It was an instruction in off road machine control, and all about fine tuning skills in wet and slippy conditions.And boy was it wet and slippy. Two weeks of rain had turned the course into a mud bath with deep water filled craters.
I did prove myself on the bike throughout the day, but not on the second time around the circuit. I cornered, not being sensitive enough with the throttle and headed for the hedge. A foot before the hedge I ditched the bike in a grand gesture of jumping of to the left , though obviously not far enough, and found myself lying on the grass with the bike on my foot. I was so relieved I had not gone into/through the hedge. Potential injury didn’t cross my mind, though how stupid I had been did, and this manifested itself as laughter.
Then I thought – oh crap – my back… but I could feel my feet and arms, and Icould move so I figured was ok – so my mind went back to how absolutely stupid I would have looked sticking out of a hedge and the laughter became more manic and hysterical- I couldn’t stop.
When the instructor arrived he moved the bike to the position in the picture and because I was laughing – his first words to me were, “You have to be okay – you’re laughing.” Then he helped me up and made sure I was ok. Then the instructor said, “You EVEN missed the hedge!” That just made me laugh more.
I eventually got back on the bike and rode back to the briefing zone, where a whole gaggle of Lippies checked to see if I was okay and then stopped stifling their laughter and a few told me how amazingly funny my near miss with the hedge had been to watch..
I still laugh when I see the photo – so simple, so stupid and so close to actually going through the hedge. How utterly human. It will always remind me I need to be light gripped on the throttle. Also, being new to biking, very much aware that the reality is I will quite possibly, and more than probably, come off a bike at sometime or other, although I don’t plan on making it a habit of visiting too many hedges.
Fortunately, I wasn’t seriously hurt, but bruised enough to respect the bike and the fact that the bike will correct itself if I can learn not to interfere with it. That is not as easy as it sounds!
Anyway Hedge almost stuck……………! Until someone thought of Shwubbewy. For those unfamiliar it’s a Monty Python reference to the Holy Grail – the Knights who say Ni! Being a Python fan, I was kinda flattered. Which meant it wasn’t going to be a biker name.
Then someone word associated and came up with Bwian – For those unfamiliar it’s a Monty Python reference to the Life of Brian.
That reference led to the the reason why it was Bwian and not Brian.
Who knows where it is going to end up and stick? The more offensive the biker name, the more opportunity to laugh with others about myself.
For me, who learns through the school of hard knocks it seems there are no better teachers than training/experience and mates who are relentless in taking the mick…reminding me to be patient with my capabilities and to have fun. Life is far too short…..
Think Bike. Think Biker. Then wonder how they got their name. .
Editors note: Sorry Kaz, but after much deliberation…. Hedge it is. However, we promise to say it with a broad Yorkshire accent, drop the ‘H’ so it sounds kind of hardcore, and to try to stifle the giggles. TT. x