Starting out

Is that a motorcycle jacket, asked the young lady teacher standing beside me in the dinner queue this evening.

Yes, I said.

Does your bike have…gears? she asked.

Well, yes, I said. I have an Africa Twin and a Triumph. They both have gears.

This was a much more interesting conversation than the one I had been having about whether the Welsh Government’s decision to retain the AS level would help or hinder Welsh students.

We picked up our self-service trays and turned to the important questions. Yes, I have come off. Yes, riding in strong cross winds is terrifying and sometimes turning round and going home is absolutely the best thing to do. Yes, riding a motorbike is the best thing ever.

I get very enthusiastic when I meet young lady riders who are starting out for the first time on this great highway. This particular new rider was about to make the leap from a twist-and-go to a Chinese-import 125. Maybe I was a bit over enthusiastic. But I think about when I started riding and didn’t know any other riders, and how many questions I had that needed answers. And I think that these days I am an old woman and I have grey hair, though it is temporarily in disguise as pink hair, and maybe my job now is to say yes, we do all fall off, and those of us who are lucky get back on again and carry on.



Filed under Riding

4 responses to “Starting out

  1. HWL:

    What ! You have Pink hair ? I thought you were a redhead.

    You don't have to rub it in. I think grey is better than none

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. 🙂 I was blonde for a while in between.

  3. i always love the chats with new riders, i remember how it feels, and they're so curious…

  4. I normally get the “How fast does it go?” line of questioning. Depending on which bike I'm on at the time (KTM 640 supermoto or ZZR600) the reaction varies. I have bumped into some kids who really know what they're on about but can't get a decent bike cos of the new license restrictions. I feel bad for those kids!

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