Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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5th and 6th Bike Lessons - My Bike - Aug 2013

5th Lesson

The following Saturday sees us at our friend Tom's house to collect my bike for a little ride. I am buzzing with excitement. I can't wait to take my little bike out for a ride again. Tom is away but it has very kindly left my bike at the front of his garage so I can get to it nice and easy. The bike is looking all shiny and new, which is as it should be seeing it is all shiny and new.

Sharon sat astride her brand new Keeway RKS 125 at the bike shop smiling
Me on my shiny new bike Keeway RKS 125 at MCO showroom.

Now there is a question I ponder as I look at my bike, is it a she or a he? I intended it to be a he but so far when ever I have referred to my bike I have called it a she. Hmm my bike has gender issues. No doubt she/he/it will reveal it's gender when it is good and ready. Without a gender I am also stuck for a name. I decide the name will also come to me when it is good and ready.

I wheel the bike out of the garage and I stand patting and admiring it. Then it is time to ride. Ren of course will have to ride to the chosen practise venue. Thanks to advice from fellow bike club member John we now have a venue in mind for even a Saturday afternoon. But we have a problem. The bike refuses to start. So it has been sat for a couple of weeks idle, so it has a choke but surely it should start? 

The choke it put on and then off but still the bike refuses to start. Oh nooo!!!. I watched a YouTube video the other day telling you NOT to buy a Chinese bike, that they were basically rubbish. I remember thinking, too late I already have one and hoping they were talking about other makes and earlier models. However this refusal to start has me thinking maybe they were right, my bike is shit. Ren is stumped and he climbs on the bike and tries again. Vrommmmm, yeah ok it is a 125 but to me it goes VROMMMMM ok. The bike starts no problem at all. What the hell? Ren puts the side stand out to climb off and the bike stops, AHA so that was the problem. You can only start the bike if the side stand is up. Well would you credit it? I suppose it is in a way a good safety feature but it nearly had us both stumped. Well at least we know now.

After my successful little go on my bike previously I am feeling fairly confident about having another go on my bike. I have surely learned a lot from my full day of training so this should be easy right? I will be able at long last to impress the bf slightly with my skills. The car park is just as John said, quiet with plenty of space to try out some moves. It is raining quite a lot but I know I can deal with a bit of the wet stuff because it rained some of the day on my CBT. I climb aboard my trusty stead. Ignition on, Vrommmm and we are off. I set off with no messing. Yeah!

I decide to do a few circuits just to settle on the bike. But urgh what is going on? I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. This is not smooth. I am back to being unable to control the throttle. I am revving too hard or too low. I feel unstable and shaky. This is not what I had planned. Even worse I can not even blame it on a negative attitude. I was so sure I would be ok. No this is not due to my mind. This is due to my lack of ability and just being plain shit. 

The car park even has nice painted lines on it where I can practise my mock junctions. Well in theory. Things go even more pear shaped now. I can not even get out of my mock junction. I keep stalling every time I want to move forward. Ok I am getting well pissed off with myself now. I have regressed right back to the beginning almost. I have my CBT again on Monday and I now can not even get a bike to move forward. I make screaming noises in my helmet and shake my own fist at myself several times. On the rare occasion I do manage to get the bike to start I can not control the speed or the bike and I emerge from the junction on the wrong side of the road and can not make the turn. I wobble and curse and try again and again. It is raining HARD now and I am wet and frustrated. 

Eventually a revelation finally seeps into my soggy brain. I have been trying to get the bike to start while I still have my back brake on slightly. Like I mentioned previously the training school bike needed you to almost floor the brake before it would catch. My new bike is a lot more sensitive. So I need to take my foot right off the brake. Dooh. I get a bit better once I realise this but I think a couple of hours of being quite shit has knocked my confidence. We finish off with me trying to get some speed up and changing gears. These are just another failure to add to the list. I hit neutral, I can not match the speed of the bike to the gear change so I either nearly pull a wheelie or nearly put myself over the handle bars. Ok this is just going WRONG. Time to call it a day on a bad day.
It is really raining hard and as we ride two up on my 125 back home we hear a siren behind us. Ren pulls in to let it pass but the police car pulls along side of us and the officer gestures it us he wants. Oh dear.

He has stopped us because well frankly we look highly suspicious. Two up on a 125 with L Plates. Even though the said L plates have been in accordance with the law been taped over when not ridden by the learner. The officer asks if the bf is covered to ride the vehicle? Which he is on his own bike insurance. They want to check a few details so ask us to get into the car. Well I thought it was us, only it transpires to just be the bf so I am left standing outside in the rain. A few minutes later Ren is released and delivered back into my care. The officers are very polite and even apologise for having to stop us but they were only doing their job and I fully understand why we were stopped. With a friendly wave they leave us to continue our soggy way home.

6th Lesson

Sunday evening brings dry weather and a trip to the usual retail park for more practise. We are joined today by Kath on her 125 who has recently passed her CBT and her husband Rick. It will be nice to practise with another new rider and Ren and Rick will have each other to chat to while they wait.

After the disappointment of the other day I have no idea what to expect of myself. To my surprise and relief it all comes together much better today. I can stop and start fine. I can even do u-turns. Even the gear changes are smoother. I practice fake junctions and they are much improved too. Not perfect but way better than yesterday. 

In reflection I seem to have good days followed by bad. I think it may be due to the fact that if I have a good day I expect more of myself the next time. Not consciously but clearly unconsciously the expectation is there. Where as if I have a bad day I have no expectations and therefore must be that bit more relaxed. Of course this is just a theory and I have no idea if it is correct but what matters most is today is a good day. Which with having my CBT again the next day is most fortunate indeed.

Kath is doing great and doing all her manoeuvres with relative ease. She and Rick head off home and I do a bit more on my own before I decide it is a good time to call it a day on a high note.

I felt much better on my bike today so I decide I will be using it for my CBT tomorrow. I feel more positive and mentally ready for my CBT than I did the other week so fingers crossed I just might complete this time. Of course I am still anxious but at least I feel more prepared. I guess tomorrow will reveal if this is true of not.   

Reader's Comments

kath brooks said :-
Just look at how far you have moved on Sharon what an achievement
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC

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