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Home Sharon's Biking Blog

Confidence Is Beginning To Grow - Pity My Legs Don't Do The Same

Blog date May 2016

Now if you have been a avid reader you will know that Ren and I recently went to Ledbury and battled through storm Katie. Ledbury Easter 2016

Now the forecast was dire - of course it was it was a bank holiday. But one thing France taught me was that it is no good waiting for the sun to shine to go and have fun. If you stayed at home every day until the sun shone here in the UK well lets just say you would become something of a couch potato.

So we went ahead and did it anyway and we had fun despite the wind and the rain. I actually enjoyed the challenge of trying to push my tiny bike through the strong winds. Rocking and rolling would have terrified me once - but not now. Now I was having fun. 

Getting lost through slippery trails festooned with mud and branches which had been ripped from their home tree by the strong winds would have once had me shaking like the swirling leaves - but not now. Now I trundled along, quite happy in my own and my bikes ability to find a sure way through.

Finding a hill start from Hades did get my heart beating. I think it would have had any biker's heart beating, this bugger was steep. But scared though I was I was not terrified. I did not know I would make it but neither did I cry to myself that I could not. I believed I had a chance and that belief proved correct when the bike and I made it up safely.

Gravel wash out on the roads would have once slowed me down to a snail pace - but not now. Now I kept my eyes open my senses aware but my speed up. So much so I got the following praise from Ren on his write up of our trip 
"Oh, and finally it's worth noting that Sharon's dry weather riding speed is coming along a treat. She's sweeping through the bends and flowing around the curves well."
Oh my ... praise for my riding :-) wahyey!!

My dry weather riding is indeed beginning at long last to improve. It improved when I finally stopped trying to improve it and just let it come naturally when it was ready. So without any particular effort I was out in the dry one day with Ren and I found myself keeping up with him fairly well. Wow!!

I enjoyed all the challenges the Ledbury weekend threw at me. I enjoyed them because I suddenly realised how far I had come. From that nervous girl who lacked any confidence what so ever in her own ability, to a woman who was sure enough of herself to tackle these challenges with a smile an a whoop.

I still feel uneasy to say I have improved. Always cautious that fate might be in a scornful mood. But neither do I wish to play the fool and pretend I am the same rider I was over two years ago, I am not.  I am no natural rider but I am a determined one. I still can scare myself but I can also surprise myself with the things I now find easy that were once so difficult. I push my bike in and out of the shed with ease where once I struggled even with that.

I am still surprised that I actually have in my possession a full bike licence. That I had all the skills and the nerve to achieve what once seemed an impossible dream.  I have much yet to lean but I have learnt so much. I have many journeys ahead but I have already come so far. May I long continue to dream and may I always surprise myself when those dreams do come true. 

Sharon sits astride the 125 before she's even purchased it to start riding
From a girl with big dreams sat on her little bike she had yet to ride...
Sharon sits on her 125 after 20,000 miles with confidence a woman with a big bike licence and 20k miles of smiles (and some tears and frustrations) under her tyres. 

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Reader's Comments

Monk said :-
It's been awhile since I darkened the doors of your excellent site chaps but I've been pretty busy what with one thing and tuther. Firstly great piece of prose Sharon and great to read of your post full licence adventures as always and thank you as always...I just wanted to share this with you both and of course any avid readers of esteemed blog...

After only five short months on the Kawasaki Vulcan, you'll remember that wonderful bike I'm sure.. I've gone and part exd it for the following... which I pick up on Thursday..does this make me officially mad?

Keep on keeping on both of you and my best as always...

29/05/2016 23:16:43 UTC
Monk said :-
It all started with this...a predictive dream!

29/05/2016 23:18:15 UTC
Monk said :-
Then to this ...a dream... within a dream!

29/05/2016 23:20:49 UTC
Monk said :-
Now... And I know I'm repeating myself here but just in case it was missed the first time...the dream... continues...

29/05/2016 23:23:42 UTC
Monk said :-
I know... it is a 1400cc monster...what next? A helicopter? Jumbo jet? Spaceship?
29/05/2016 23:51:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I CANNOT believe you've gone a bought a 1400cc mega tourer! There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever now to not get out there and be doing super-long trips. That's a helluva machine ya got there Monk. 4 cylinders, shaft drive, bigger than an ocean liner and equally as comfortable.

Now if you tell me you've not been out of London on it yet I'll have to come down there and slap ya! Nice bike Monk.
30/05/2016 07:00:23 UTC
Monk said :-
:-) As always nice to read your take on things mate... I don't pick her up until Thursday the 2nd so afraid only been on half hour test ride so far. I was ummming and ahhhing for a bit about the touring situation then I thought why not. Since I got back into biking after all that time I've had to make some riding decisions, what do I need from a bike? Well much like you Ren I am not into speed but I'd like a bit to be able to get out of trouble when needed but then I am also, like you,into comfort whilst riding. The shortened version of why this particular bike is that I was looking for a tour to do and came across a company that does tours one of which is Spain and Portugal, which I will do sometime in 2017, anyway on their site there was the option to hire a bike to go on the tour with, cutting a very long story short, in the link, amongst other bikes, was a Kawasaki GTR 1400 GT which immediately hit my 'what a lovely bike, just the job button'. I read up on it and liked what I saw, did a bit more research and telephoned my local Kawker dealer who said, funny enough we've got one in currently!! The rest, as they say, is history!Since passing the test I've had so many biker acquaintances ask me to go on all sorts of distance rides... for example:- Norway, Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and of course Spain and Portugal to mention a few of the requests.My first journey on the 1400 will be to Norfolk to the bike museum in June. Whilst the Vulcan is superb I don't feel it will suit my ever spiralling journey needs, plus the buffeting by winds at 70 is a pain to be honest and seriously makes me feel unsafe on the bike, hence the change in bikes.So far no need to come down and slap me mate but I deeply appreciate the sentiment!! :-)By the way the blog is getting better all the time...and Sharon is doing so well you must be very proud of her mate. I hope you wont mind if I keep you abreast of the ever evolving journey's I'll be making on the new bike...might even make it to Manchester for a cuppa in the local cafe with you both...Tally Ho and happy biking!" Attached pic of a recent pre ride photo, about to leave for Southend, with a few mates...only on a bike can you make so many new friends and bring 'strangers' together!!!

30/05/2016 10:01:47 UTC
Monk said :-
What? 170 miles there and back... Me...nervous...errr....
30/05/2016 10:34:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'd be more than happy for you to keep us abreast of your escapades Monk. I'd be most curious to read your thoughts on the GTR when you've owned it for a few weeks too.

170 Southend and back? As in Southend On Sea? You must have gone the long way.
31/05/2016 14:57:18 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hello Monk,

Good to hear from you again.

Just goes to show how different things work for different people. Me I do thinks slowly ... I tottle on my 125 for over 2 years before taking my test and then wait another 6 months bore moving onto another bike just one stage further up. Whilst you go from zero to 1400cc at a blink of a eye.

Do I personally like small because I am small and therefore have little choice but to have small bikes due to height and weight issues. Maybe but I also like the challenge of smaller bikes. Big bike get up to 70 and beyond with no effort what so ever. It takes a certain amount of skill and often lots of patience to coax a 125 up to 70. But when you get there yeahhaaa ... what a ride. You feel your doing 190mph and your wonder how much longer that bike can stick together. I love it but to some that would be hell.

We are all different and should respect each others individual choices. We are most fortunate to have such choices. I wish you well on your on personal adventures Monk. May your bike bring miles of smiles x
31/05/2016 19:00:49 UTC
Monk said :-
First things first...there were so many detours, to go and see this and that, that the entire journey was 170 miles long...I was exhausted when I arrived home, never done that sort of mileage in one go!!! :-) I would be happy to write something on the GTR, give me a couple of weeks or perhaps slightly longer as I'm going up to the bike museum with a few mates on the 24th of June so after that experience I'll write about how things went with the bike.

In terms of my leap of faith into the world of larger bikes, I understand the thrill of a 125, I was riding my Honda CBF for 18 months and seriously enjoyed the buzz. I think the leap from the 125 to a 650 and now to a 1400 is simply my way of facing fear!!! Yes,fear...As humans we are complex creatures and experience our thoughts and feelings differently, my foray back into biking was full of trepidation and I don't know that any one could have been more anxious about taking the mod 1 and 2 than me...I mean when I got to the mod 1 stage outside the test centre I told my instructor I didn't want to do it...he talked me round and I passed..on the mod 2 he dragged me kicking and screaming to the centre and I passed...I don't know if I can fully explain my internal neurosis fully enough but I used to live in fear constantly because of an almost fatal crash...facing the challenge not yet faced is part of why I've moved what seems so rapidly into larger cube bikes it's facing the internal dialogue of 'you can't do that' and doing it...yes I'm still 'scared' and yes I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew but,as the always sensible Ren has said, 'with a bike as big as an ocean liner', I also had the same response from Graham Field who said, and I quote'Blimey couldn't you have got a bigger bike?' and I don't know if this will make any sense at all, I honestly don't have a choice
(facing my demons and scaring them off...or something). Fear is a challenge not yet met and I've been hiding too long, perhaps I'm over reacting to the sensation but I love bikes and I just hope this one will love me back!! More soon and thanks for your fantastic responses, always touch me deeply. As ever, Monk :-)

31/05/2016 22:42:01 UTC

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