I took a call from my RoSPA examiner today, well I say my examiner, I've never actually met the bloke and the Police rider who originally tested me back in 2010, has since retired. It looks like the plan is to arrange the test for some point next week. It could be on Tuesday, but there is the possibility that it could be any afternoon at pretty short notice. Personally I don't mind which day, just as long as its not raining. Its very difficult to show the man what you can do when half of your mind is worrying about losing the front and going arse over tit into the bushes.
This, however, has reminded me of something that I saw last week whilst riding home out of London at lunchtime. It was dry, reasonably warm and, like usual, I was riding in full kit. I don't do this because it looks cool, which is actually does by the way. I don't do this to stay warm, most of the time you either roast or freeze and there is very little in between; and I don't do this because I think I should be riding in MotoGP. I wear full kit to be safe. There are no other reasons. I've come off, several times now and it bloody well hurts. Sometimes a lot. Like need help getting dressed, washing, moving, that kind of a lot. This is why when I saw this young man, probably just old enough to ride, snapping in and out of traffic at speed, popping long deep wheelies, seemingly looking at me behind more than the road ahead, darting around whilst wearing an open face helmet, loose fitting trainers, baggy ill fitting tracksuit trousers and matching hoodie, that inside I was genuinely scared for him. I wanted to catch up to him and give him some advice, but before I could get anywhere near him, he darted off towards Tufnell Park. That kid, because that's all he was, is going to get seriously injured and at the very worst, he's going to die...horribly. If I had managed to speak to him, would he have listened? If that were me at that age, would I? Probably not and that's frightening.
Motorcycling is a great pastime/way of life/hobby, but you have to treat it with respect at all times. Hopefully, and I genuinely mean it, hopefully, that kid will learn before its too late.
My name is Matt Brown and I'm a UK journalist formerly based in London, but now calling the South of England home. I've been riding bikes since 2007, but got hooked straight away. Nothing gives me the feeling of freedom, even when stuck in a city. In 2010 I became a RoSPA gold rider, but when it comes down to it, I'm Just a normal man, riding his bikes as often as he can.