The Chariot

Despite having a really rough time at the minute, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to book in to take my compulsory basic training again at some point before autumn, on a private day, and with the proviso of “I will go slowly when I need to. I will have lots of cups of tea. When I need things explained five times, you will do so.”

I may get in touch with the NABD as well, and see if they’ll send a representative to help me out on the day with thinking of how to adapt both movements and the physical motorcycle itself to fit me better.

I’m swimming regularly – My health is a lot more stable than it was in May, and my energy levels are higher, even if I am depressed and hopeless – so I’ve proved to myself that I can keep small deadlines and work myself hard for periods of time. All I need to do is focus, and get it done. The instructor even said that there had been a previous client who had come back half a dozen times, always nervous, never quite able to get out on the road, bad sciatica that made her unsteady, and then one day she’d had a “click” moment and had been off so fast andd fluently that he was having difficulty keeping up.

I could have that sort of moment. I’ve definitely had them before. Three years of rambling at sculpting and making no progress, then made a couple of tweaks, and suddenly I could. A year of sewing functional-but-uninspiring junk, and then something clicked and I started turning out things I was proud of.

If I’m not riding again within a year, I will eat my hat. And I have plenty to choose from.


5 thoughts on “The Chariot

  1. Autumn won’t leave much of a chance to ride with your newly learned skills. Depending on where you live and the classes available there might be a beginner class you might hop in on before that. Here we have a 4 stage program. Beginner / Endorsement / Street / Advanced. The beginner class is a day of book learning and watching videos with another day of basic bike learning. Very little actual riding other than a straight line and turn around then repeat. Mostly just a lot of, this is your brake, this is your gas on/off, this is how you work signals, etc.
    Great way to ease into the actual riding class later if you are very new to bikes.

    • Ahh – The UK is a bit different; We do the CBT first, which is a full day of training, then you’re legal to ride up to a 125 on the roads for two years, then you can take a test, allowing you to continue riding the 125. Then there’s something called “Direct access” where you take your CBT, then do lessons on a 400, and the test you take at the end of that means you can ride a bike of any size. But the smallest increment of training is still the CBT, since without that you’re not allowed out on the roads. I tried my CBT in May (My original CBT I’d taken when I was 17, so it expired at 19) but was hamstrung by injuries on the day.

      I must admit, I’m wary about ending up newly-fledged and trying to ride for the first time over winter, but the weather here doesn’t usually get too wet or frosty until mid-November.

      Actually – Can you reccommend any good theory books that I can swot up on whilst I decide what to do? I’m going to get the DVLA’s guide, but beyond that, anything you could point me towards would be a bonus 🙂

  2. There’s a youtube channel from over there I follow. A search for “Delboy’s Garage FRO” should pull up about 16 twelve minute-ish videos. User name is “Moonfleet41”. Basically he just chats about a subject but it’s from a helmet cam and while riding on your roads. Not sure exactly where in the UK but it’s on the left side of the road. Full size bike, lane splitting, he does one video on how to filter through traffic. Not really a how to on riding but might be of some value seeing the roads from the rider’s perspective. Plus they are fun to watch. I’m jealous of your round-abouts. Wish we had those here.

    Your class system might have some merit. Here I skipped the beginners class, did the two day endorsement class and got my license to ride whatever. Bought a 700cc Intruder and the rest is history. You only have to pass the one class and the endorsement is unrestricted. Hopefully the classes don’t cost an arm and a leg.

    Best of luck on passing!

    • Oh man these are excellent – It looks like he’s in Dorset, so ~250 miles away, but we do have the same kind of roads (And the same lovely roundabouts – If I ever get riding, I will have to make you a video of the triple roundabout-in-roundabout that we have near here…) Funnily I was just watching the “Ride to work” with loads of filtering before I started replying – The riders’ eye view is really useful, since it gives an idea of what a reasonable gap looks like, and how often to look behind/down and everything.

      I can’t even imagine getting on a 700 right now – I used to be a regular passenger on a friend’s bike, who started off with a 900cc Fireblade, then moved onto some really obnoxious litre bikes that I remember collectively as being too tempramental to live. Great fun, but right now I’m claiming that I’ll probably go no higher than a 400… (Ah, the best of intentions)


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