Monday, 18 December 2006

Vrrrooom!

I'd said that I wouldn't go for my motorcycle licence until I'd finished my PhD. Well, I decided it's close enough. I now have my open, unrestricted licence :D
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It seems I'm nothing but a litany of medical complaints lately. A couple of weeks back I did something to the muscles of my back, I have no idea what - playing Wii Tennis with Brett might have had something to do with it though :P - and it's been sore ever since. Yesterday Tanya, Sarah, and I went out to the Causeway Lake for a bbq and went for a paddle afterwards. In hindsight, having a go on the kayak was probably a mistake; I felt alright at the time but this morning I was worse. Nevertheless, I figured I'd pull through.

Back a step... I booked a Q-Ride course late last week. It was the last session of the year and I thought, if I don't do it now I'll have to wait until next year, and I was sure my back would be OK by today. Q-Ride is great. Instead of the standard 6-months as a Learner and then take a 30 minute test for your licence, Q-Ride lets you get your licence at any time after an approved instructor says you're ready - no tests, just professional training. Typically it's organised into 5-6-hour sessions that cover every skill the instructor has to sign off on, and that's what I did today.

So I rocked up in my car at the kart track at Bajool, about 35km south of Rocky just off the highway, tender but still confident. However, after a couple of laps around the track I was gritting my teeth in pain. I thought about pulling out and having another go next year, but soldiered on nevertheless. Actually after a while it wasn't so bad; I think my muscles simply reknitted themselves in a crouched over position on the bike :P But man, getting off and standing up was painful, and I'm feeling it still.

Anyway, the instructor put me on a 400cc V-twin - I hired one of their bikes rather than use my own, because I had no way of legally riding my own bike to the track (no Brett :( ), and if I used a >250cc bike I could get my unrestricted licence. The V-twin was great for the kart track, lots of torque down low in the rev range, pretty much just twist-and-go, never needed higher than 3rd gear. But it rattled terribly and strained in top gear on the highway, overall I prefer my much smoother 250cc inline-4.
There were a few embarrassing incidents - I ran out of fuel on the highway (it should have been refueled before the course :| ) - and generally I really didn't feel in good form, but at the end of the day the instructor passed me :)

So tomorrow morning I take my Q-Ride certificate to Queensland Transport and get my shiny new motorcycle licence! Then I can look on it and take comfort as I sit in agony in front of this computer finishing my thesis :P

(I should give a plug for Top Rider, the school I went through, and Shane/Dean in particular for great instruction!)

4 comments:

Brett said...

:O Good stuff Nick!

I knew you were ready, you have shown great promise all along as a motorbike rider.

WiiSports has claimed a few people with back and arm injuries, hope you get better soon.

cheers,
Brett

Nick said...

Thankyou Master Brett!

melanie said...

monday, 18 december, 2006 19:35 MYT

don't forget that aidan would love to go for a ride with you too.

good job nick !!

,` )

aidan said...

Yes.. yes i would.

Congratulations too by the way.