I spent the first 30 minutes of my 3 hour rental in a parking lot on the verge of tossing the bike onto it's side out of pure frustration. I grabbed the helmet, and stormed off. I made it about a block, when I turned back. I had what drunks would call a moment of clarity. I remembered noticing a little black button w/ a lightning bolt engraved on it tucked out of the way. Fast foward 9 years, and I'm still on a Kawi, except, I can start this one... i will say, as soon as I got back to NY, took the MSF Course.
2004: Got the Blue Devil. My wife ordered it for me while I was in Iraq, and had it waiting when I got back. God bless her. Well, after a week or two of "us time" (with the bike of course), I get this brilliant idea. Hey wifey, film me doing a wheelie down our street (a culdesac). Wheelie one-fine; wheelie two-a little higher; wheelie 3-started too late, came down hard, jumped on the brakes and locked up the back...skipped the front over a manhole cover and lifted the back wheel, all the while I'm staring at a storm drain in front of me. Did I mention, my neighbor and her kids just came back from the grociery store and are witnessing this? Well, I came to stop and somehow managed to keep it upright after balancing on one leg for an eternity. As for my wife, like any good camera man, she filmed the whole thing, with not even an oh sh*t.