Picture this Dear Reader. A cold and miserable Sunday morning 8:30. Rain forecast and already drizzle is in the air. I am in the deserted playground of a local school. Deserted that is save for three other learners, an instructor and a Yamaha 125. Yes, this was me yesterday freezing and wet and just a touch confused taking my CBT (for those of you in foreign lands who read this rubbish – that’s Compulsory Basic Traning to ride a motorcycle).
I would be lying to you Dear Reader if I pretended that I had any notion of what I was doing to begin with having NEVER ridden a motorbike IN MY LIFE and this complete lack of knowledge was borne out beautifully by my complete and utter lack of ability to get the bloody thing to move at all. Eventually (and I mean very eventually much to the boredom of my fellow learners – who incidentially were all in their early 20s and whizzing around the playground with gay abandon) I managed to get off the starting blocks . Now I won’t bore you with the frustrating morning that ensued. I shan’t tell you how many times I got it wrong and how many quite interesting swear words were uttered. And I certainly won’t tell you about at one point wanting to cry and go home.
What I will tell you however is that I had the most patient and amusing of instructors who told me that the only real problem was that I was trying too hard. ‘Take a chill pill’ said he ‘ and think of your footwork like an episode of Strictly Come Dancing’. And so I did and found myself several hours later out and about on the roads of the now wet and sodden Isle in my open faced helmet whizzing along at 45 (yes 45!!) miles an hour with the rain like needles in my eyes. There was a point along one of the most notorious stretches of road on the Island where I did think that this might be my last hurrah, but I managed to stay on and not end up under any oncoming juggernauts…always a bonus in these situations.
We got back to base and I couldn’t feel my hands (from hanging on for dear life) and was a touch saddle sore. I also had the most attractive helmet hair in the known motorcycling world. I expected the instructor to say that I’d have to come back and do some more training, but no – apparently I am quite competent on two wheels on the road – which from (literally) a standing start I thought was pretty good going.
Sadly because Martyn the Lambretta (I didn’t name him) is a 200cc scooter, I have to take a theory test and the a big bike test on a 400cc bike before I can ride him on the road – yikes!! Suffice to say that I shall be having more lessons before that takes place!
In any case, I thought to myself last night, I haven’t done anything for a while to challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone so this was a good day in that respect. It’s never a bad idea to learn something new and push yourself. I’m never going to be a biker or scooterer (or whatever the correct term is) and I shall be entirely fair weather pootling about with my picnic and camera along the country lanes. It’s the perfect vehicle for a spot of solitude and that I look forward to as well on sunny Sundays when the golf club is calling TG. In fact as he plays pretty much every Sunday, there will be much solitude. Can’t wait!