A Week of Firsts

This week I have taken huge leaps towards starting the Ultimate Ride.

Sunday I did my compulsory basic training (CBT). This one day training course must be completed successfully before anyone is allowed to ride any scooter or motorbike on UK roads. I found it both exciting and also a reality check. Riding a motorbike involves a lot of concentration and a lot of skill. Both hands and both feet have important functions to perform, and all in precise timing. Despite the complexities, and a slight nervousness of roundabouts, I passed all the competencies and was awarded my CBT certificate.

When I got home all I could think about was getting myself a bike. I bid on a Honda CG125 (the bike I learnt on in the CBT) on ebay, but was outbid in the auction. This turned out for the best, because I then made an offer on Charlie, my new bike.


I picked her up on Tuesday with the kind assistance of my friend Clive, who rode with me the 25 miles back to London – fantastic and terrifying in equal amounts. Unfortunately it was also that day that Charlie got her first injury – someone snapped the left wing mirror off while she was parked on the street.

Wednesday I bought Gortex trousers with motorcycle armour in the knees – they are a lot like snowpants! Good job I bought them, because Thursday morning I attempted my fisrt commute to work. 11.5 miles of wet roads, buses and white vans out to get me.

Statistics from my first commute:

  • 1hr 15min (approximately)
  • Wet roads
  • 3 big, terrifying roundabouts
  • 1 fall (braked too hard, resulted in yet another broken bit on Charlie, but not broken bits on me.)
  • 2 hours of sitting at my desk, trying to calm down with adrenalin coursing through my veins

The other preparation for the Ultimate Ride this week is best explained by the picture below of my living room wall. Bring it on!!

Went a bit crazy in the map shop...