Learn how to park your #motorcycle.

After work on Friday I headed to downtown Portsmouth for dinner and a drink or two. There’s usually two rows of parking spaces on Pleasant street where people park their motorcycles. As far as the city is concerned, as long as one bike has the parking slip on it that slip is good for all of the bikes in that spot. I found a space in a spot where one person had paid right up until seven, when all of the street parking in Portsmouth is then free.

When backing a motorcycle into a spot like that, one should park at an angle. It not only makes it easier to get out, but some bikes (like mine) are too long to fit into the spot when perpendicular to the curb. Unfortunately, some people with smaller bikes don’t quite this technique, park straight in, and messes up the row for everybody else. So once I had parked, if that bike had gone there would be a weird amount of space left. But I didn’t really think anything of it at the time.

When I got back to my bike later, there were two bikes on either side of it that were way too close. This is the second thing that annoys me about other bikers when they park. If there isn’t room, you can’t park there. It’s as simple as that. The problem is that the one to the right of me had plenty of room for his or her bike, but once he or she put down the kick stand it leaned to far over to mine. Add to that the fact that their fairing was just ridiculously wide, and there was no way that I could straighten mine up and move it out easily.

What confounded the issue was the fact that the bike to the left of me had also parked too close. As a result, I had to try to shimmy my bike out at an angle. Of course, this can’t happen easily, especially when I have a Vulcan 900. It’s not the biggest motorcycle in the world by any means, but it’s certainly heavy enough to be a problem in this situation.

I found this out especially as it tipped, bumping into the bike to my left. In my mind, I just saw a row of dominoes falling down the line. In reality, I couldn’t see any damage on either theirs or mine. I did all I could to straighten my bike upright. I dropped the kickstand and tried checking the black surface on theirs in the dim light. I could only illuminate it by the display of my phone. It seemed fine as far as I could tell. However, I get really nervous in such situations.

I could tell people were watching me, including two guys whom I think were the owners of the bikes on either side of me. I don’t think they cared too much and only just glanced in my direction. However, it does disappoint me that while I was struggling to get my bike upright nobody even offered to help. My left leg was having spasms for a while. At first, I thought it was from the nervousness of possibly causing damage to another person’s vehicle. But I think it mostly came from the weight of my own.

I satisfied myself that there wasn’t any damage. After all, I think only my mirror bumped into something near their foot peg. I did hit the mirror of the bike to the right of me when I got mine upright but that didn’t seem to be a problem. But because I was so paranoid I returned to the spot a little while later. At that point both of those motorcycles were gone. I knew that I was fine, but it wasn’t until then that I felt relief. At that point, there was nothing left to be done. Not that there was anything to do in the first place. I worry too much. But even that in of itself can be damaging.

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