Geoff Preston

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Current Bike(s): 2007 Honda 600cc Hornet, 157,000 mls, 2009 Honda 600cc Hornet, same colour with just 51000 mls on the clock. You can't get too much of a good thing!

Fantasy Bike: BSA Rocket Gold Star because it was everything I wanted in the late fifties, a million miles away from being attainable. If I had one, I’d stick it in the front room and pat and polish it.

Preferred road/area to ride in the UK and Overseas: I’m most content in the mountains so north and mid Wales, Peak and Lake districts, Yorkshire Moors and Dales and most of Scotland. Overseas is a different kettle of fish. My favourite is unequivocally the good old US of A, man, there’s so much of it, the natural wonders are endless. It's the mountain areas that draw me; top of this list are the Rocky Mountains, in particular the Sierra Nevada; just thinking about it gets the adrenalin going. It's not just the roads, it's what surrounds them, rock formations, rivers and wild life, the grandeur of the place and it goes on and on day after day. The Appalachian Mountains, running north south from Baltimore to Tennessee, the Great Smokey Mountains on the border of South Carolina, the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas, the Rockies and then East to the badlands of North Dakota. The people are real easy to get along with. I’ve ridden and climbed there, f only it wasn't so damn far away!

Age when you first rode a bike and what bike was it: I was seventeen, riding a pushbike when a number of companies introduced engines designed to be fitted to pedal cycles, Eureka!! I was earning a bottom end apprentice’s wage but managed to scrape a deposit together to purchase a ‘PowerPak’, I was King of the Road, way before Roger Miller. I passed the test on that machine; it was a mad, mad world but loads a'fun.

When and why did you develop an interest in riding a bike: When I was around twelve or thirteen. I simply had the urge to go faster than I could on the push-bike, even downhill. No earth shattering revelation or breathtaking vision, just the desire to go quick.

Aside family members, who would you like as a riding companion: In 2010, I rode across America and back, covering some 10,000 miles in six weeks, in the company of another rider. We had an outline plan of places and routes we wished to visit but did everything on the hoof. We camped, did Motels, visited places ad-hoc; if there’s going to be conflict of personalities or differences of opinion, it will manifest itself over a prolonged period of time but when we stepped off the plane back in the UK, Chris and I were still good friends.

Reasons behind becoming an EAMG Observer: I returned to biking in 2002 after many years away and felt I needed guidance so joined Chelmsford IAM group, EAMG. In 2007, I was asked if I would consider becoming an Observer, I was flattered that someone thought I was suitable but did wonder if they knew what they were doing? After considerable work and patience by various Observers, they managed to mould me into a half decent Observer.

Becoming an Observer was my way of saying thank you to those who guided me through my previous years of training within the Group. I get great satisfaction knowing that I may have had some small part to play in a rider being safer on the road. That's why I continue to Observe.

Scariest or most embarrassing moment on your bike: In 2009, riding my ST1300 on a D road in Northern France, midday, perfect visibility and in no great rush. I approached a cross roads with stationary vehicles on the roads to my right and left. I had eye contact with the driver of the lead vehicle to my right and figured he's seen me. Heart stopping moment, as I drew level with the junction, he pulled out into my path! I tried, unsuccessfully, to veer around but hit the car, the bike and I ending up in an adjoining field some 20 meters apart. My beloved Pan was a write off and I spent four days in hospital where I received faultless care. Lucky ol’me, severe bruising, no breaks, no cuts!

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