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Lippy's First Ride




"Technically this was my first ride" (what ? the bike or the boy ?- Ed.)... "well both actually" ... (but there's only one seat on the bike ? -Ed.) ... "use your imagination" !!

way to go Suzy

I’d been very happy to ride pillion for the last four years – all the fun and none of the responsibility.  What changed my mind? Two things – first I was gutted when my friend Lorna sold her lovely 650 Savage. It was a beautiful bike.  I’d have liked to have owned it, let alone ridden it. Second I overheard a conversation at Sammy Miller’s Open Day about a Suzy 125 for sale.  These two things along with Lorna’s encouragement made me swallow my fear and book my C.B.T. in June 2003. Bugger it I thought if Max, my 16 year old, can do it why not me?
Those of you who recall my poem ‘C.B.T’ published in August 2003 newsletter will know it didn’t go smoothly. I dropped the bike within 20mins and then later in the day got a rear wheel puncture.

test pass champers

While I was putting in the miles that summer learning to ride I got a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from Snake. Matched I have to say by my friends in NF HOG. Especially Lorna, Les & Lyn and Gray who were prepared to ride with me at weekends - even though I only had a top speed of 55 miles an hour ! I know that and the ‘L’ plates wasn’t ‘cool’ for them.  But they insisted they didn’t mind riding slower so I could be part of the group. They kindly over looked my mistakes, praised my achievements and shared my triumphs. Their support was unflinching – even when I had an ‘incident with a deer’ in the what we latterly nicknamed ‘Bambi Alley’ in the New Forest en-route to DG20 one sunny Saturday. They didn’t over react, make a fuss or make feel that it wouldn’t have happened to them’ (well they couldn’t I was too busy throwing up)… They simply nicknamed me “Deer Hunter” for the day and their humour made it easier to bear.
 I swotted for the theory test – which I thought I’d failed but actually passed with points to spare. It took me just fourteen weeks and 915 miles on my Suzuki to get my pass certificate on 6th October 2003

'Black & Throbbing'

The sense of achievement I felt was eclipsed only by the feeling I had the first time I rode my very own Harley on a quiet stretch of road at Holmsley in the New Forest. I was nervous and excited at the same time. She was a much bigger, heavier bike than I was used to. I desperately wanted not to be afraid … I desperately wanted  not  to drop her. Those first thirty minutes riding were buttock clenching , breath taking , beautiful and bloody brilliant. I’d done it – I’d passed my test and I was RIDING A F*%&ING HARLEY DAVIDSON! …  Me! I’d actually done it !!!!!

Lippy's Ride - 'Pubic Distrubance'

At the time I first wrote and submitted this article to the newsletter around 2 years ago I’d only ridden ‘Black & Throbbing’  (or ‘Pubic Disturbance’ as she was subsequently re-named) a dozen times since passing my test on 6 October 2003. (a two week holiday and three week lower back problem have kept me off the road). My confidence in my abilities grew however every time I rode. I got to know my bike and I felt she’d take care of me - which she did even when I attempted to re-shape cheddar gorge at the Cider rally several months later earning prize for ‘best off road rider’ from Karen & Mark at the Zoo.
I’m not so intimidated now by  ‘white van man’  or ‘boy racer with loud sub-woofer’ sitting too close to my rear wheel . My heart feels a little lighter when young kiddies in the back of family saloon cars wave at me in traffic.
Okay I don’t take bends at 70 miles an hour and probably never will. Speed is not the issue for me though. I won’t be pressured into riding above a speed that I feel comfortable with and capable of…. but I enjoy my ride just as much as any speed freak – and I see much more of it! 

As I said to Snake at the time “ What is it about Great Danes or riding a Harley that makes every bugger want to stop and talk to you “ ? .