WARNING: Long and self indulgent post .
On 23rd July last year I did my CBT. I had wanted to go straight to an intensive DAS course, but Covid delays meant that there were none available until winter, so I bought a 2009 YBR 125 and set out on my biking adventure; I loved it from the minute I sat on a bike. My first ride the day after I got the YBR apart from a quick local try - out on the local lanes was the commute to work on a busy A road and through the city I work on the other side of. I was quite apprehensive and found it mentally tiring, but it went just fine. @HelmutVisor and I had a few good trips out after that but the poor YBR (nickname, The Silver Bullet) turned out to have multiple issues and after it being with our friend who owns a motorcycle shop to fix on and off for a week or two here and there he and his wife made the extremely generous offer of lending me a Herald 125 that they had bought for his wife’s son but he hadn’t ridden it much and it was currently SORN. I couldn’t believe that people could be so generous, but they were!! The little Herald had been dropped, knocking a baffle out of the exhaust so it was noisy (very!), it vibrated like MAD (used to feel my toes tingle for hours afterwards), it was really uncomfortable for my ergonomics although others say they’re comfortable and had annoying footpegs on hinges not springs which you used to able to accidently fold up with the heel of your boot and faff around trying to put them back down with your foot waggling in the breeze….and I LOVED everything about it because it meant I had a bike. Helmut and I had a great summer doing some great rides and having fun, that little bike was good for miles and miles of riding. Pretty soon though I was riding it with the throttle at it’s stop and wishing I could wring a lot more out of it!!
The little Herald on the day I picked it up:
Fast forward to winter time and I finally did my DAS - on a Suzuki Gladius and a Suzuki SV650. The bigger bike felt AMAZING to me the first time I got on it and I was so grateful to have got a few thousand miles in on the 125 as the bike controls were muscle memory by now so I just had to get used to the bigger bike. I would absolutely do the same again with the benefit of hindsight. The lessons went perfectly but there were a few bumps in the road with my Mod 1 due to nerves and stupidity really - but in January this year I finally held my full bike licence. My Mod 2 had been so, so cold and in slippery conditions but who cares - I was over the moon!!!
Exactly 6 months after doing my CBT, @HelmutVisor and I went out together for my first ride on my First Big Bike, my Street Triple R. It was freezing cold and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go far - the plan had been about 25 miles - but when we got to the roundabout we had been going to come back round to turn for home I kept on going and we ended up going for lunch; shivering like mad. The Street Triple blew my tiny mind .
From my very first tentative ride on the Street Triple it has blown me away, it feels perfect for me. A LOT of bike for a new rider, but it inspires a great deal of confidence and feels like a great fit. It has become a total obsession - I take it out solo, commute on it when the weather’s not stinking and of course go out and have fun with @HelmutVisor which feels absolutely brilliant!! I NOW understand exactly why he had always loved his bikes so much and how “a quick trip” for fuel or popping out to do something locally can turn into hours of riding.
Thank you to every one of you lovely lot who have taken the time to read my posts and provide me with encouragement along the way .
I covered about 8000 miles in my first year of biking too, couldn’t get enough! Since then the yearly tally has only gone up! I find it odd when you see 3 year old bikes for sale with one or two thousand miles on them, they’re ment to be ridden. I think its safe to say your a proper biker and kudos to @HelmutVisor for taking you on the journey
It’s bonkers!! There was a 2019 RS in the dealership when I got my bike serviced last week with less than 2000 miles on it - loads of extras on the bike too so someone had lavished time and attention on the machine itself, just not ridden it much. There were loads of bikes at well under 4000 miles and several under 1000, I was astonished.
Now I am on the Striple and it’s so easy to go for miles as opposed to wringing out a 125 I expect my tally will go right up too - I hope so! @HelmutVisor has been incredible actually (and it’s not often I am soppy) .
What a great story. My hat is well and truly off to you. I got my very first BRAND NEW bike this year. 1st of March actually I have been riding a long time but have never been able to buy a new one. I have since put over 5,500 miles on it. Trip to the French Alps and Provence. Trip around Scotland.
I’m pretty old (62 this year) and have been riding since I was 16. The love of a ride never goes away once you have it. I am currently planning to ride to the Arctic Circle next year. I hope you carry on enjoying your riding for a lot of years yet.
What an incredible story @MrsVisor. Your perseverance through a cold winter and your training program has payed off for you in spades. Congratulation to you for your first year biking and good luck for many more to come.
Wow the Arctic Circle!! That will be incredible!!
Thank you, just wish I had done it years ago when I first wanted to .
Pah… we’ve just been sat on the sidelines, waiting to see you fail so we could say… “What’s up little girl, too much bike for you? Curses… foiled again!”
Seriously though, it’s great to have bikers so enthused and putting their rubber down. You’ve already done 3 or 4 years worth of riding compared to garage queen specials.
‘Long’ is good and I think you probably know by now that you have an eager audience for your self-indulgence.
I’ve mentioned before that I have someone close to home who expresses a lot of the same enthusiasm, and long may it continue! I also hear that same line about wishing to have started sooner. But we live in the present, and in the present there is a Street Triple in your garage (and mine!) waiting for the next ride. Good times.
I’ve been reminded in the last couple of years of the pure pleasure in riding bikes. It’s easy to lose sight of that, so thank you for reminding us all. Here’s to many more miles, then. And hearing all about them.
Oh, and good on you, @HelmutVisor, for providing help and encouragement. I doff my cap to you.
Agreed but low mileage used bikes are the ones to buy, so cheers to the fairweather riders…
Or would be if I ever sold 'em …
I missed this. How did I do that? I’m sure I look at most threads - it must be the headaches. I forget.
Well, belatedly, a thoroughly deserved round of applause from me (and another one from the Admin Staff).
Late to the party - I’m only just getting involved here. Absolutely great! You’re obviously enjoying your biking, and getting the most out of it. Loving it! My mrs. Is somewhat slower in picking up, but to be fair she’s got her horse taking up lots of time too.
For next season we’ll be off to Italy - trailering the bikes to the Dolomites, and riding passes for 10 days. We’ll be based in a chalet, near all the nice passes. Yet another steep learning curve for her!
Nice to see you over here more!! I am absolutely loving it, with my only regret not having done it sooner.
The Dolomites trip sounds incredible, I am sure Mrs Vulpes is no slower in picking up and she certainly seemed to do brilliantly on your last tour (can’t wait until we can do one…dog care!!). As I have said before she certainly has my admiration for being skilled with horses, hats off to you both in that respect .