Tag Archives: England

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Zoe a.k.a. Splodz

Hang on while I take off from here in Minnesota [wish I could get airline miles for all this cyber travel] over a few thousand miles to Lincoln, UK to meet my next guest Zoe or on Twitter @Splodz! I am so glad Zoe found my blog and now I have another one to keep up with because she has one too! Splodz Blogz is her “everything blog” so there’s a lot of different topics she covers – book mark!

Side rant: Google Reader is going the way of the dinosaur as of July 1, 2013. Any replacement recommendations? I follow a lot of blogs and Reader has been so easy for me.

Back to Zoe and her story!

Meet Zoe a.k.a. @Splodz

Meet Zoe a.k.a. @Splodz

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Around eight years.

How did you learn to ride? I did CBT first followed by just under a year of riding a 125cc on L-plates before taking Direct Access the following Spring. I learnt to ride together with my husband (LincsGeek) after my and my father-in-law’s enthusiasm for biking rubbed off on him. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive the weather on test day – he did his test first and they cancelled the rest of the tests for the day thanks to thick fog in the city. I had to wait a whole week to take mine!

At Lands End, England

At Lands End, England

Of course I know that even eight years on I am still learning – my confidence comes and goes depending on how much opportunity I have to ride at the time. Right now I’m feeling pretty good thanks to preparations for a long trip at the end of the month.

What was your first motorcycle? My 125 was a Motoroma Virage – it was small, light and the perfect riding position for my first few months on the road. Once LincsGeek and I passed our bike test we bought a Suzuki Bandit 600. I had to get the seat cut away for that so I could better reach the floor – being short and riding can be a pain sometimes!

How many have you owned? Four now, but actually my current bike is my first “all to myself” bike – before that bikes have been shared with my husband.  After the Bandit we bought a Suzuki SV650S which we had lowered and kept for a few years. But I really wanted my own bike so LincsGeek and I could ride together – whenever we went out together I’d go pillion as he was a much stronger rider than me (I’d never be able to take him pillion!), I felt like putting a sign on my back saying “I can ride too, we just share a bike”!! I got my BMW F650GS about 18 months ago now. It’s the factory lowered model with the low seat, just right for me, I love it.

Inch Beach, Ireland on a hired f650gs

Inch Beach, Ireland on a hired f650gs

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve wanted to learn for as long as I can remember – I used to look at the custom Harley with gorgeous purple paint job parked outside the house at the bottom of the road with awe, vowing one day I would ride one just like that. It looked completely out of place at the end of the Terrace Street I lived on in Devonport, Plymouth, but the lifestyle that it represented appealed. Even at age six or seven I longed for the freedom, the wind in my hair, the adventure. It took me a while to get there but it’s exactly what I wanted. I might not have the custom Harley (I couldn’t be doing with the amount of polishing it would require courtesy of the British weather), but I’ve got the rest. Maybe one day I’ll complete the picture.

Tell us about your riding. I ride for pleasure. I don’t actually long for super twisty roads or long superfast highways – I enjoy simply pootling about on country roads enjoying the views and freedom. It’s a form of relaxation.

I prefer longer trips, riding with a purpose to see someone, something or somewhere, and so I love to go on biking holidays. We’ve toured Ireland, Scotland, and of course England – sometimes as a couple and sometimes with friends and family. We are now planning our ultimate trip to the USA to ride Harley’s through the south-west on one of the Eagle Rider guided tours next summer – I simply cannot wait (although I have just over a year to get so much fitter and stronger so I can manoeuvre my Fat Boy where I need it to go!).

f650gs in Folkingham, England

f650gs in Folkingham, England

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Riding is all about you. No-one else. So ride the type of bike you want, on the type of roads you like, in the style that you like. You don’t have to go fast, you don’t have to scrape your knees along the floor, you don’t have to keep up with the rider in front – unless you want to! Enjoy the freedom that biking provides, let everything else other than the bike, road and view escape your mind and relax.

Oh, and don’t worry about helmet hair. It’s really no big deal.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? At this moment the longest trip I have done was Top Down – a charity motocycle ride taking me from my home in Lincolnshire up to John O’Groats, down to Land’s End, and back home again – well over 2,000 miles and raising £2,300 for charity. It was quite an experience; being a charity event we had no option to ride whatever the weather threw at us – and boy did it throw stuff at us! I was loaned a Harley Davidson Sportster Nightster 1200 for the week from a local dealer (because it was in the days when LincsGeek and I shared) which made the week even more special for me.

Harley Sportster Nightster 1200

Harley Sportster Nightster 1200

I say “at this moment” because in less than two weeks we’re off on a slightly longer charity ride taking us to the four compass points of Great Britain. We sadly lost my father-in-law to cancer last summer just a couple of months after diagnosis, and so in tribute to him and in an attempt to recreate something of Top Down we are raising money for two UK cancer charities. I’d love to give the Memorial Ride blog a plug. [Of course! Let’s kick cancer’s a$$!!)

I often read these profiles and am a little jealous of the 10,000 mile / six month adventures you write about – now that would be awesome!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Nothing official, no, but I do enjoy riding with a group of friends from my Church in Boston, Lincolnshire. I enjoy chatting about riding on twitter but am not in any clubs or societies.

Do you have a favorite riding story? One thing I love about riding is there is always a story to tell – so many memories.

I think I have to go back to Top Down in 2009 when I rode that loaned Harley for 2,000 miles. We were riding through Devon along the Jurassic Coast Road when the rain was so very heavy the road was just flooding in front of our eyes and we were soaked through to the skin in an instant. I could see the biggest puddle ever seen ahead of me – a pond in the road. I watched LincsGeek ride through and the water was high, so I stuck the Harley in first, relaxed my shoulders, brought my legs up onto the seat and sat crossed legged as I rode through. I wonder what the car drivers going the other way thought? We stopped just up the road at a McDonald’s, emptied our boots and gloves of water and used the dryers in the loos to dry off a little. Awful awful weather but part of an experience we have not stopped talking about since. That same evening we sat outside in Penzance, Cornwall, eating fish and chips out of the paper in the sunshine. What a difference a few hours makes! (My boots never did dry out.)

I’m rather hoping the weather is much kinder at the end of the month!

f650 at Glencoe, Scotland

f650 at Glencoe, Scotland

What do you do when you’re not riding? Life is busy but it’s all good. Work wise I’m a marketer for a University in the UK. Leisure wise I run Splodz Blogz and have loads of fun testing all sorts of stuff out to review as well as writing about my life. Music is important to me – I play trombone and bass guitar, and I enjoy walking and generally getting outdoors. And in true British style, I love to relax with a nice cup of tea.

Thank you Zoe for sharing your story! Ladies! Let me know if you’d like to share your story too! Email me at: pamela(dot)court(at)gmail(dot)com < Trying to keep the spammers at bay!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Emily a.k.a. Em

We are jumping the pond over to Teford, England (seems appropriate since the Olympics start this week in England) to meet Emilie, or as her friends call her Em! You can find her on Twitter @emilie_rose46 and check out her Facebook page too!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was 17, so about 3 1/2 years now.

How did you learn to ride? I bought myself an old 125, took my CBT soon as I hit 17 and then was unleashed on the open road! I didn’t bother with a 50cc when I was 16 as none of my friends had them, and they aren’t too fun when you’re on your own!

What was your first motorcycle? A 1994 Yamaha TZR125 RR Belgrada. Loved that bike so much, it was perfect to have as my first bike as it was a challenge to ride! Things would break on it fairly often, and it did have a lot of quirks, which has meant as I’ve progressed to better bikes I appreciate it more!

How many have you owned? I’ve had 3 Yamahas, my TZR, an FZR400 RR SP which was my first “big bike” that I rode once I’d passed my full test, and my current bike, a 2002 Yamaha R6. Been riding my R6 for a year now and I love it to pieces, it’s a great fun bike!

Emily a.k.a. Em

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? It’s never been a case of why really, I was brought up with 2 wheels being the most important thing in my life so it was always going to happen! My granddad raced in the GPs and at the Isle of Man TT in the 1950s, and Doran’s Bend on the Island is named after him. So it’s very much in my blood! I always used to go on the back of either my Mum or Dad when I was a kid, so it was just natural that as soon as I turned 17 I got my own bike.

Tell us about your riding. Pleasure these days. Spent two winters commuting to and from work on my bike regardless of the weather, and it does take the enjoyment out of riding a bit. So I reluctantly learnt to drive for boring journeys, so the bike comes out when I want to play now!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Just go out there and do it! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t ride for any reason, and don’t be daunted by the fact motorcycling is mostly male dominated … once you get your confidence you’ll find that it is the best part about it! I’ve met so many interesting people through motorcycling that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It is the best feeling in the world riding through the countryside in the sun shine, you can leave all your troubles behind and just have the best time. I would always encourage people, especially women, to learn to ride, it really is so rewarding.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I’m yet to go on a big expedition to Europe, that’s next on the list as the roads there are meant to be incredible! And also the weather’s better than England’s! Furthest is probably a couple of hundred mile round trips riding in the Welsh mountains … I don’t tend to go for epic distance, just good roads!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online?  No, I kinda like doing my own thing when I’m out riding, and socially I spend loads of time with like minded people when I’m away racing.

Do you have a favorite riding story? We rode to Assen for Moto GP a few years back, and at the end of the day, instead of shoving the bikes down random roads to not disturb the locals and the day to day traffic, the police directed us all (when I say us all, there were thousands of bikes that day) straight through the town. Outside every single house, the whole family was outside, picnic tables, bbqs, the lot. They were all cheering, waving, taking photos, and filming the procession, and having these huge gatherings on their front lawns. And people who didn’t live along the streets we were riding down had gathered along the side of the road by the cannel, cheering us all like we were the main attraction of the day! It was amazing, I’ve never experienced anything like it before … the atmosphere is something which is so hard to describe, but it was incredible.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m a mechanic for CN Racing in British Superstock 1000 and British Supersport Cup. So I spend most of my weekends away at racing, which has been my dream for as long as I can remember, I’m so lucky I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted to so young.

Em living her dream!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Joanne a.k.a. Jo

I’m excited to be adding another profile of a female motorcyclist! I was introduce to Joanne through a gentleman that stopped by the blog to let me know that a blogger was plagiarizing my posts, as well as his and others! Glad Geoff James let me know because after contacting Google about the incident the post has been taken down. I recommend that you check out Geoff’s blog too, Confessions of an Aging Motorcyclist. Back to my point, Geoff knew of a couple of lady riders and I asked if he’d pass along my information to them. He did and Joanne responded!

I’m thrilled to introduce to you Joanne, a.k.a. Jo from Christchurch, New Zealand. She recently emigrated there from Kenilworth which is a little town in Warwickshire, England. She’s doesn’t blog yet, but says she’s coming around to the idea! (Jo – do let us know when that happens!)

Jo on her VFR

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Just had to check that one – my licence says I passed my test in 2002 but I was riding a 125cc bike on a provisional licence for about a year before that. That would have made me 33 years old when I first threw my leg over a saddle. Hey, just realised! Missed my ten year anniversary!

How did you learn to ride? This is a familiar story – I was a pillion passenger on the back of my husband’s bike. I’d never even considered riding a bike earlier in my youth, despite the fact that my older sister had a short lived but eventful experience with her own bike. Maybe her not so pleasant experience put me off? Anyway, hubbie is a lifelong biker and I was an occasional passenger until he bought a bike that would tolerate carrying a pillion in comfort for a few hundred miles (that was a 1200cc Suzuki Bandit). After many journeys and many hundreds of miles on that marvellous machine I realised that firstly, I had a numb backside and a terrible view of the back of his helmet and secondly, he wasn’t doing anything that I couldn’t. I’ve since learned that actually he can do stuff that I can’t but I was ignorant of that at the time! In the UK, you had to do something called a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) before you could get a provisional bike licence. That was basically a bit of theory followed by basic manoeuvres in a car park on a low power machine and then a brief road test.  Anyway, the very first minute I revved that little 125 and let out the clutch I knew I’d found my vocation!

What was your first motorcycle? I bought a Suzuki GS125cc with an electric starter because I couldn’t always kick start my husband’s leaky old Honda CG125. That was what I learnt my trade on and meanwhile I was taking lessons on the riding school’s 650cc bike which I think was a Honda NTV. As learners we were only allowed out on a ‘big’ bike whilst being supervised by an instructor in radio contact. Imagine the disappointment of having to ride home on the 125 after a lesson! After I passed my test, I bought a Honda CB500, a parallel twin engine, beautiful red paint work and the only machine I have ever really loved!

How many have you owned? Not many. When I realised I kept hitting the rev limiter, the CB500 was followed by a Honda CBR600F, and that was followed by a Honda VFR800 when I realised I wanted a bit more ‘grunt’.  Now I’m in New Zealand and looking for the next bike – might not be a Honda this time!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  Initially – speed!  But after that there was the thrill of being in control of a machine that transports you with ease past all the traffic.  That wonderful feeling of having tackled a series of corners or overtakes with poise and control is what I ride for now.  There’s also the joy of having a connection with the landscape you’re riding through.  You can feel the wind, the sun, the rain, smell the countryside, see over the hedgerows into the fields and watch the horizon unfold all around you.  All of that is difficult from inside a tin box!

Tell us about your riding.  It’s been mostly a leisure pursuit for me although I did commute in the early days when I needed as much practice as I could get. I joined the Institute of Advanced Motorists when I bought the CBR600 because I realised I needed to up my skill level. I passed their advanced test in 2004 and became a volunteer observer with the local IAM group, helping other riders achieve advanced standard. It gave me a great incentive to get out on my bike in all weathers. I was the only female observer at that club until 2011. My husband and I took a few holidays on our bikes and I have also been on a track day, but that wasn’t really my thing.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  You’ll love it, just do it! Do get some good tuition from a reputable organisation or instructor. In terms of some useful specific advice:

  1. Think before you park – don’t ride into a position where you’ll have trouble getting out again, bikes don’t have a reverse gear!
  2. Everybody, absolutely everybody, has dropped a bike sometime – don’t worry, get crash bungs!
  3. Practice slow riding and emergency stops in a safe environment, preferably with someone who can give you some pointers about how to do it correctly.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I regularly did 300 or 400 mile trips on ride outs in the UK.  My husband and I also took the bikes to France a few times and our furthest trip was from Leamington Spa in the UK to Annecy in the French Alps, about 800 miles over a few of days. I have to say I don’t have an iron butt!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? I was a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Advanced Motorcyclists group which was a subgroup of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. We provided coaching for motorcyclists wishing to improve their skills and arranged social rides and social nights for bikers of all abilities. It was very rewarding to be able to impart some wee nuggets of information and instantly see a huge difference in a rider’s skill and safety.

Do you have a favorite riding story? I suppose the most ‘educational’ episode was the one when I fell off whilst on an advanced level social ride. We try not to make a habit of it but now and again it does happen! On this fine, sunny day we were riding through some tiny, rural lanes that were really only ever used by farmers. Most of them had grass growing in the middle of the tarmacadam. This winding road dipped and went under a bridge and to get a better view ahead I moved from one side of the road to the other.

Unfortunately, there was a damp microenvironment under the bridge where mud had gathered and remained wet and slippery when the road elsewhere was dry. Although I had noted the dry line on either side of the road where the traffic had passed, for some stupid reason I still thought I should change my position for better visibility. Well, the front wheel hit the mud and slid, then the back wheel hit and did the same and I watched in slow motion from midair as the bike went down the road on its side. We were going pretty slowly down these little lanes so I was probably doing no more than 30mph. I was thrown onto the verge but not without bruising my knee on the handlebars on the way and cracking a rib on landing.

I can honestly say that my first thought as I watched the bike slide along for quite a few yards was, ‘This is going to be expensive to repair!’ Luckily the guy behind me was a trials rider and, although he was on a big Pan-European that day, his superior skills meant that he managed to avoid making things worse by running over me or colliding with my bike. The last thing I heard over my helmet radio before the power lead was pulled out of the socket was, ‘Man down, man down!’ Oblivious to the panic that my husband would be feeling when he came up from behind and saw my bike on its side, I got to my feet and went to apologise to the run leader for spoiling his ride out.

When the dust had settled, we realised that my gear lever was broken but any other damage was cosmetic. The rest of the group continued their ride whilst my husband rode my bike home using second gear only. That meant I had to ride his bike, an 1100cc Honda Blackbird, for the first time and in shock after losing control of my own bike. Bless him for trusting me then and continuing to trust me now! We made it home without further incident and I used that event as a teaching aid many times afterwards.

Never forget! When positioning your motorcycle, ‘safety, stability, and then sightline’ in that order is the rule of thumb to follow!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I earn a living as a scientist; I manage a biological containment facility and coordinate research projects in microbiology. In my leisure time I like to travel (not always by bike!), read, spend time outdoors hill walking or gardening and I also spend a lot of time on the internet!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Highwaylass

These profiles of female motorcyclists have truly gone international! My next guest is from Cambridgeshire, UK. On Twitter she is known as @Highwaylass a.k.a. Shelia. She is a prolific blogger on Transport of Delight. Don’t forget to dial it into your RSS feed! Grab your helmet, jacket, and boots as we fly across the world to meet Highwaylass!

Highwaylass says, “The photo was taken in January this year when I was riding in Australia. There are some great stories about that trip too 😉 !”

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since 1996

How did you learn to ride? I took my CBT in October, which is the first step towards getting a license in the UK- it’s a day of training, you start in a car park doing figures of 8 and U-turns, and then they lead you out on to the road, which after just a few hours on a bike I found quite terrifying. With my CBT I was allowed to ride on the road unsupervised, so I put my L-plates on and practiced every day after work in car parks and housing estates. I was helped by a couple of local riders I’d met through cix_bikers and the Wycombe Motorcycle Action Group: Ken Haylock and Rik Wells. They used to ride out with me and take me pillion occasionally so that I could see what I was supposed to be doing!  In May the following year I took a 2-day intensive course with a test at the end of it. I remember a blinding headache at the end of the first day and being really worried about having to take my test in the rain. The training school lent me a bright yellow pair of fisherman’s trousers so I felt like an absolute numpty. Passed, though! And the day after my test I was doing a cix_bikers track day at CadwellPark. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time …

What was your first motorcycle? I bought a Kawasaki KH100 to learn on. After passing my test I sold the KH100 to another learner and bought a Yamaha Diversion 600.

How many have you owned? Six altogether: the KH100, the Diversion, and a Kawasaki W650 which had a shocking backfire I couldn’t live with. “They all do that, it’s a feature, madam,” said the dealership so I traded it in for a Triumph Adventurer, which I still have. I owned Ruby Thursday, a 1200 GS for three years, but decided I didn’t need her and an Africa Twin. The Africa Twin is called 2Moos Lautrec, because the 2 little girls who live next door thought he looked like a cow. I asked FaceBook friends to name some famous cows and 2Moos was the winner, although it is a terrible pun. The Triumph doesn’t have a name, or if she does, she’s keeping it to herself.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I always wanted to ride a bike. I thought bikers were the coolest people in the world. My dad talked about buying me one to ride to college on, but it never happened – I suspect my mum declared it insufficiently ladylike. I didn’t know any bikers, so I got my car licence like a normal person and watched wistfully as the bikers filtered past me in the traffic jams.

When my then-husband’s car got nicked in 1995 I reached a deal with him that he’d take my car and I’d use his insurance money to buy a bike and get trained. I was gutted when the police found his car where the thieves had left it! But it gave me the final push towards becoming a biker. We sold his car and I spent the money on the KH100 and my training.

Tell us about your riding. I ride about 12,000 miles a year, commuting and touring. I used to live and work in London, and I rode to work most days as I found dicing with the traffic was a great way to kick-start my brain! At the moment I’m mostly cycling to work, and riding on weekends and holidays. I tour in the UK, alone and with friends.  I have done a couple of track days but I’m not quick. For me, riding’s about exploring this amazing world and meeting the fantastic people in it.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Get trained, get good gear, and get out there. I wish I had started earlier. I was 26 when I passed my test but I could have done it at 18 and had 8 more years of riding. Don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you that it’s a man’s world. There are so many amazing and inspirational lady riders, both past and present.  Read The Rugged Road by Teresa Wallach; Lois on the Loose by Lois Pryce; and The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Holbrook Pierson if you need some encouragement. And then start your own adventure.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Most years I ride Land’s End to John O’Groats with a group of friends from the Round Britain Rally. We take about 10 days to do it and ride all round the UK. It’s about 2,000 miles, which probably doesn’t sound much to US or Australian riders but it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. There isn’t going to be an End-to-End this year, but I’m riding to Shetland instead for the Simmer Dim Rally.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? When I started riding I got to know the cix_bikers, an internet community from the days before the net had pictures. They gave me lots of advice and encouragement and I’m still in touch with some of them now. I’m involved with the two main biker lobby groups in the UK, the BMF and MAG, but my main club is the Round Britain Rally. It has a brilliant social side as well as the main event which is the navigational rally.

Do you have a favorite riding story? I have so many! Riding has brought so many amazing people and experiences into my life.  But I think probably this one, because it meant so much to me that my friends came to support me. My official description in the One and Other archive is “Harmonica Girl and Bikers.”

What do you do when you’re not riding? I plan future rides and write stories about past ones!  I am incredibly blessed in that I get to work some of the time as a motorcycle journalist. But it’s being a Public Relations Officer that pays the bills.

The photo was taken in January this year when I was riding in Australia. There are some great stories about that trip too 😉

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Kate

We are going to jump the pond over to London, UK and meet my next guest Kate or KP as her friends call her! I love cyberspace because you never know who you’ll meet. Kate is another woman that stopped by the blog, left a comment, and I jumped at the opportunity to invite her too! You can find her on Twitter @laminch and she’s started a blog Motorbikes, adventures, life!

Kate and her Triumph Speedmaster in cranberry red

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Seven months

How did you learn to ride? It was a long five months that started with an awful bike school in central London and finished up with the amazing Valley Bike School in Lancashire. It took me a couple of attempts but I think that worked in my favour. It meant that I had more lessons, took it at my own pace and passed when I was truly ready.

What was your first motorcycle? A Triumph Speedmaster in cranberry red. A real beauty and an ideal first bike. Stable, great for those with shorter legs (although I’m fairly tall at 5’ 7” so that was less of an issue for me) and wonderful for leisurely rides to the coast with friends.

How many have you owned? I’m onto my second after only seven months! My ‘biking personality’ emerged fairly quickly and I have moved onto a Triumph Tiger 800. More practical for my needs but also fits well with my lifestyle and interests.

Kate with her Triumph Tiger 800

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’d loved the idea since I was a kid, but as I got older it was about adventure and independence, challenging myself and a determination to make the most of life.

Tell us about your riding. It takes me longer to get the bike out of the garage than it would to ride to work so as nice as it would be to commute on it, there’s not much point! Its pleasure and vacation for me.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Go for it, and ignore the hundreds of tales you’ll no doubt get told about accidents and friends of friends who died! Make sure you get to learn at your own pace and don’t put up with poor customer service, whether it’s from a school or a shop. You’re in charge.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? 800 miles, a trip up to my parents in Derbyshire combined with a few days enjoying the beautiful Peak District.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I have a group of friends I meet up with who have all connected through work, we range from adventure bike owners to Harley riders.

Do you have a favorite riding story? More ‘embarrassing’ than favorite but I’ll never forget it: Whilst I was still learning to ride my friend insisted I take his beautiful, gleaming Harley for a spin in private park land. I was doing really well, avoiding the deer that were enjoying the summer evening, gaining in confidence (while realizing that a Harley really wasn’t my kind of bike). When I pulled up I was taken by surprise by the weight of the thing and promptly dropped it, scratching some of the chrome and damaging a few bits and pieces. Turns out my friend is the most calm man on the planet, he didn’t flinch, helped me up and we have remained good friends. The guy deserves a medal!

What do you do when you’re not riding? Work; I manage the front line staff at a Royal palace that is open to the public. Hiking, cycling, and exploring the art and culture scene in London.