Little bit of a background on me and my journey. Early 40’s and although I’ve clocked up about 70 thousand klm’s on the back of a bike, being the one doing the steering hasn’t been a priority. I’ve had my L’s for decades, just never did anything about it. Then mid 2014 the itch to learn started. Talked about it with hubby and we thought, tax return money isn’t accounted for. If we can afford a bike with that, then off we go! Enough of a return to afford a starter bike. Now the research and long discussions begin. I have a weakness for cruisers and that’s what I kept adding to the watch list on ebay, hubby cast his eye on other formats and relied more on reliability and reviews. I ended up winning that little debate and in September we picked up my Virago 250. Great condition, custom paintwork, the style I wanted and we could afford it. No brainer! I really haven’t stopped grinning, she really makes me happy.
Had a pair of Draggins from my old bike gear, but everything else either didn’t fit, or needed replacing. Countless hours of trying stuff on, researching reviews, finding crap in my size and choosing and I have a good wardrobe. I’m super safe and happy with my gear. I grew up with the ATTGATT mentality so not having gear was never an option.
So off to learn...
Lots and lots of carpark practice. Thoroughly sick of the learning process and I don’t think my relationship with hubby is going to take much of this. I suck at learning new skills. I have concentration issues and I know it contributes to how long it took me to learn. Due to hubby’s work schedule, there would often be a few weeks between sessions and I often had to relearn things till they became muscle memory.
Time came to get professional lessons done and I started my Q ride course. It took me double the usual time, but I chose a company with a capped fee. I know my issues and I arrange my life accordingly.
Ok, got my Q ride under my belt in mid December 2014 but didn’t head out on my own till the first week of January. I got a tank bag for xmas and I lined up a few errands to run and off I set.
I am equally terrified and excited. I didn’t really have a route set out but I did my best to hit all sorts of challenges. Busy roads, hill starts, roundabouts and traffic lights. Perfect to practice all of those skills that I learnt. I stopped half way for smoke and to evaluate how I was going.
But the best thing was riding without someone behind me watching my every move. I underestimated just how nerve wracking that is. This time I just relaxed and rode for pleasure. And guess what, I had all my skills come naturally. All that freaking practice really paid off!
Putting the bike away that night I felt really accomplished and proud of the progress I had made. It may have been a long and frustrating journey to licence but it was worth it. I’m so glad I scratched that itch.