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Learn to ride a motorcycle

Adventure close to home

Keeping your summer travel plans close to home this year doesn't mean missing out on excitement and adventure! Take a spin on the wild side and embark on a new hobby: Learn to ride a motorcycle.

Motorcycle safety

No surprise here, but a motorcycle is a gas-powered, high-performance machine. Therefore, safety should be at the top of your list when learning how to ride. Visit a dealer to make sure your bike is in good condition. Pairing yourself with a seasoned bike rider also can help you learn the basics before taking it up on your own.

Buddy up

Not only is it a good idea to find an experienced rider as a mentor, but you should also take a gal pal with you as you learn how to drive a motorcycle together. You'll feel more comfortable if you have a friend learning along with you, and it's a great way to bond with girlfriends!

Take lessons

There's no better place to learn how to ride than at a motorcycle dealership. For example, Harley-Davidson offers the Rider's Edge New Rider Course. The people there are the experts when it comes to motorcycles, and they're more than happy to help you learn the ins and outs of riding. They can get you set up with gear and lessons, and you can meet other motorcycle novices as well. Plus they can get you fitted for your perfect bike.

Beginners learn to ride on a the Buell Blast -- a lightweight bike perfect for sport riding. If there isn't a Harley-Davidson Rider's Edge Rider Course in your area, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to find a course near you. You can also check Yelp for a listing of all your local motorcycle dealers!

Map out a route

Being in the open air is exhilarating and can give you appreciation of the surroundings around your home that you see all the time from the confines of a car, but never really notice. Get a GPS device to map out your trips so you don't miss a thing along the many beautiful routes available right here in the US.

Find a cool hangout

Part of the motorcycle culture and lifestyle are the road stops along the way. Some places seem to be meant for bikers to hang out, so find a spot and make it your own. It could be a diner, a rest stop, a picnic area, a park -- keep your options open!

Start small -- then ride into the sunset

Once you've mastered the art of motorcycle riding, plan your first road trip! The first one should be close to home as a practice run, but as you get more and more comfortable with your new hobby, plan those longer trips that bikers boast of.

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