In May 2019, my mid-life crisis hit. My son (CJ) was about to turn 16 and had wanted a geared 50cc motorbike for years. We found a Lexmoto Hunter for sale locally and after having it checked over, we bought it. After having a friend deliver it back home, my son kept saying I should have a go. I’d never ridden a geared bike and didn’t understand all this “1 down, 4 up” business. It meant nothing to me. I had no interest in bikes but he kept suggesting I had a shot. After working through the logic in my head for a while, I relented and jumped on. Down into 1st…up into 2nd…3rd…”This is GREAT!” I thought. As I turned the bike round and headed back down the road, I got bitten. Bitten by the bike bug. At 47, I realised I wanted this too. Within a month I had my CBT, my first 125 (Lexmoto Venom) and spent the next year riding to and from work everyday (24 mile round trip to Portsmouth). Through the end of summer, into autumn and right through the winter, day in, day out.
My eldest son has ridden motorbikes for 16 years and progressed through the various stages. He now rides a Kawasaki Z1000 (absolute monster!). He has been a vital & invaluable guide to riding/maintenance/cleaning. He has spent hours with both me and CJ riding, providing hints & tips along the way, chatted about bikes, given expert advice and neither of us would be at the stage we are now without him.
Of course, none of this would be possible without a supportive, understanding and fantastic wife! So thanks to Lesley for all your patience and only losing it with me on the very odd occasion 😊
It’s not enough!
By the turn of the year into 2020, I was getting a bit fed up of having to take the A27 every day instead of the M27 motorway. Stop/start/traffic lights/roundabouts. I’d learnt to filter pretty well but it was still the same route every day with the occasional switch to riding up and over Portsdown Hill. I’d look in envy at the bikes going up towards the Motorway. The Venom had a top speed of around 60mph (head down, tucked in!) and I started wanting more. I looked into the costs and I was priced out of the market to even consider moving up.
And then CoronaVirus happened
In the first couple of months of 2020, we started hearing about this new virus to hit Wuhan, China. It became apparent quite quickly this could spread rapidly if not contained. And spread it did. Into March and the UK was starting to become affected. On March 23rd, statistics according to the Department of Health and Social Care, 6,650 people had tested positive, 77,295 negative and 335 patients had died in the UK. The Prime Minister announced a Lockdown, effective immediately. We were to work from home, stay indoors, go out for essential shopping only and 30 minutes maximum exercise each day. Pubs/clubs/theaters/restaurants/retailers were all told to lock their doors. And all driving tests (theory/mod1/mod2/car/lorry/everything) were cancelled for up to 3 months.
I started working from home (still am) throughout lockdown. We slowly found we were spending far less each month and slowly but surely, the money came together to buy a new bike & afford my mod1 & mod2. I already have my theory test done so I’m now waiting on a date I can go to MC Training and go for my A license. Current dates suggest around 15th – 20th June so hopefully not too long.