What exactly does one think of when they hear the word ‘biker’? A tall, hairy, well built, perhaps ever so slightly overweight, leather wearing male? I think most of us do, at least those of us who have never been exposed to the world of motorbikes; it is after all the image that most films and the media portray to us. However, that’s not to say that all men ride Harley Davidson’s, that all bikers are as good looking as George Clooney, or even that all bikers are men. Nevertheless, I cemented my decision to change the definition of ‘biker’, to one where I was included, whilst acting as pillion on Iñigo’s R1200GS, during a ride out. The way these men dominated the road, sped by like a flash of lighting, controlled every bend in the road, but most importantly did so with utter joy on their faces, left me wanting more – the mere two-hour trip was simply no longer satisfactory. I wanted control of the bike. I wanted the independence. I wanted the fun of the chase; a fun which is only wholly achieved and felt by the regulator of the wheels. Considering the thrill I was receiving just hanging on behind, I craved and could only imagine the power and burst of energy that I would receive if I was orchestrating the bikes direction, manipulating the ride as I wanted. The solution was rather simple: I got my CBT.
Covered up in bed and hidden by the duvet, I secretly began to search places to do my CBT from my parents, but mostly Iñigo. I had two thoughts running through my mind, first, I wanted this to be a trail to see whether I would enjoy motorbike riding as much as I had enjoyed being a pillion, particularly having been so against the idea just a few months prior. Secondly, I wanted it all to be a surprise from the boy who thinks, dreams and talks bikes all day. I could only imagine his face when I appeared with a CBT; imagine his euphoria when I revealed my desire to ride bikes. Just the thought of how happy he would be, bought elation to me as I impulsively booked myself in for the day.
Roads. Roads are BRILLIANT. Far better than slow riding pads. On roads, you can hit 30mph! I could not have imagined anything better! Off I zoomed, immediately being told to slow down through the radio, practicing junctions and bends. It was phenomenal fun. I got it, I completely got it now (in hindsight, having ridden a BMW G650GS on my A2 course, I did not get it then, the feeling 650cc gives in comparison is shameful). This is why people ride motorbikes, screw being pillion, this was far better. I felt empowered and the rush that was ignited as a pillion was now exploding like a firework within me. The course had finished.
As I rushed back to my car, certificate in hand, I received a message from Iñigo saying something along the lines of “you have not spoken much today, been riding all day?” I simply replied “I kind of riding” with a photo of my CBT.