Now I have a new bike, suddenly I am thrown into a whole new world and the realisation that less than two months to prepare, I may have bitten off more than I can chew!
The last time I rode a big solo motorbike was for my driving test over 2 years ago. Since then, I have been on a motorbike with a sidecar which is a completely different driving style not to mention a different driving ‘space’.
With the sidecar, the obvious thing is that you never have to worry about tipping over, so whilst I have not done it yet on the solo, I’m very aware of the weight of the bike and the inherent instability of 2 wheels when I put my foot down and stop.
What is also really strange for me is that I don’t control corners with acceleration and de-acceleration anymore as you would with a sidecar – I catch myself constantly doing this, it is automatic for me now, and it raises my awareness that I’m on 2 wheels especially when I de-accelerate.
It feels surreal to me that I don’t need to make an effort to hold the steering – with the sidecar the vehicle has a constant desire to turn, so you have to hold onto the steering to keep it straight, with the solo there is no such effort so I feel like I’m missing something or doing something wrong, missing something important.
I will of course adapt and all will be well, but what is really disconcerting is that despite the many miles I’ve done, suddenly I feel like a novice again. So to counter this I am hoping to get onto a course with the BMW off-road training centre in Wales. I’m waiting hear back on this as there is only one date where there maybe an openning and if we are really lucky maybe they might be able to make a plan for Sofia to get some off-road pillion experience as well.
I took Sofia for a ride on the bike today. She sits really well on the bike and really enjoys the experience still (the last time she sat pillion was in Zimbabwe). The only thing I have to get used to with her is that she likes to look around her as she is sitting and it feels disconcerting, I told her about it and she said that is what she does in the side car – I had no idea that she was so engaged with her environment. I love that!
Siding solo is going to be a completely different experience for us and with that will come a whole new set of challenges for us to look forward to.