I’ve been riding motorbikes since my early 20s. It all started as a means to get to work, and my first bike a Suzuki A100, bought for just a tenner. I hadn’t a clue; I just got on it and went to work, but little did I know then that riding this bike would start a life long passion. It sparked a feeling of adventure and freedom, of living a life a little differently and shared with others with the same enthusiasm. I had been bitten by a bug that has stayed with me always, and become part of who I am.
Earlier this year I longed for an old model Triumph Street Triple, having loved riding them previously. My bike at the time was a Ducati Monster. I counted myself very lucky to have not one, but two gorgeous bikes.
This little grey Triumph number made me smile from ear to ear, and I looked forward to a long summer of adventure. We travelled three thousand miles together first to Wales and then to Scotland, Skye and the Hebridean islands
Unfortunately, a tour of North Yorkshire with biker girl friends ended very early for me, when I came off the Triple coming down from the Buttertubs Pass to Wensleydale. It had been a wet foggy morning, and we had been riding carefully due to poor visibility, but as the fog cleared and I could see a view of beautiful Hawes, I relaxed, but then a small error of judgement led to braking too sharply, the rear tyre locking up and I took the bike into the verge, and I was thrown off. There is a further story regarding the bike being dropped from the recovery lorry (which was a further shock), and my poor bike was condemned as a write off. I was shaken at the time, but the worst thing for me was a damage to my confidence, which was very hard to deal with.
We were booked on a ferry for the following Friday with a group of friends travelling to the French Pyrenees, so I picked myself up, dusted myself down and prepared to travel on the Ducati Monster
My confidence was in tatters. I felt fearful, but as the travel was booked, I just got on with it, not an option not to go. We spent the first week with a group of friends camping in the Pyrenees, organised by world adventurer Nick Sanders
My husband Mik and I then spent a further three weeks travelling in France and Spain.We had a great, yet challenging time seeking out of the way places, quirky accommodations and we met interesting and lovely people. The Ducati was unreliable (conking out in heavy rain), I struggled with fear of another accident, but I also unexpectedly realised that the more uncertain situations became the more I relished them! We also learned a lot about independent travel, the joys and many challenges of travelling as a couple, what we each loved and did not love quite so much! We arrived home exhausted, but keen to plan our next adventure. By then I had decided to exchange the Monster for another Triumph; not what might be expected as a practical adventure or touring bike, but definitely the most exciting bike for me
Unfortunately, due to injury I’ve not yet been able to have a ride out yet, but having to learn the hard lessons (for me anyway) of getting up after falling down, finding courage, being calm and patient and allowing time for healing before I can venture further…..