Back To Back Bikes

Back To Back Bikes

It’s been ‘back to back bikes’ over the last three weekends as fate contrives to get me learning again ..it would seem.

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I’ve done everything about learning to ride a motorbike backwards. Except for the first flush of love at age 10 ..like this little lad above.. when a relative parked his large bike (cant remember make/model) outside my house – having called in to watch the ’66 cup final en-route Yorkshire to Cornwall ..and my sister and I were foolish enough to try sitting on it – when he wasn’t looking. Oops.

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Heading home early from a stay in Somerset – I was passed on the motorway by three riders – including this lovely lady – whose riding style was so great – it’ll remain in my memory throughout my own training to come. We had a great chat .. and I know, if she can, she’ll be supportive – as she only started riding four years ago. Even tho’ she is half my age.

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I set up a last minute catch up with some old biking pals, in Broadway in Worcestershire (a favourite pit-stop) where I worked in the 70’s and 80’s. Theirs weren’t the only bikes there, on such a gorgeous day. Fish Hill gleamed enticingly in the hot sunshine.

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It seems that more than just the waistlines got upgraded over the years.

At a diminutive size 8 and all of 5 feet 1 and 3/4 inches tall – I’ve had many a larger rider try to dissuade me. But: although the accident to my hand set me back and had me revise my already modest ambitions (for now) .. it’s time to get back on the bike.

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No – not this one – but I wish.

My cousin Martin (I thought they were all called Rachel?) remembers ‘blasting through Evesham and Broadway with you’  – me –  on the back of his Yamaha 1100:  pic’ below. Never thought I’d utter these words.. but those were the days. It’s probably his fault I like trad’ bikes. I’ll try and improve my edit of his photo.

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I’m glad to have learnt at small cost so far – more getting up close and personal with the tarmac will no doubt ensue – and I’ll be happy to be a learner for as long as it takes to get roadworthy. First off is dealing with overall fitness; particularly upper body strength. My legs have always been strong.

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But not this strong..

The only photograph of me on the Honda CB125 I bought shortly after the accident to make sure I didn’t give up.. shows me looking ridiculously tense – and small. This is partly because the bike – even this one – is too big for me. Something folk didn’t waste time telling me when they saw it – even people who had previously been supportive jumped on (or should I say off) the bandwagon.

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Since then I’ve joined a very supportive ladies riding club. Plus – I’m subscribed to the UK’s first ever magazine purely for lady riders- which arrived today. The lead article (first issue) deals with tiny lady riders –  with legs that manufacturers ignore. Except when they want to use us to sell the bikes!

It lists suitable bikes for all lady riders – starting at 4ft tall. Wow .. for the first time ever – I’m in a survey where I come in at ‘medium’ height 🙂 Maybe, eventually, I can upgrade my ambitions to ‘medium’ too.  There’s even a useful article by a lady rider whose husband has a workshop where he customises bikes to be suitable for us midgets. No hurry tho’ – getting there is half the fun. I don’t care how long it takes.

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So – click your sparkly heels together Helen (eyes on the road please) and maybe that long ago 21 year old – with the help of a new lady instructor – will, finally, get her dearest wish.

Back To Back Bikes

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About largelyhelen

Designer, photographer, writer.
This entry was posted in Acitvity Central, Life In Focus and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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