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The road to get here...

I’ve taken the plunge, the key is in the ignition and the throttle is open (hmmm….what is a throttle?) I will soon find out because I have officially booked my Category A courses with

Suddenly I feel the pressure of following in my Dad and Grandad’s footsteps, but equally I can’t remember the last time I felt this rush of excitement. Mostly, I have an overwhelming sense of knowing that this is absolutely the right time for a new adventure, even with the rest of my life in utter chaos from divorce proceedings. Anyone who has been riding a motorcycle for years may think I’m completely off my rocker for my over-enthusiasm, but I don’t underestimate the way in which joining the biker community can be a complete lifestyle change. I sure am hoping it does that for me and it's that sense of community which is one of the reasons I've always felt like being a biker babe is totally for me!

Being recently single I’m finding myself with little else to do other than head 'out out' over the weekends while my children stay with their Dad, and I’m certainly not short of invites to join friends for fancy cocktails. But as much as I love getting glammed up, it feels like an empty way to spend my time. I’m perfectly comfortable taking trips to the cinema, or going for lunch on my own while everyone else is busy with their ‘in-tact’ families, but let's face it - that kind of thing is pretty boring alone. I need something to stimulate my mind and give me the space to breathe as well as meeting new people somewhere other than drunk in a bar! Biking seems to fit the bill - something I can do on my own, for myself, but still with that sense of connection to something wider.

The bikers in my life - the main reason I've always wanted my very own Harley!

My Grandad - 'Rapid Ron.'

My Sister and I in our Harley Davidson T-shirts and hats.

The first time I sat on a bike was my Grandad's Harley Davidson. He was a solid member of the New Forest Chapter of the Harley Davidson Riders Club and carried the nickname 'Rapid Ron'. My sisters and I loved taking turns on the back, the usual route - 5 minutes down the road and around the roundabout before heading home. I remember laughing my head off underneath the helmet, my mind was blown by the fun and I didn't want it to end! He was a relatively laid back, reserved kind of man but his bike gave him a presence that made him seem like a god to us. When he'd drive all the way up to visit us from Southampton and the conditions were right, we would hear the thunder of his bike from half a mile away. As the thunder grew louder, we had time to jump up and head out the door to greet him before he even pulled up. It made us proud that the neighbours would come out to see what the bloody hell was going on. He was the go-to man for custom paint jobs, so his house and garage smelled of paint fumes and you could hardly sit down for all of the mud guards and tank protectors dotted around to dry. He died of cancer in 2013, his funeral at Romsey Abbey was attended by more bikers than I could count.

My Dad 'Bully' on a Rally - plus my personal favourite bike that my Grandad owned with a beautiful custom paint job.

Naturally my Dad also followed in my Grandad's footsteps and as a teenager he was constantly being brought home by the local Bobby for mucking around on the bikes he'd been building. My Granny has some great stories of him rushing in the door after hiding his bike in the garage, still ticking away as the engine cooled shouting, "tell Pig Winters that I've been here the whole time!" PC Winters was a regular caller, although I think my dad was probably more scared of getting into trouble with my Granny! I could go into more detail about some of my biking experiences with my Dad. I think I'll save some of these stories for a separate blog post and keep it brief in this first introduction. He eventually met a fellow biker on one of his European Rallies and moved out to Germany to be with her. He stayed out there after they separated and sadly died of illness in Hamburg in 2015 aged 55.

My Uncle David, above, was more of a KTM man with a need for speed. He sadly died in a motorbike traffic collision. My mum used to regularly join my Stepdad for a ride out on the back of his bike but she has struggled to do so since his accident. I know that my new hobby is making her nervous but she gets it, the only way to confront fear is head on!

So as you can see, it's about time the next succession of Bully Bikers hit the road. I suppose one of the reasons I've been putting it off if is because I just don't really fit the stereotype of a biker, everyone always seems like such an expert already! It's quite an intimidating new world filled with petrol heads and a certain level of risk of course. I know very few men who own a motorbike, (and not a single woman!) So without the encouragement and guidance of my Dad, I just haven't known where to start. Luckily I have the support of one more biker in the family, my stepdad Garry. He's also a fan of the classic bikes I crave to ride although he is more of a Triumph man. He's also got a pretty impressive workshop where he completes all sorts of restoration projects so I will definitely feature some of those makeovers because he's helluva clever and doesn't show them off enough!

I don't do anything half-hearted and I plan to throw myself into learning everything about the engineering of a motorcycle and how to tackle some simple repairs and modifications myself. So if you know your stuff when it comes to motorbikes then you're probably going to cringe at my beginners antics but I'd love to hear your tips! If you are new to biking like me then lets connect and do this together. And if you are just another mum also juggling single parenthood and trying to stay in touch with yourself then I would also love to share stories. So there's the awkward introduction over with....I'm diving in, here goes nothing!

2 comentarios

09 dic 2021

Great Blog, well done on the first steps. Enjoy the freedom and feeling of riding, there's nothing like it as its a real bug, every time I ride it puts a smile on my face, and I feel in touch with the world around me....

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15 oct 2021

Lovely memories. Good luck taking your tests.😊

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