This is the fourth year I've been to this show now. The first year was before I even got my license. I had just got my Christmas gift that my family and friends were helping me go to riding school. I knew nothing about motorcycles, and really didn't know what I was looking at that year.
The 2008 show comes along, and by now I'm a fully licensed rider. But that really means nothing since I've only been on the school bikes. I now know the basics, ad maybe a bit more. But without owning a motorcycle of my own, I still considered myself and "outsider" at the show.
When I went to the 2009 show, I had finally purchased my own bike. I have a proper answer now when people at the show ask what I ride. In reality however, I purchased the bike at the end of the 2008 riding season, and promptly put it into storage insurance. So I really haven't ridden since I graduated from riding school in August 2007. But I now know exactly what I'm looking at, what's new, and whatever info I can gather from reading up on line or in the magazines.
Finally this year, in 2010, I felt like I belonged at the show. I've had a full season of riding under my belt. Had ridden during the day, night, 2up, commuted on the bike. Now I'm a rider!! My wife and the same friend who came with me last year also came along this year. He looks ready to ride. I wouldn't be surprised if he enrolls at a school very soon.
I noticed I'm throwing my leg over bigger bikes this year than previous years; both in displacement, and height. I find that I like many different types of motorcycles, and find myself wanting a varied collection of bikes; I want the Triumph Bonneville T100 on days I want to cruise around town and feel "cool". I want Kawasaki's new Z1000 for those "fun" rides. Add a Yamaha WR250X to the stable for quick jaunts and in-town commuting, and maybe the Honda CBF1000A for those longer tours. How's that for variety. And you'll notice, no cruisers on that list. Trust me, I tried a few cruisers. I don't look like I belong on any of them. My friend on the other hand, perfect on a cruiser!
I also got to meet Jason Britton from Team No Limit, Host of SuperBikes on Speed. He is a very friendly guy, and took the time to talk with people about their own riding, his riding, or anything you wanted to chat about.
I can't wait 'til the riding season starts again.