how I become a rider… Part 2 – First bike

cg125_2In Part 1 you found out what has driven my decision to start my motorcycle adventure. Now we can look into the first steps I made towards becoming a motorcyclist…

Getting my CBT

When I decided to sell my car and get a bike I needed a couple of things. I needed a bike, appropriate gear and a license… As I had no intention to start on anything bigger than a 125 I went for a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). If you do not know it is a 1 day course that teaches you some basics about motorcycles, their operation, control, road rules, safety etc… I think the money was spent well as I have gained some confidence I can actually do it.

After my CBT I needed a bike…

And my main priority was a price 😉 I wasn’t sure how I will find motorcycling so I didn’t want to invest too much. I looked at couple of bikes before I made a purchase. I didn’t know much about bikes but even I could tell some of the bikes I was shown were lemons 😉  I have to be honest I almost went for a brand new Chinese bike…  but I was put off by some things the dealer was saying… like “you just have to check the nuts once a while so they do not get undone” and “if you take care of it it will not rust” etc… he also gave me bad advice on the helmet (tried to sell me a helmet that was too big) so I realized he just want’s my money. So I looked for a used branded bike until I have found one that looked in good shape and was sold by a person who looked trustworthy (in comparison to some other sellers I have met).  I ended up with a Honda CG125. It had a dual – electric and kick start (Although I never managed to kick start it myself – the starter button worked great for me ;)) The bike cost me 600 pounds and had 70k on it…

I did the same about my gear.

My first equipment was cheap like chips and as many beginners I got myself a helmet that was too big (not initially but after a month it became a bit loose – now I know you should be buying helmets that feel very snug). My firs gear was also super visible 😉 It is not a bad thing at all. Especially if you are a new rider in London…

When I had it all I went for a first ride…

Just to clarify… I have not ridden my bike straight after purchase… I got the bike off a guy that lived on the other side of the city and I really didn’t want to go for a first ride on a new bike through unknown streets without a gps (nor gear at that point)… I paid the seller extra to get it to my place 🙂 But once all of it was in place I have decided to go for a first ride on my new purchase… You will laugh… I waited for an evening (so no one can see how I fail 😉 – and the traffic was a bit lighter…). So when it got dark I got a courage to dress in my motorcycle gear and get on the bike… I tell you one thing… I was terrified… It did not feel right… The helmet obsured my peripheral vision. I did not have a feeling of the bike I couldn’t see much in my mirrors. I was paranoid about cars in my blind spot… and the speed… it felt like if I was going 100 mph (I was going less than 30…). the ground was so close… it was moving so “fast”.. I could hear all sorts of sounds… It was all a bit overwhelming… So I went around the neighborhood and back home… When I got off the bike I was all wet of sweat but still alive… Next day I went for a first ride to work and it went better since then…

(Part 3 will be published soon)