Patience is a Virtue


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Manda Rasmussen-Clauson

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.


Two weeks ago, Ox was giving me another less on the bike. One would think it’s just like any other time you jump on a bike or into a car but nope. Something was off.

Not Right

Both mentally and emotionally I was off. I wasn’t in the best of moods to start off with. It wasn’t the best way to start out my ride. To make matters worse, while trying to gain clutch / throttle comfortability I kept killing the bike. Now mind you, I am doing all of this in my front yard in grass so I am not driving around a track or on the road with other riders.

Picture of my front yard earlier this year. Since this picture was taken we have moved the fence closer to the road to give me more room to ride with turns. In addition I park over by our Conex, creating an elongated oval for the beginners track.

With an elongated oval for my track, but struggling with the throttle / clutch control – I was dropping the bike each time I attempted to take the dreaded turn. While trying to keep practicing control of the bars as well as balance, Ox had me attempting to ‘walk the bike’ through the turn.

Killing the bike to even get going and constantly dropping the sucker, my anger was beyond words. Frustrated with myself, I began to doubt my abilities of ever being able to do this. I called it quits after an hour. Ox was bewildered, asking what happened and where did my confidence went. The answer was, ‘I don’t know’.

Storming Fates

After my bad riding day, the following few days I was in a terrible mood. Very down on myself and angry. As if the fates would have it, I had to take a break from riding due to bad weather conditions.

As anyone in the Midwest knows, cold fronts and hot humid days are recipes for big bad storms. Even tornados. We just so happened to have such perfect conditions last week.

Last year, we had a Tornado rip through our small township, causing major destruction. Extremely lucky last time with no damage to our home / property despite it passing through 1/4 mile from us, we knew the drill for possible storms this year. Watching the radar closely we had the kids & dog all ready to go.

Across the field we could see the storm front moving in, closely keeping an eye on any rotation. As it started to rain we went inside. Weather was mild for a while, then BOOM winds changed and our phone alarms went off. We jumped out into our van with all 3 kids and the dog as we gunned it to the local truck stop just up our road (we don’t have a storm shelter at our rental).

As we were speeding down the road we come to a turn where there is a country bar. We saw about 15 people standing outside watching the storm – and all of the sudden the group dashed inside. We look behind us and we could see the funnel getting close to the ground!

We made it to the truck stop with the storm shelter in record time. After we got the kids and dog inside we were able to watch the storm roll just north of our save haven. During that time there, I saw at least 3 large funnels and we later learned that there was at least 1 confirmed touch down north east of us. Some damage, but as far as I know, no deaths or injuries.

Stay Humble

After these storms and hot humid days, my mood changed. The tornado was a humble reminder that life is too short to stay mad.

With some hesitation, Ox had me get back on the bike with some pointers I was ready to hear & absorb.

He helped me identify my ‘sweet spot’ with the clutch in combination with ‘just enough throttle’. I still struggle not killing the bike BUT a big victory for me came with his help – how to avoid tipping over.

He noticed that each time I am losing balance or control I turn my handle bars instead of straightening them out. For non riders, this throws my center of balance off. Once my thick skull was able to process this tip, I wasn’t dropping the bike anywhere near as much. I even caught myself and the bike on a few occasions – which Ox didn’t see either time (BUMMER).

After getting ‘stuck’ in a sharp turn, my left fingers/hand for the clutch was soar and I was ready to be done for the day. I asked Ox to take a picture of me and the bike for the blog and he said – ‘Nope. Not unless you go around the garden’.

Nope. Not unless you go around the garden.


I was pretty hesitant due to the narrow passage between the garden and the bushes by our shed.

Baby Steps

In my first attempt I lost confidence and dropped the bike right before the narrow passage. I picked it up and ‘walked it’ with a little throttle through the way.

Then with a little bit of cruise, I made it around, and around and around. I even practiced stopping gracefully (which was a smooth success). I kept practicing starting up and doing more laps around the garden.

SEE AMANDA’S VIDEO HERE credit to WinterOak Moto Adventures

Boost of Confidence

Despite only being in 1st gear, and it being my yard (with some struggles of starting up again after stopping) it was the boost of confidence I needed. I only dropped the bike 2 times that day, with multiple laps around the yard.

I was able to get off my bike that day with more than just a sore hand and callouses – a big smile. I could feel the weight lift off my shoulders that day.

Be The Boss Of The Bike

by Jocelin Snow

Practicing is not always about being on the bike, there are lessons involved as well. I have been excited to watch and see what Jocelin Snow has pumped out on YouTube with her new series ‘Be The Boss Of The Bike’.

The first two episodes have been fun to see! The first episode, she shows and teaches short riders, like myself, how to upright the bike with little effort. Her step by step video, is easy to follow.

Her second episode is for those who are more advanced but still interesting to watch. It gives me confidence for later when my skills are more developed.


Here are some requests and ideas for future videos!

I would love to see how you stop the bike from tipping over. Other than just general balance and bike control, when you hit that tipping point and not being able to touch the ground – how do you ‘catch’ the bike? Ox has already pointed out my mistake in not straightening out the bars to help stabilize it but, as a short rider who can’t touch the ground well – what else can I do? I agree with the statement you made in the first episode – the biggest issue for short riders is when the bike is not in motion. I am open to any tips and tricks on this subject!

Leading off my first question – what workouts do you do to help stay strong in being able to handle such a big bike? I am doing well with lifting the bike back up if I drop it but it is a lot of work! I defiantly feel it the next day.


Pretty Damn Proud Of Myself.

With all of that, I am ready to tackle the next steps of riding by taking advantage of every nice day and morning to PRACTICE.

As fates would have it – the bike is calling me. Gotta go! Until next time, rubber side down.

Thanks for reading,


Manda Rasmussen-Clauson

Manda Rasmussen-Clauson

Despite working in many different industries, she has a true passion of doing anything outside. Homesteading is becoming Manda’s new reality, she has much to learn but is excited to do so.


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