David's bike was taken away for a service and MOT today (thanks to selling the bus we can afford it). It meant that my bike was accessible for the first time in more than a year.
I bought this lovely beast from a work colleague when I had aspirations of passing my bike test. I'd been captivated by the idea of a ferry to Norway then riding in the crystal clear Scandinavian air round the fjords. I'd also been very cheesed off in the days when David worked for someone else (other than himself) and he'd set out in one direction and get there in 1/2 hour while I took I 1/2 - 2 hours to get to my office which was, in mileage terms, about the same distance. I'd got grand ideas of breezing through the traffic and doing my journey in 3/4 hour or so in each direction. It would have saved me 1 1/2 or 2 hours a day - time that I'd much rather spend with David than on the M25.
Anyway, I went to motorbike school - a harsh, masculine environment not meant for sensitive souls like me, took my CBT and did pretty well on a 125cc bike but I needed to pass my test on a 500cc bike to be able to ride my 535cc Virago. My first day out on the big bike, I fell off - I was stationary at the time - waiting at a give-way sign for a suitable time to pull out. The bike wobbled and I simply didn't have the strength to correct it so over it went and I ended up in a crumpled heap on the floor. I fell off it another three times, each time losing a bit more confidence and the instructor was a bit less patient. I never hurt myself (well, only injured pride, never injured person). I took my test in the pouring rain and gale force winds, one day after getting out of bed with flu. I fell off! I failed my test! I've not been on a bike since - my confidence has totally deserted me and I can't imagine any scenario now when I would have another attempt.
Shame really - I still love the idea of those Norwegian fjords and still wish I could find a way to get to work quickly.....oh and I still love my bike - nice, shiny chrome, beautiful black metalflake paint, low seat and not too fast. One of these days I'll get it MOTd, serviced and sold but for now it sits in the garage and I am filled with regrets about being old enough to care about my safety before I thought about learning to ride.