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July 01, 2021 3 min read
I qualified in 1992 and was originally training to be a surgeon however moved into Emergency Medicine and have since had more of a ‘portfolio career’ including work as a Forensic Medical Examiner for the police; being Medical Advisor for St John Ambulance and providing medical support at sporting events.
They include football clubs in the London area, such as QPR, Fulham, Charlton, Millwall and Gillingham; but also a range of motorcycle and other motorsports events including British Superbikes, World Superbikes, MotoGP and the IoM TT and events such as Notting Hill Carnival, County shows, Brit Awards, and concerts at Earls Court. A bonus was that I’ve been able to go round all of these tracks.
I originally started riding in 1995 to commute to work and passed my test on a Suzuki RG125. I had to put up with a lot of push back from colleagues, particularly as I was working in an Orthopaedic unit which dealt with a lot of injured motorcyclists. I persevered and have since had a lot of bikes including a Fireblade, SP1, R1, Blackbird, CB1300, 1200RT and S1000XR. This last one gave me numb fingers and I wasn’t impressed by the response of the dealers, who just wanted me to upgrade to a new model. I’ve always wanted a Ducati since seeing and hearing Carl Fogarty in the 90’s when I was working on the circuits but was doubtful of their reliability. Covid however forced me to re-examine my priorities in life and to do the things I really wanted to do, so I now have a Panigale V2 and a Multistrada 1260.
I really enjoy the total mind and body immersive nature of the riding experience; also the exercise I get has built up my collar size from 14 to 16.5!
I enjoyed riding on the track, but also commute, make day-trips and make an annual trip abroad or lately just to Scotland or Wales. I find that the Continental drivers are more considerate and bike aware than they are in the UK.
Partly it has been the example of some of my riding friends who have passed their test with LAM or RoSPA and I‘ve been aware of some of the bad habits I’ve picked up from track riding and commuting. I’m also looking to meet new people to ride with and to pass on some of my own knowledge and experience.
I’ve only had one initial assessment ride and one OR and I’ve found the feedback really useful. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to attend any of the virtual meetings but hope to do so soon.
Fortunately I have a garage to keep them safe and dry and I’m planning to reorganise this to make a better working area. I have all my maintenance done by a great independent Ducati specialist , Artur at Desmoshed and while I previously checked the bike before rides I’m now more systematic, and I’ve been reminded by my Observer to clean my chain more frequently especially after his broke!
I enjoy fish and chips, particularly when I’m on the coast and remember a place in Aberystwth that’s right on the sea front.
Fortunately my partner is happy to go on the pillion but I tried to keep my parents in the dark, parking the bike at the hospital when they visited. When they found out they were distraught and offered to buy me a car! Fortunately I’ve got a good safety record and feel that riding has also made me safer and better as a driver.
Perhaps it would be good to have some guest speakers along to meetings in addition to input from our own Members; I think around topics such as life of a racer, either &/or Charley Boorman, Ewan McGregor, Nick Sanders, Elspeth Beard, a motorcycle mechanic on hints and tips, a police rider on their training to become a police rider.
Thanks Meng, hopefully we’ll meet in person at some point.
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