WOW... What a spin-out of a weekend! I was expecting that we were going for a ride together on Stewy's bike. \/ Yay! I was excited about having the opportunity to be riding pillion for the second time, and was hoping that we might stay out a little longer this time, and maaaybe get to take some more interesting roads than the freeway. Stewy told me late on Friday night "oh yeah, I called your folks, coz I thought it might be good for them to come down and see how we get you on the bike... see how we make it as safe as possible... put them a little at ease, etc etc..." Well I guess that made sense. Then in the morning, my sister (Mel) arrived. Odd. But seems like dad had told her about it, too... (It seemed odd because my family have all seen the pictures of my first pillion experience, so why come now?). Then my brother (Joe) and his fiance (Martine) turned up. Very odd. I figured dad must have called around all my brothers and sisters, because you have to do that in a big family, or it could end up being months later and someone will be saying "I never heard about that, why didn't anyone tell me?!" Then mum (Gemma) was at the door, with my brother (Tom) as well. Geez, quite an audience just to see me get on the back of the bike... :? So off I go, and change into my bike gear. As I came out of the bedroom, I realised everyone was already outside, so off we go, out to the bike... As I came around the corner, I couldn't even see the bike with all the people milling around, and as they parted I could see there were all these people with video camera's, digital camera's and mobile phone camera's pointed at me... Then I went on through and saw the bike, with it's LEGS holding it up! OMG! ... OMG!! ... OMG!!!! ... OMG!!!!! That was all I could say. I really was speechless. I don't think I even let out a little scream... I was simply shocked... stunned... dumbfounded... in awe, and failing to hold back tears... OMG! OMG!! I was spun out! Was I dreaming? I pinched myself a few times... Ouch. I was sitting there staring, with gaping mouth, like an idiot! LOL Adrenaline was pumping, I can tell you. I was glad when Stewy finally started to speak, because I wasn't capable! He thanked Andy, Dave, and his father for their help... and went on to explain how they had gone about the whole thing... how it had taken 7 weeks!! All the stories started to come out about the little white lies that had to be told to keep it a secret. They hadn't been out riding the Great Ocean Road all those weekends, he and Andy were actually working their butts off, putting this thing together... and then taking it all off again so I wouldn't see it when he got home... And he hadn't been at his cousins house on Friday nights playing x-box, he was at Dave's, nutting out the complex electrical parts... It came out that I had even picked up the roll-cage steel that it's made from, under the belief that it was for his friend Jamie. I offered to drop it at his house, but of course Stewy insisted that I bring it home and Jamie would collect it! For weeks and weeks I was told that the rear suspension needed to be adjusted so it would better suit carrying pillions... But they were having difficulties moving the 'thing-a-ma-jig' and that it had ceased... This went one went on for sooo long. So buying themselves more time, they just couldn't seem to get it sorted out... I'm not sure how many times I suggested he just take it straight to Suzuki... Anyway, Stewy went on to show us all where the hand controls were and how they worked, etc. and we all had a drink, and a toasted to my surviving the accident 2 years earlier, and to this beautiful surprise and the new opportunities that it brings... So finally we headed off to a secret location, where I could actually get on this beautiful thing, and try it out... :grin: Woah, there goes the adrenaline again, just from typing it out! So here I am, sitting on this bike. It's not an unfamiliar feeling - I'd sat on the bike a few times since the accident, exactly 2 years earlier. Last time I'd been on the SV must have been more than 7 weeks ago. I got up firstly into the rider's seat, then shuffled back to the pillion seat... BUT NOT THIS TIME!!!! Physically it wasn't an unfamiliar feeling, but at the same time, the thought of what I was about to do also made it incredibly surreal. Memories of the past weeks kept springing to mind, and I was mentally catching Stewy out in little white lies all over the place... (Too little, too late)... Now I was all geared up, velcro all perfectly in place, helmet on (the helmet felt weird coz it's so snug around the face, making me aware of my constant grin! :grin. I was being given instructions on what to do, what not to do, what things to look out for, what to expect from the bike... still in disbelief, I was going over the instructions again to myself, the words all dancing around in my head with the little white lies that kept popping in... But I knew what to do now, all I had to do was 'do it'. I was psyched. It was a nice long stretch of bitumen, and I was to go up and down a few times, keeping the stabilising wheels down, just to get used to how it feels, and used to the bike... As I took off for the first time, I stalled... DÃ³h! That didn't look very cool! :roll: LOL But now I know the point at which the clutch grips Second time lucky! Stewy and Mad Stu ran along with me up the straight, one on each side... After a few laps up and down, they soon decided to follow in the car - 20kph was a bit fast for them to keep up. I was feeling pretty comfortable with this stage, and after a number of times up and down, we agreed that I was ready to take the stabilising wheels up. Off I went up to the end of the straight, so that I could raise them up on the way back toward the waiting crowd. They were all waiting in anticipation, camera's paused, and I chickened out... telling them as I turned around "I'll do it on the next lap!". Off I went, but I chickened out again... I think it must have been at least 3 times... I just had no idea if I was going to be able to do it - what would happen when I pressed that red button?!! Eventually I would just have to bite the bullet. So the next time down the straight I decided to do just that. [-o< There was the slightest of twitches as the stabilisers lost contact with the road and the bike righted itself, but I felt absolutely fine! (Except for my cheeks pressing deeper into the helmet as my grin became even wider!). I was riding! OMG! (There I go again with the religious stuff... it's all I could say all day)... I was riding! I was riding! Then as I approached the crowd, snapping away like paparazzi, I tried to press the button again, and bring the wheels down... oops, no light came on... I tried again... I rode past them all saying "Ã can't find the button"... Just as I said it, the light came on again, and I knew I'd got it, and in seconds the stabilisers would be down... then I felt the little twitch as they steadied the bike. SUCCESS!! And it only got easier after that... I was soon riding up and down and around the corner, changing up and down gears... and still grinning like a fool... Have I ever been so happy?? I'm not sure... Looking back at when I first came around the corner of the house, and seeing those stabilisers, I'm kinda disappointed at how I reacted - I was so inwardly emotional, trying desperately to contain myself. But I should have let the tears come when they wanted to, and I should have screamed the bloody house down!! I was just more overwhelmed than I ever thought might be humanly possible. But at the end of the day, this is the most thoughtful and meaningful thing anyone has ever done for me, and it was absolutely without a doubt, the best day of my life!