A Sensory Overload - Georgia Croft - Rider Stories
What Do You Currently Ride?
I’m learning on a Mutt FSR 125 right now. Prior to getting the bike, I came across a review Freddie Dobbs had done of a Mutt Mastiff, and I saw how the bike could be just as nimble ripping through cities as it could be off-road. Mutt also has an amazing range of 125’s and that’s when I came across the FSR. So, I passed my CBT on the 23rd of August this year and a few days later I bought the bike! I seriously can’t recommend it enough as a first bike too. Mutt has nailed the gritty design and built on this model, so much so that If it passed you on the roads you wouldn’t immediately recognise it as being a 125cc. The lowered stance, twin shock frame and the beefy tyres coupled with its good looks make you feel like you’re riding something bigger and better. Knowing that I've also got the Suzuki GN engine on it is a bit of a safety net too. I'm not saying you could chuck everything and the kitchen sink at it, but having something that could probably survive the apocalypse underneath you, gives you a bit of wiggle room as a learner to make those mistakes that will inevitably help you build your skill.
Why Did You Start Riding?
I’ve been a massive petrolhead since I was small. I love anything that has an engine and the sensory overload that comes with machines, but bikes were absolutely not allowed in our house growing up. I’ve been really lucky to channel my enthusiasm so far by driving some amazing cars like a ‘65 race-prepped Mustang, a mix of supercars, an MK2 Escort on a WRC Rally stage, I ticked off one of my bucket list items which were to own a classic Mini Cooper, but there was an itch that cars just didn’t seem to scratch anymore.
My Mam was probably the biggest catalyst when it came to me actually getting into bikes. Never being a woman to be told what to do, she got her licence 6 years ago and now rides a Honda CBR600RR that she absolutely loves. Seeing her on that bike, that’s when I admittedly got really jealous and I had major FOMO. In my spare time, I'm also an Automotive and Motorbike artist and ironically around the same time, I was getting commissioned to draw more bikes than cars so I was being exposed to moto culture much more. I took it all as a ‘now or never’ sign so I psyched myself up, I went to book my CBT and theory, then the pandemic hit and my tests were on hold for nearly 15 months. Fast forward to August this year, I can honestly say that jumping on a bike for the first time is the best thing I've ever done for myself.
Why Do You Enjoy Riding?
There’s so many reasons! The biking community is awesome and I love how inclusive it is, it doesn't matter what you ride - two wheels is two wheels. The thing I wasn’t expecting to feel the results of so strongly was the mental health benefits. I’ve personally had my struggles with anxiety and panic attacks in recent years, and having my bike has really encouraged a shift in my mindset and is helping me to see that I can do new things when I’ve convinced myself that I can’t. It’s a personal subject I'm slowly learning to be a bit more public about in order to help challenge the stigma. It’s actually a topic that inspired a recent collaboration I was lucky enough to work on with Bell Helmets & VC London where I created a custom helmet design for them.
The way a ride out can clear the brain fog for me is amazing. It’s a brilliantly simple way to rid yourself of worries, anxiety and pressures in order to give yourself that little bit of headspace our minds need but rarely get these days.
What's Your Go-To Outfit?
I conveniently decided to get my licence just as the crispier weather was rolling in, so my current setup has ‘cosy’ in mind as I feel the cold like an old person.
Bag - Kovered Witham Canvas Backpack
Helmet - Bell Bullit DLX
Jacket - Oxford Churchill Textile Jacket
Jeans - Oxford Jeggins 2.0
Gloves - Goldtop Predatop Gloves
Neck Warmer - MotoGirl
Boots - Oxford Magdalen Ladies Motorcycle Boots
What Clothing or Equipment Could You Not Live Without?
My Quad-Lock has saved me a couple of times when I decided to just follow roads and see where I ended up. For someone who has zero sense of direction, I can see this being something that is essential.
What's Your Best Advice to New Riders?
One - Strike a balance between thinking ahead, but not overthinking everything. If you’re like me and are super analytical about situations, try to enjoy the ride and not stress about every detail as you’ll just get into a muddle. I've found the more relaxed I am, the better the journey has been...
Two - Budget for gear in advance. I knew the cost of gear can add up fast, but I didn't appreciate exactly how much everything would cost until it came to me going out to buy items. Put a little bit aside in the run-up to it, because it can get very expensive, very quickly.
Three - Be prepared to learn and leave your ego at the door. Clue yourself up on how your bike works, how to properly maintain it, the rules of the road, how your bike behaves in different conditions, and attend advanced training. Never think that you know everything, and never stop learning. Your future self will thank you!
Inspired to learn to ride? Check out the CBT course as your first step to two-wheel freedom!