Pillion and Proud!

Yesterday the day finally arrived that me and my sister have been looking forward to for so long – we did our novice motorbike session! Being pillion on Dave’s bike for nearly four years, and seeing so many beautiful bikes on our travels, I thought I would give sitting in the rider’s seat another go. My last attempt was part of the Get On scheme, desgined to give people a free 1hr session of getting used to the controls and overall feel of the bike to see if it’s right for them before shelling out £120 for a CBT. Unfortunately, my go wasn’t very successful – the guy doing the training really didn’t seem like he was bothered, I was tucked in a car park on a slope whilst other people did their CBT around me, and it was really quite an upsetting experience. However, I really wanted to giev it another go under better circumstances, so started looking into it again.

At the same time, my sister decided she’d had enough of cycling to work every day throguh the wind and rain and despicable english winter weather, and wanted to get herself on the road too. After a few goes on the back of Dave’s bike to check she actually liked biking, we started to look for a place that offered an experience/novice session instead of booking onto our CBTs straight away. A friend had recommended Ridesure in Surrey, at Dunsfold aerodrome where they film TopGear! That was a plus in itself, but looking at their novice scheme it seemed perfect for what me and Laena were after.

So yesterday, we went up to Guildford, with Dave along for moral support, and cracked on with it! Brian, the instructor was really great, despite being a fair bit over 6ft, he never once made a big deal of the fact that we were pretty short, just gave us all the information and instruction we needed to be able to keep the bikes upright. We went through the basics of the controls – braking, throttle, gears etc – and eventually we were riding up and down the track, cornering and everything! Laena was a complete natural, and took to riding like a duck to water, I was seriously impressed. I was having a bit omre difficulty however, the controls just weren’t quite gelling in my head. I was able to change gears, and doing everything fairly well, but it just wasn’t working for me.

The session was jsut over 2 hours on the bikes, and whilst Laena ended up weaving through the slalom cones like a pro, I had fallen off the bike as I stopped, had to take the cones two at a time to slalom (the ones I hadn’t run over anyway) and ended up the grass more than once. Brian still felt the we would both pass the CBT easily, but I just decided I didn’t want to. I wasn’t having any real problems, and I’m sure after getting used to it the gears and everything would come more naturally, but after giving it a proper go, I came to the decision that I just didn’t want to try and get used to it – riding isn’t for me. Laena however was thrilled to bits, especially when Brian suggested she ride her bike back to the centre, giving her an extra go whilst he rode back the bike I was using, and I was taken back by Dave in the car.

I’m really pleased we both did it – I think Laean felt better for me beign there, though she clearly never had anything to worry about! But I’m really glad I can finally put it to rest, that I’ve given it a proper go now, with a really good instructor, and I’m happy with my decision. If the only thing I’m disappointed about is the fact that I won’t be able to have my own Triumph Street Triple, I think I can live with that! So, it seems that I’m going to sitting on the back seat for now, and Dave gets to keep his ‘AbbieNav’ to boot. Laena is working on getting her gear together, bit by bit, and hopefully once she’s got her own 125cc, she’ll be able to sign up to get her CBT done! Exciting times!


The Vintage Housewife x


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