On Sunday 24 May I left the rider training centre in Queanbeyan having just passed my Stay-Upright course. It was the perfect ending after a weekend spent learning how to safely ride a motorbike bike. As I wrote in my first blog, motorcycle riding is the last thing I ever imagined myself doing, so riding around a track for two days (albeit in 1st or 2nd gear) was quite an accomplishment for me.
The rider training wasn't all smooth sailing. I lost some man-points stacking the bike at the end of the first day - right at the end actually. I always wondered what it was like coming off a bike. It happened while I was trying to round a curve, and I guess I just misjudged it. I was ok though. Got straight up and wanted to keep riding. In retrospect, I'm glad I had that experience as now I don't have to imagine 'what its like to fall of a bike".
Having passed my rider training course, the only thing left to do was sit a knowledge test at the local RTA. I think that's when I started having doubts - not about the test, but riding in general. To be honest, I'm not even sure what was behind my mood that week. Over the next three or four days I found myself constantly thinking about accidents, and how close I was to actually "crossing the line" and getting a motorcycle license.
I took the quiz and passed. Congratulatuions, they told me, "you've got a motorcycle license now".
Yes I smiled, but only half. Was this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?
I spoke with a mate, who only has only been riding for a couple of months. "It gets much easier as you start riding. Trust me, anxiety natural".
Everything changed for the better just a few days later. It came with a parcel at my door. Oh yes, my very first helmet had arrived, and yes, it fit like a glove. There is nothing quite like putting on your first ever helmet to remind you how awesome riding is going to be. At that moment, all the doubts I had just flew out the door.
Wow, I passed the course; I passed the test; I have a license. Just how cool is that
My advice to any learner who may have felt like me...just persevere. Those bad thoughts are natural, and they don't really last that long.