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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

Getting 'bike fit' again after Lock-Down

Subject to any Government changes in restrictions I'm hoping to start customer training again in June. With this in mind I thought I'd best check the bike over and then go for a ride and start to get myself back to being 'bike fit' after the 8 week lay off from riding.

Before the ride I gave the bike a POWDDERSS check. Nothing too technical, a walk around it for a visual check for any signs of lost fluids, any damage or anything loose. I knew it needed fuel but all other fluids were good. Electrics checked and all working correctly. Tyres in good condition but needed few pounds of air to get them back to the correct pressures. Once the bike was sorted, I got my kit on, wheeled it out, fired it up and after a quick moving brake check I was on my way.

Living in York means I have some fantastic but relatively quiet roads right on my door step so I headed for the back roads and just took it steady for the first few miles and I'm glad I did. I found myself looking down for buttons which previously just 'fell to hand'. I noticed I wasn't quite as smooth on the throttle, my lines weren't quite on point, I was fidgeting and generally just not relaxed.

As my ride progressed I started to do a commentary out loud. It was clear I wasn't seeing some hazards as early as I normally would, meaning I had to react to them rather than planning for them. Nothing serious, but I just wasn't 'feeling it' like I normally would. Fortunately, as the miles ticked by my riding started to come back to me. My observations were better, I was planning for hazards, my positioning was accurate and my speed was picking up. My ride was flowing, my speed was back up to a comfortable level and I was feeling more relaxed. I was smoother, faster but safer.

The route I took for this little refresher was from York, through Stillington, Brandsby, Helmsley, Stokesley, Castleton, Hutton Le Hole, Malton and back to York. Approximately 110 miles. I rode alone and didn't stop other than for the few photos I took.

Todays ride was a good lesson for me because having a two month break from riding just doesn't happen. I normally ride all year round, sometimes 4 or 5 times a week and cover around 25,000 miles, so it really reinforced the need to get back in the groove gently.

If you're planning on venturing out after the lay off, don't just get on your bike and go, take a few minutes to check your bike, to check yourself and take it steady until you're comfortable and 'back up to speed'....pardon the pun.

Ride safe and stay safe everyone.

Ian S.

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