Hey folks. It's been a while since I've posted substantially here but what with some new movie about some ship and her crew coming out in a few weeks, I found myself drawn back to ol' Blue. And I thought I'd share what I feel is a pretty significant development in my life. Yes, as the title states, I am in the process of acquiring a two-wheeled motorized vehicle known as a motorcycle. Why, some might ask, would one remove themselves from the compartitively safe confines of an automobile (henceforth refered to as a "cage") for the exposed position of one traveling by motorcycle. In California traffic no less. Trust me, I've gotten the "It's so dangerous!!!!" reactions from several compatriots, and while I completely accept that I am putting myself in just a touch more peril than a driving a cage would, I have my reasons. And they are as follows: Saving $$$: Any bike I get will be cheap and will likely be bought with cash or a loan with a hefty down payment. We're talkin' $30-50/mo payments at most. My wife and I both have our own cars, yet with our short commutes, the gas mileage those cars get ends up being less than exemplary. My 4 cylinder Accord gets me an average of 20mpg, and I fill up at least twice a month. Same with the wife. With current gas prices, that means we spend about $200-240 on gas per month. A bike, however, would get me an average of 50-60mpg and that's on a 2.5-3 gallon tank. Now we're talkin'. Warriors Watch: I'm part of an organization called The Warriors' Watch Riders. We're a group of military veterans and civilian patriots who seek to honor our returning service members. We do so by meeting them at the airport or at a restaurant while they're having dinner with their totally-in-on-it family and surprising them with a welcome home motorcycle escort. Nearly all of the members ride, but there are a few of us who don't who drive our cages in the processions. I'm usually piloting my dad's lifted Jeep Wrangler and running interference for any impatient cagers who may disrupt the procession, and I help make a spectacle of the whole thing with the siren mounted on the Jeep. That part is fun and all...but not quite like being up with the guys at the front on the bikes. I'm with the Warriors' Watch Riders and I'd like to actually be...a rider! Because...I want to: That's really why we do just about anything we choose to do, isn't it? Ever since I've been with the WWR I've become fascinated with the idea of riding one myself. And when I realized it can also save us some money...even better! The idea of being able to hop on my bike and motor over to the store or actually make my commute to work fun really excites me, as does the prospect of really becoming a part of the brotherhood of the guys who ride with WWR. If you asked me about 5 years ago if I thought one day I'd long to be a "biker" I'd have thought you were crazy. Now, it's something I can't wait to do. Anyway, sorry for the long windedness of all of that, but I'm just excited. I signed myself up for a MSF training course along with my dad. Next step from there is to head to DMV and turn in my certificate in exchange for my new license...and then it's off to find my steed. I went to a dealership today and got the feel for a few bikes I liked, and all I can say is I felt right at home on a 2012 Honda Shadow RS. I'll keep this thread updated with my progress (the class is April 3, 6-7) but in the meantime, I'd love to hear any tips any riders here may have to offer.