From Scooters To Motorcycles - Rider Stories
The first time I went to Thailand, I saw almost the entire population riding around on scooters and motorbikes. I am one of those people that has to ‘live like a local’ in every country I go to, so the first place I went was the local scooter hire.
I’d never been on a scooter before, let alone a bike but I realised I probably wouldn’t be able to justify daily cab rides to myself, so I took a deep breath and hopped on. My first ride was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life but I made it, unharmed, and rode a little more each day, gradually building up my confidence.
When I moved back to London from Thailand, I started to take public transport (because that’s what people do!) and absolutely hated it. I felt claustrophobic on the tube and had to leave half an hour earlier to take the bus. I knew there had to be a better way!
When I first got my scooter in London I felt so free. It was like a weight had been lifted from me: I was independent! I could come and go as I pleased without considering the transport timetables. My journey times were decreased by half and I could take myself from door to (almost) door every time. What a way to travel!
However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Scooter riders have a bad name in London, even little old me! Imagine a 5’1” female being bullied by a load of (mainly taxi) drivers. How dare I filter? How dare I move past them when they are blocking the street? We all have a job to do, but mine isn’t waiting for them.
One day in particular, I was riding to meet a friend and filtering very slowly down a line of traffic. A lady within the line, on the phone with a dog running around the car, suddenly pulled out into me with no indication whatsoever. I was distraught as I realised not only my bike had been written off but I had a possible broken collar bone.
Thankfully my collar bone was intact (just) but my shoulder was severely damaged, preventing me from working properly (personal training). After I told my mum how I felt about getting back on a bike she said to me, “Three days of public transport and you will be begging to get back on that thing” and as mums usually are, she was 100% right.
I decided on one change though: No more scooters. I wanted to get a proper bike! It was then that I started my true love story with all things geared. I started with a CBF 125, and have been making my way around different makes and models whilst I decide what I really love.
I am still learning but it’s a journey I am fascinated with and enjoying it more and more every day.
To read more about Helen and follow her story check out: @hhhellraiser
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