I went for a little ride out with the Ren the other day. Nothing special just a ride through Croston and a stop off at Harley Preston for a tasty bacon bap. Then a final stop at Rivington Barn. Around 50 miles in total. But boy oh boy did I enjoy it. It was a grey day and a little cold but it was dry. The tips of my fingers were a little cold from time to time but not too bad at all thanks to my new fur lined winter gloves. Everything just felt so much more comfortable on the bike. I still made a few small fluff ups but somehow things are beginning to flow that bit better now. When I approach a roundabout I no longer feel a nervous somersault in my tummy at the thought of going around it. Tight corners still cause a flutter yet other corners are getting easier. Things are finally becoming a little more automatic. I no longer have to over think every action.
I am also getting used to the winter gloves. At first I found them rather cumbersome and there was no way on my first ride I could find the indicator switch. If I could hit anything at all it was usually the horn and the noise of it would shock me so much I almost jumped of my seat. So it is true that it is not as easy to operate the controls with thick winter gloves as it is with light summer gloves. I was finding my hands were getting so cold in the summer gloves that it was clear I would not be operating any controls at all once my frozen fingers fell off. So winter gloves may take some getting used to but they are worth the effort. They keep your hands warmer so you can carry on riding through the colder months.
I also have a new helmet. As my other one was over 6 years old and had a rather scratched visor it was not a luxury but an essential. I wanted a white one so I could be as visible as possible on the road. The down side is because I am so small my head now looks even bigger in white. But better a big head look than a no head look. The helmet is a Shark Vision R and I will do a review on it as soon as I get the time along with a review for my new gloves, Ixon Pro Well HP Lady. You know how it is, free time equals bike time so don't expect my reviews too soon :-)
Zen parked nice and neat at Harley Preston complete with new gloves and helmet.
On the dual carriageway I even got my little bike up to 65 mph. That made me laugh no end to myself because little Zen was almost flat out getting there. It was just such fun, fun FFFUUUNNN!!!!!!!
The only down side that day were the other road users. It seems to me that L plates are red flags to the bullish side of many drivers and dare I say even some fellow riders. I was buzzed ridiculously close by another rider who overtook me on a straight empty road. He had plenty of room to give me some space. Maybe he thought he was being big and clever and it was fun to try and scare someone on L Plates. He did not scare me he just pissed me off. Later a driver in a huge 4X4 pissed me off even more. The road narrowed from two lanes to one and the 4x4 stayed behind me until the very last second, then just as the road actually became one he overtook me and pulled back in so sharp he nearly had my front end. Urrghh idiots!! I remember while learning to drive other drivers would often overtake me at speeds they never did once the L Plates were removed. It is like they see the L Plates and automatically think oh no a learner they might do something wrong I have to overtake them as fast as possible. Overtaking is fine I just wish they would only do it when it is safe to do so.
I did not dwell on these fools too long and carried on to enjoy my ride. Rivington Barn was busy and when we come to leave my bike was closely surrounded by other bikes. I had parked face in so had to maneuver the bike out from its parking space backwards. I told the bf I would do it myself because I have to learn these things for myself. With a bit of to-ing and fro-ing I managed to get the bike around the other bikes and facing forwards. But then just as I was about to climb on the bike to ride off some other bikes parked right in front of me, almost completely blocking my exit. The space left was very narrow and would require some more careful maneuvering weaving between the bikes. Just as I pondered this for a second a very tall strapping man strode over and with a huge friendly smile on his face and said he would get my bike out for me. I really did not have a chance to say much before he grabbed the handlebars and wheeled it with the ease of a toy through the bikes. Of course being so big and my bike so small it was an easy task for him but I was a little disappointed that I did not quite get to get my bike out all by myself.
However independent I am I am not a flag waving feminist. It truly offends me when I see women shouting at men for opening doors for them. They huff and puff about having arms of their own. For goodness sake when did a bit of politeness and caring become insulting. How sad. So I could have took the huff and thought that being helped with my bike was an insult to my own ability. That inside this man was laughing at me and thinking haa silly woman rider can't do anything, I will show her how it is done. Or I could take it as what I believed it to be. A kindly gesture intended to help from one biker to another. Yes I wanted to do it myself but I was not going to let that stop me from thanking a kind stranger who just wanted to help. Maybe one day I could be in such a fix I really do need help so I will be damned if I going to throw a hissy fit if that help was not really needed that day. So I thanked the stranger and gave him a genuine smile and climbed on my bike. Just then loads of other bikers get on their bike and the carpark becomes almost clear. Haaa such is life....and on days like this I love it.