If You Sneeze While Riding a Motorcycle, Do You Die?

Well, I’m writing this, am I not?

Today will join other amazing days that tug on my heart strings.  One of the greatest men ever – my brother, Josh – accepted my request for him to come down and continue my lessons riding.  For anyone who knows me, I speak of my brother fondly and with tremendous respect and appreciation.

For 33 years, he’s been my big brother.  When we were young, we fought an awful lot, but I always looked to him to feel safe and protected.  It wasn’t until after he graduated, that I called him my best friend.  It took us a lot of years to admit we loved each other, and finally show it.  Any advice, criticism, or opinion of my brother’s – is held in the highest regard, in my heart.  So, I felt reminiscent of being a child and having to wait an entire night’s sleep for Santa to arrive, as I counted down the minutes until he was at my house and we were hitting the road – together.

I haven’t taken the FatBoy on many turns – and none while going above 10 miles per hour.  I knew I needed to work on it, but needed guidance and encouragement.  So, we hit the road to Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, where the winding doesn’t end until you reach the Prairie Learning Center.  With some seasoned experience parted on me from Josh, I was ready to give it a go.  And, it went smoothly!

On the way back, the wind seemed to have picked up and was coming from my left, with a shift here and there.  This was something I was nervous about countering without blowing over like a house of cards.  So, it was another notch in my riding confidence, when I handled it correctly.  I also had an experience that my wild imagination hadn’t allowed me to ponder:  what in the world happens if I have to sneeze at 55 miles per hour, when I am an inexperienced rider?!  Well, I now know.

I felt the tickle as my allergies decided they had enough of nature forcing its way up my nostrils, out on the open road.  Then, it hit me!  What if I sneeze?!  Wait, if you sneeze, you just die, right?  I prepared for being a defensive rider, I prepared for countering the wind, I prepared for the occasional beetle that hits your head like a paintball…but, I did not prepare for this.  So, for a second, I imagined one sneeze equaled instant death.  That’s the only logical explanation, right?!

Well, I didn’t have the nerve to take my right hand off the grip in order to bop myself on the tip of the nose in hopes that it would stop the sneeze.  So, I prepared for inevitable death.  They also say it is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open – which still holds true for me to this day.  But, I did not die.  I took the sneeze like a champ, and opened to eyes to find that I was still up on two wheels and steadily at 55 miles per hour.

I checked in with my brother, frequently.  His approval means the most to me.  So, I smile as I remember what he told me!  He said I was a “natural”, stayed steady and straight in my lane (my preference has fallen to the left), and wasn’t “shifty” as I went through the turns.  That.  That is my report card from my brother – and, that gives me more confidence in continuing this, more than he will ever know.

May your ride be smooth, and your drinks stiff!  Cheers!


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