My journey to riding motorbikes began when I did the test to get my motorcycle license. This was both a practical and a written test to learn riding skills. Everyone had thought I would not be able to ride as I had problems with driving a car. I had not driven a car since I got my car license around 2001 and without a job I don’t think I could afford one. Think it was really a depth perception thing or maybe something much more. My main mode of transport was riding my pushbike everywhere including to the marine rescue. This was not really ideal especially since I did not like riding at night and getting anywhere meant it would be by my own power. If memory serves I got my license around 2006 according to the records I have. There are bike shops as I had found who do not know the rules that are in place for the state you live in. I do find riding has a certain amount of freedom than to those who drive cars.
My first bike was actually a 125cc scooter that I really loved. I had bought it around the same time as I had gotten my license and it was not very expensive either. I had gotten it from the local bike shop in Tweed that sold scooter. It was fully automatic as it was thought I would have problems changing gears. It was not long before the bike died on me due to some mechanical problem no fault of my own. The second bike was a 150cc from the same shop and the same frond a TGB scooter. I found them to be a little strange as I had some problems with the bike that the bike shop had no idea how to fix though it was later found to be the air filter. I was actually taking the bike up to my job as a coffee picker and did learn two lessons. One was not to ride on wet grass and the other I fell down a ditch though I didn’t think I had enough room on a narrow road with a truck coming towards me. It was lucky I could pull my bike out as it was light enough. Most of my riding was actually local on different roads and I could not really go too far up the coast.
It was around the second season for picking coffee that I was experiencing the problems with the scooter around 2006. The bike couldn’t reach top speed of around 80kms and was running very slowly around 50kms on the road with a very slow take off. It was lucky around this time that I had gotten a job with Coles so everything worked out. The filter after a few weeks had been sorted out and no one knows why the mechanic never thought to check the part. Another lesson on my way to work appeared at the Machinery drive traffic lights where I ran out of fuel before I started work for the day. I had to drop the bike off at a friend’s workshop and run to work across the road. I was actually at the start of the traffic lights and it died when I revved the bike. I was actually testing to see how far the bike would go before running out. Serves me right for trying to test my theory.
A while later I went to test a new bike as I really wanted to get something bigger and better than the TGB bike that I was riding around. In 2008, I went to test a 250cc Bug Hawk, red and grey of course. I found I did like this bike a lot and after getting a loan for the bike I bought it. There was a surprise to go with the bike and that was one new numberplate that said G33K the one I ordered online and still have. The bike was on a four year warranty and while I was still working for Coles I could now ride this bike further than I had before. I had only been a pillion on the back of the bike once and that was the scariest ride I had ever been on. Something I really did not want to do again. I was involved with one accident where someone in a delivery van rear ended me while I was waiting for a man to cross at a zebra crossing though he was not wanting to cross I found out later. I was stationary and the van was not and it hurt. It was an experience sorting out insurance stuff though we both thought the bike would be alright though to fix the panelling it was $2,000 and the guy did cough up. The day of the accident I later found some marine rescue guys went past and in their ‘view’ I was talking to a friend. It had never twigged in their heads I had an accident. I did fall off twice more after the scooter had been fixed. Once was in the wet and I tried to stop at traffic lights. Think you can guess what happened and the bike still started. There had only been one mechanical problem. The fuel gauge was going up and down like a volume button on a stereo. That was soon fixed too. I owned the bike for four years and then there was the search for the next best thing as I wanted a new bike and the company that made the Bug Hawks no longer had four year warranties, but they were now two year ones. When I sold the bike one of the marine rescue people had said several times that if he had known he would have bought the bike. Think he was a little annoyed, but I was not worried as I had used the money to pay for my new bike.
The search for the next bike had me looking at one of those Piaggio 25cc MP3 scooters that were everywhere in Europe as they have two front wheels and one back one. Nearly every second bike I seen in Paris was one so they would have to be cost effective and cheap. The steering was meant to be excellent too though I had heard if the electronics go then you would have to replace the whole lot and could be more than the bike. The Gold Coast convention centre had a motorbike show on during this time and I got to look at some of these bikes. I found a bike that I had tried out for a test ride and that was a Can Am Spyder. I really liked those bikes, but never thought I could afford one. One wet day we went for a drive to Lismore to have a look at a Spyder and found the one I wanted in green. The registration on the current G33K mobile was running out and a week or so later I was able to purchase the Spyder of my dreams and sold the other scooter not long afterwards. I did buy the Spyder sports bike and I loved the green colour as it would be different on the road. I was able to ride it up home from the bike shop in Lismore.
Buying the Spyder has opened up my life as I can travel very far indeed. I have met some great riders who are from the Sunshine Coast and found it to be loads of fun to ride with others. It is funny when you find other Spyder riders around though their bikes are usually a bit more expensive than my one. I have learnt after my first trip to the Sunshine Coast that Taxis hurt when you run into them at night. I was lost without the bike for nearly a month as it was in the shop in Lismore and I asked if I could still use it and was told I could not as it wasn’t roadworthy. I have learnt my lesson about paying attention though I would have to say that the bike is one that you can use to get lost on. I don’t think I could go back to two wheels though I am finding three help me a lot. I did have one passenger on the back who is a good friend though workmates have not really asked for a ride as they could be scared of my riding. The future of my riding will mean I can end up anywhere and the cost of the bike means I can pay it off really quickly. My current bike does gain a bit of attention from others. I didn’t actually buy it to be a hoon or to look good, but found it for the comfort and that I wont fall off the bike. Hitting a taxi showed how stable the bike can be and I do like taking the bike for rides other than to work when I can. I havnt gone on many rides with other people, but given time I will go with a few others.