Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not so easy rider

Beginners luck isn't always good.

After a recent exchange about motorbikes with Nick over at Unnatural Vision, I realised that what I had been planning with regard to my future existence as a big, butch biker was madness. Insanity.

My original intention was to complete some lessons (two this weekend, two the following weekend), pass the exam (hopefully), and then buy myself a big, powerful bike.

Reality check.

Five and half days of riding would leave me ill-prepared to handle a big bike. They are powerful. And dangerous. And one little slip of the hand and you find yourself halfway up a building. Or a tree.

I decided, therefore, that a much more sensible approach would be to buy a trainer bike, a modest 125cc job, such as I am currently entitled to ride, following my recent success with the CBT (for any SM aficionados who happen to be reading, this is Compulsory Basic Training, rather than cock and ball torture). Getting such a bike would mean that I would be able to get much more practice in before the test, because I'll be able to go out on my own during the week rather than only getting to ride when I'm being trained. After the test, I can take as long as I like before deciding that the time has come to get something a big more grunty between my legs. I won't go for a big bike until I'm happy that I am completely in control of it at all times. I'm thinking at least a year, possibly longer, because I might end up liking the little bike enough to stick with it.

So convinced was I that this was a good idea, I decided to have a look yesterday on that there interweb. And lo! I found a treasure - a seven month old SkyJet 125. (Alas, I don't have a picture of the self-same bike yet, but I found a snap of the same model in the same colour, so you get to see what it looks like.) It was going for a song, because the owner is emigrating. I high-tailed it over to take a look, stopping off at a cash machine to withdraw the appropriate amount of funds, and now I am the proud owner of this beautiful machine.

Alas, since I had only been on a bike for one day (when I did the CBT), I ended up feeling a bit lost when it came to actually riding it home. The guy selling it had started it, but once he'd gone, when I tried to move off, I stalled straight away. Could I get it started again? Not for love nor money. And here's where the bad beginner's luck kicked in. I got off to try and work out why it wasn't starting. I experimented with gears and the clutch and the throttle. And then it kicked into life, and took off. Out of my hands. Falling over as it did so. Taking me with it. Ouch! And upon righting everything again, I discovered that I had broken off the left foot peg.

Fortunately, the owner had popped out for something, and passed me on his way back in. He asked if everything was okay (since we had parted company ten minutes earlier). I explained that I was having some problems remembering all the stuff I did on CBT, and confessed about the broken peg. I felt quite guilty, because the guy had taken really good care of the bike, and here was me damaging it within minutes of getting my hands on it. He checked it out, started it up, and then walked it to a place where it could be parked overnight, so that I could come back and ride it home in daylight, when it will be a bit easier, and I'll feel a bit more comfortable doing it. So, today I'm going back to South London to pick it up.

I've been sent information about where to get a replacement left foot peg. The company that does them has promised next day delivery. Getting it home today will be something of a chore, but I won't have to wait long before I can ride it properly without having to keep my foot at a funny angle.

I had a couple of unfortunate incidents when I started driving, too, so I'm chalking this one up to experience. And at least I didn't sustain any injury, apart from wounded pride and a slightly bruised shin.



Lamont said...

I hope your shin is feeling better. That's a sexy looking thing and I think it's cool you're trying something different. However, I don't think I caught onto why you're going down this path in the first place. Why did you choose a motorbike over a human powered bike, a scooter or even just a smaller car?

Nick said...

Thank goodness for our conversation then! Could you imagine if you'd had some huge Honda thing in your hands when it decided to zoom off without you?!

Hope the shin isn't too skinned or bruised... should have been wearing your leathers! ;-)

Qenny said...

Hi Lamont, nice of you to drop in. I've done the bicycle thing, but wouldn't fancy it in London because I live too far out for it to be a practical commuting option. Various people tried to talk me into going down the scooter route, but it just doesn't have the same appeal. I don't really know why, but I've really wanted a motorbike for quite a number of years. And now I've got one. Yay!

Nick - leathers? In this weather? All very well for prowling around in dodgy clubs like some people do (not pointing any fingers), but I think I'll stick to the waterproofs at this time of year. Come the summer, though ...

Nick said...

You can't blame a boy for trying :-)

Qenny said...

Indeed. Since a penchant for leathers often goes along with a penchant for other kinks, I wonder whether it might be more appropriate to say that you can't blame a boy for tying.