When we were growing up we didn't have motorcycles. Fortunately for us, and probably to my mother's dismay, a lot of our neighbors did. We would jump on their bikes and toodle around the neighborhood. We crashed only occasionally, and never told our parents where the road rash came from.
So, where to start? First I needed a license, and to get a license I needed SOME kind of training. Since I have a six year old son, training was important. Killing myself on a bike was not in the plan. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) was a great discovery. They have courses in every state, assume you know nothing, provide the bikes for the course and the helmet, and have a test at the end that will get you a motorcycle endorsement on your license. I signed up in September last year. Fortunately I passed the course (having a blast in the process - who knew a Nighthawk 250 could be so much fun) and got my license on Sept 17th, 2009.
Now what? Well, I guess I needed a helmet. It would be a start anyway. So I started looking at helmets. As a side note, when I started looking for a helmet I really started noticing the difference in communities among riders. There is the HD crowd, the sportbike crowd, the dual-sport crowd, the dirt bike guys, and the touring crowd. More on that later, the different culture of each of the communities is interesting. Finally settled on an ARAI Vector - with the really cool blue/spiderweb graphics. It's the first time in years I had an excuse for wearing something that tacky - and all in the name of safety!!
Now I just needed a motorcycle.