"I said ‘I’m going to learn how to ride a big bike!’
He said ‘What? … You’re too old! … You’re a woman and You’re too STUPID!
That’s how I ended up looking in the Yellow Pages and came across Alpha Rider Training who I phoned immediately and spoke with a friendly Maria who instantly squashed any filthy rumors and slander against my gender, age and intelligence by telling me to rush myself to their centre so that Adrian, proprietor and senior instructor could observe and assess my capabilities during a practice ride on one of their bikes around their outdoor learner area. Despite my debilitating age of two score years, five and three quarters, imminent dementia, lack of masculinity and 27” inside leg measurement, I found that those halcyon memories of pre-car licence and Honda 50 Fun Bike days had remained with me when it came to changing gear and breaking. However, Adrian felt that I would benefit from the Big Bike Direct Access Course that what would cover a minimum of 2 weeks which included the CBT and final Big Bike Test.
What a learning curve! Where Adrian gets his patience from we’ll never know! Not once did he did he shout ‘Right, get off my bike, don’t touch anything, just go away and never come back!’ which is what I would have said to me. How he maintains the level of concentration that is needed to keep himself safe, his three students plus interpreting other road users actions is miraculous. Nobody is ever undermined or given anything but genuine encouragement and praise. He never once lost his cool with me despite my initial, infamous inability to connect feet to ground when halted … result, bike and rider instantly dropping from vertical through 180 degrees to the horizontal and having to be rescued! … Didn’t feel a thing, honest! And not once did I get anything but reassurance when I continued to be HOPELESS at the old U-Turn! I developed my own method but it’s not a technique that’s written in any ‘How To’ manuals anywhere.
Even on the ‘Test’ day and those feelings of ‘onmygodmytestsat8.30justwhenthetownisreallybusy’ hat and you see the wrong weather with the wrong frozen leaves, Adrian, Maria, Paul et al still believe in you and tell you, ‘You can make it!’ ….. And I did, on the 22nd December 2000 to be precise.
THANKS ALPHA! You don’t get to pass your BIG BIKE TEST unless you can!"
Rider/Owner of a Suzuki 550 GS