Too Much Slope

I am famous (or infamous) for stopping in a place where I find myself unable to move my bike after it’s on the kickstand.  Or it seems that way because it frustrates me so much when I find myself stuck.

On the PNW tour in June, one day I parked my rental Vstrom in a part of the parking area that had too much slope.  I realized this as I put the kick stand down and was getting off that I was may have a terrible time getting back on.  In fact, I couldn’t even touch on the right side, so there was no way to shift the bike over and lift the kickstand; it was just too darn heavy and tall.  Grrrr.

Today I took Sassy out for the first long ride and guess what?  I did it again!  I was focused on the car trying to pull out from the shoulder and I failed to realize how sloped it was until I was putting the kickstand down and wondering if it was really down or if the bike and I were going over.  The bike was really leaning downhill and I thought oh geez, again?  The big difference this time is that I was able to move the bike myself, very carefully, until it was on more even ground.  I certainly could not do that before, the Vstrom is  too heavy a bike for me to feel confident doing it.  Not to say this was easy, I certainly worked for it.  But moving a little at a time, I was able to put myself in a situation where I could get on the bike and hold it up straight while I got the kickstand up and on my way again.  It was a good thing too because while there was some traffic, there was no one else around that I could have asked for help.

So, two lessons today – when buying a bike, make sure you are able to move it by yourself.  I’ve heard the viewpoint that one must also be able to lift it from a fall alone and I just don’t agree.  But moving it?  Maybe you go a few inches at a time but when you find yourself having done something silly like I did today, this is huge!  Second lesson – stop parking on slopes that are too steep!  During the PNW trip I got in the habit of stopping and just taking a moment to assess when I felt unsure – I need to do this and make sure I’m ok rather than get in a hurry.  I’m always learning and what a fun journey it is!

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