Get On: Bitten by the bug (again)Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700
"Hello, my name is Robin and I have no confidence in riding motorcycles."
It's ironic really, I'm the next generation from a family of riders, I work with bikes and am pretty much an obsessive for racing but somewhere in my motorcycling life I completely lost all confidence in riding bikes and my ability. Developing something I've never really had for them; fear.
Setting the scene. As a youth blasting around my hometown on a sweet little Aprilia RS125, I felt unstoppable channeling the racing gods through my wrist, everything smooth and perfect. Achieving that clichéd 'freedom' that everyone goes on about, belonging and generally having the time of my life. Obviously being 17 I never completed my full-licence, content with getting out there and making the most of the smoker, adorned with glaring red Ls.
The slippery slope to losing the aforementioned confidence stems from a series of misfortunate events, a list of silly mistakes and near catastrophes - obviously minor in the eyes of others but near-death in the first person.
Seeing an escape and a way to hide from this newfound disagreement with two-wheels, education took over to put the idea of riding to the back of my mind. Where it has been lingering, the bug burrowing to come out.
So here I am at 25, a 'born-again'. Step one was to force myself through the mental barrier placed upon my psyche to stop me from getting on a bike. First thing on the agenda was to pass my CBT and between being told not to have a 'finger hovering over the front brake', it was a success. Box ticked; time to move onto gears and getting myself completely mobile.
In the back of my head was still that wall preventing me from the ultimate goal, sure I've experienced two-wheels again but they were puny and on a rev-and-rip 50cc moped. I needed to find another quick-fire trial before I headed off into the unknown. Step forward Get On and their friendly and free trial service.
So today I went to Metropolis in Vauxhall to rediscover my inner-biker-self. Starting off, the free session is in classroom mode and for newbies it's ideal; my instructor for the next hour detailed each specific element of appropriate riding gear. Perhaps a tad redundant but worthwhile in the whole scheme of things to reiterate what should be worn and what is advisable to wear.
Moving towards my stead for the remainder of the hour, a CG125, I listen as I'm given a walkthrough of the controls - again something I know. For the true novice this introduction is informative and simple giving the right amount of detail of what the controls do and how to use them.
So there I was, atop of the 10bhp machine, ready to set off. Clutch-in, first gear selected, feather the clutch out, add some throttle and I’m off. It’s all coming back to me; I’m changing gear, riding round and round and performing effortless figure of eights. Confidence achieved.
Granted it was a car park in South London, but it was like my first time riding all over again and at the end of the session it was tough getting off. Anyway, lesson over I thank my instructor and off I return to work fidgeting on the tube ride all the way back to the offce.
Build confidence by doing is the motto that I am adopting; now I just need the ideal bike to get some miles on to keep growing this blossoming belief in my ability. Any recommendations?
Thanks to everyone at Metropolis for helping this bumbling idiot out, the word needs to be spread that the folks at Get On are saviours for the endangered biking species. You should do your part and help.
By Robin Goodwin
See also: Winter weather but summer carries on. , Don't become another crime statistic, WSBK: 2011 Utah Results.