GENERAL NEWS

FULL SCOOT AHEAD

GETTING A CBT, HOPPING ON A SCOOTER, AND RETURNING TO THE ROAD – AGE IS NO LIMIT – A TRUE STORY FROM JUST LAST WEEK!

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Here's how Mike got on doing his CBT to refresh his motorcycle skills and get back out on the road.

Q: Have you ever owned a motorcycle before?
A: Yes back in the day when I was a student my first bike was a BSA 175 which spent most of its life breaking down. I moved over to a more reliable Honda 125 and travelled all over the UK, but my pillion girlfriend started to complain so I had to ditch it and bought a car. After many years of car driving, about 15 years ago I was keen to get back on two wheels, so I bought a 50cc Peugeot Speedfight which I rode into the ground until I had to sell it for scrap.

Q: So why did you decide to get your CBT again now after not riding for a while?
A: Basically for reasons both of body and soul! I have always loved riding a bike, it's great being in the open air and feeling more alive. The need to fully concentrate is a mindful experience for me. I can really feel the speed, the wind and the sun and can appreciate the environment I am travelling through. Plus, from a practical perspective, car driving in Brighton has become a nightmare of traffic jams, fumes, parking problems etc and with a scooter I can bypass many of those issues and get where I'm going with far less stress – in fact with a good level of enjoyment – win win!
Most of the journeys I tend to do are shortish – heading into Brighton or Eastbourne for work or going to Hassocks for a game of tennis, so I wanted to use the car less and cut down wear and tear and traffic stress. The car is just no fun for these kind of journeys whereas door to door on a bike makes far more sense and reduces my carbon footprint (and my petrol costs) into the bargain.

Q: How easy did you find the whole CBT experience?
A: Well I chose Flying Colours in Eastbourne, mainly because it was nearby, and booked my CBT in easily for a month ahead – so far so good. I think I hit lucky there and chose the right school from that point of view because one of the other guys on the course said he had come all the way from Ashford as he couldn't book one before September there as demand was so high. I have to say I was quite nervous before the main event as I hadn't ridden a bike for well over five years, despite this I didn't feel the need to do any prep, and turned up on the day bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Q: What bike did you choose to do your test on and was there a theory component to the test?
A: I was given a Sinnis automatic scooter as I had decided to go twist and go this time round. There wasn't a theory paper as such, like there is in the driving test, but the instructor did ask us lots of questions along the way about everything you could think of concerning riding a bike, traffic conditions, filtering etc and imparted a huge amount of really useful extra information about all of these things as well.

Q: What were the test centre, instructor and other participants like? Where they what you expected?
A: The test centre and the instructor were far better than I had anticipated. The Centre was great, did what it said on the tin. The instructor was a really good teacher and a pukka motorcyclist who knew everything about bikes and riding and inspired confidence through knowing his subject inside out. His teaching style was firm but friendly, fair and encouraging and he maintained standards and safety protocols throughout, while looking for us to improve to the required standard before moving on to the next part, so that we really learnt the skills thoroughly. He was very patient as well and just let us practise until we had really got  the skills under our belts – always helpful for learners!
There were two other participants, who had chosen to learn on motorcycles with gears, one was in his mid 20s and the older one was a parent who wanted to be able to ride with his 16 year old son, plus me, in my mid 60s retuning to two wheels after a gap. A totally mixed age range which shows you can ride a bike at any age!

Q: Did you find it easy or difficult, how long did it take and what were the most challenging bits for you?
A: It was much more challenging than I had expected it to be because it was so thorough. It took pretty much the whole day, around seven hours, covering every aspect of riding a bike on the road, so it was exhausting but really so well worth it. I found the manoeuvres the hardest part, figures of eight and U, turns plus the part out on the road in the traffic was a challenge, remembering to do all the observations and signals while keeping an eye on the other road users. But it was all a very satisfying experience and by the end I felt really confident to get out there on two wheels again.

Q: How did you feel at the end and are you going to actually buy a bike now and put your refreshed skills into action?
A: I felt exhausted but happy, relieved and delighted, it was really great to pass and I'd felt completely comfortable with the instructor and the other candidates, no one made me feel that I was any different from everyone else, despite my being a bit older than the other participants, so all in all a great experience! I am much better equipped to ride now and have acquired lots of incidental knowledge from the instructor and the process, which will stand me in really good stead out on the road. I can really recommend Flying Colours Motorcycle Training in Eastbourne for a good sound training experience.
Yes I am in the process of buying a scooter now – after some consideration I am going to go for a Honda 110 Vision – so see you out there! There is such a boom in  motorcycles and scooters at the moment that it is quite hard to get hold of new bikes and the prices of second-hand bikes are rising too. So if you already own one, hang onto it if you can!

Thank you very much Mike and well done!
Have you recently done your CBT or are you considering it? Motorcycles and scooters are a great option these days and are flying off the shelves so if you have been considering getting one hopefully this will inspire you to go for it and do your CBT whatever age or level of experience you are.
Let us know at news@wemoto.com or drop us a message on Facebook.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 22 June 2021 in General News

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