Another biking virgin gets a taste of two wheels, courtesy of Bikesure. Well, we think that as a bike insurer, all our staff should understand how bikes are different from cars, and, crucially, get some experience in the saddle, so we pay for their CBT training. Here’s Grant’s experience, in his own words:
Now i was a little nervous going into it in the first place as the only time I have ever been on a bike was on the back of a Yamaha WR250 on a field doing 90mph ( all legal of course ) about 7 years ago, so my bike experience was about as relevant as Pat Sharp’s Mullet!
I pulled up to the CBT place in my car and saw the mean machine of a Suzuki GS125 that i would soon mount. We went through the pre-match run of safety and laws and so on. Stuck a helmet on and one of those ear pieces that makes me look like a bouncer, yea all 5’9″ of me and a protective jacket.
Now i always had assumed that we spend the first part of the test in a playground or car park getting to know that bike and how it handles…did we….did we bugger!
Right follow me says the instructor. I’m sorry!? Follow you? What…on the road??? “How does this bloody thing work?” I asked myself, but before I knew it we were off. It was brilliant, I felt awesome, I thought I was going so fast, wind blowing, engine screaming… all that at 30mph.
Then comes our first set of traffic lights. They go red… i wait… they go green… I STALL!!
“S**t!” I said, I’m turning the keys, pressing the horn, phoning the police – everything – and then my ear piece suddenly perks up and I hear “Just press the electric start.” Oh yeah.
“Right!!” I said, “I’m not stalling this time.” By now, the masses of cars are behind and then a bus pulls alongside and everyone is looking. I couldn’t really hide with fluorescent yellow jacket. So now I had a crowd all waiting to watch me pull off with ease (ed: To watch you what?!) So the lights go green, I rev up and dump the clutch, I swear the front wheel was about 2cm off the ground. Oh yeah! My first wheelie and the crowd in the bus went wild!!!
Next we were taken to a car park and asked to do a figure of 8. I thought I was going to fall off, but managed OK and even did an emergency stop! I thought I was the bo^*ox right now!
Anyway, 2 stalls later, we were doing 50mph down country roads I was loving it, though I did get told off for leaning into bends with my shoulder. “Lean with your hips,” I was told over the airwaves, little sinister laugh!
We did a lot of town riding and kept getting cut up by taxis. Those guys!!!! That started to get annoying but our instructor was already one step ahead. I finally realised one of the best things about bikes was the ability to overtake taxis in a traffic jam. It was the best feeling ever – sad I know – but just sailing past the cars kicked ass!!
So we pulled back into the CBT place and it was over. I loved it. I really wouldnt mind getting a bike – I mean £15 for tax and a much cheaper alternative to short little trips in a car. I only have to convince “the wife” that its a good idea, but it’s opened my mind a little more to the world of bikers and I liked it.
So next time you see a learner stalling at traffic lights, when you have finished laughing, spare a thought!
Grant “ring me for a quote”, “cheese on toast” Varnham