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Returned rider story

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by sjestory, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Just reading the "How was your first ride" thread and was prompted to share a story about my return to riding. I'm still shaking my head about some of the stupid decisions I made and about the systems that allowed me to make them. Can't help thinking that I'm very lucky to be here to tell the story.
    After riding from the age of 15 until I was 23 I hung up the helmet and gloves, not expecting to ever ride again. But 20 years later the mid-life crisis came along and I decided it was time for a Harley.
    So, still holding a bike riders licence even though I hadn't ridden for 20 years, I hired a Heritage Softail, boots, gloves, jacket and helmet. With my new partner riding pillion, I fired up the Harley and rode from Melbourne to Warnambool. After spending the night there we rode back along the Great Ocean Road, caught the ferry over to Sorrento and rode home.
    I can't believe I was so stupid. I would have been less competent than a brand new rider coming out of a learner school! I must say I enjoyed myself immensely, despite one or two scary moments, and got home without any accidents. More good luck than good management!!
    I learned a lot from that ride - not the least of which was that I'm not ready for a Harley! Sparks flying off the running boards on every corner kept the cars away from me at least!
    Anyone else have any stories about returning to riding after a long break? What do you think about some form of compulsory re-testing? Hard to implement but might save some lives.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I heard some terrific one's, and unfortunately the returning rider, such as your story, is the highest representative statistic in m/cycle fatalities and injuries. :evil:

    I'm a strong believer in not only earning the right to drive/ride (as is essentially the case now) but regaularly proving/demonstrating your are entitled to still keep that right! Every 5 year re-testing up to retirement (65yo), every 3 years to 77yo, and bi-annually after that.

    I believe it's something we as riders should be advocating, and perhaps leading by example with. The re-test would essentially consist of a subsidised day training session - braking, cornering, etc. I think it would help rider statistics greatly and bring training exposure to all riders.
  3. I agree with what Mouth said above, I also feel that it should be for every type of licence (ie. motorcycle, car, truck, etc...) as I'm sure the longer we go untested - however much experience we might gain - we will still pick up alot of bad habits.