Current Bike(s): KTM Adventure 1190 and BMW F800GS
Fantasy Bike: Ducati Panigale V4
Preferred road/track/area to ride in the UK and Overseas: A660 A1(M) to Kimbolton, Isle of Man TT circuit
Age when you first rode a bike and what bike was it: As a youngster, aged about 8, in my local woods, riding Honda 50’s/scooters.
When and why did you develop an interest in riding a bike: My first taste of a big bike was on an AJS 650 in my local woods – I jumped on this massive bike, put it in first and let the clutch out like a scooter! The bike took off and with little control, I jumped a mound (seemed like I took off but in reality maybe an inch off the ground) and I stayed on! I’ll never forget that feeling of power on that day.
Aside family members, who would you like as a riding companion: In my dreams with Steve McQueen – coolest guy on a bike. In reality with the guys in the club who I go to Yorkshire with, also the Scotland adventure.
Reasons behind becoming an EAMG Observer: I bought a VFR800 in 1998 and scared myself too many times. Went on the Honda MAC scheme and met some new friends who invited me to an EAMG Group night and joined in 2001. I passed the IAM test in 2001 and continued further training but was always looking to improve. It wasn’t until 2012 that I trained as an Observer and passed the assessment in that year. Helping someone improve their skills gives me a buzz every time I ride.
Scariest or most embarrassing moment on your bike: I recall riding the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the rain and losing the front on my Blackbird – it was only at about 30mph but I recall sliding on my side with the bike in front of me watching it hit the angled kerb and flip onto the top and other side! The funny thing was that my mates decided not to ride in the rain and followed me in a guy’s Subaru and filmed the whole incident with running commentary; “he’s thrown it down the road”!
Having said that, I think the scariest moments are when you’re experiencing close calls. That would be when I was on the R1 in Belgium – I was trying to catch up with the boys and I come over the top of a hill, at a decent speed, when I saw two of them marking at a right hand junction. I foolishly decided I’ll make that turn but bad decision – I realised that my speed and the turn didn’t equal ‘I can make that’. I decided to go over the angled kerb splitting the lanes. that join the main road; luckily it was a wide junction. I finally stopped, gave my flabbergasted mates the thumbs up and blasted the R1 down the road. This bit of off-roading was scary when I thought about it afterwards. From that time on I took all the training I could to avoid repeating that experience.