Chris­tian Id­don

Fast Bikes - - COLUMNIST -

Be­ing a racer is a se­ri­ously priv­i­leged thing – we get paid for what is, ba­si­cally, a hobby that we seem to be good at! Get­ting to ride some of the best bikes on the planet, have fans look up to us for do­ing it, and be­ing able to get away with all sorts of things you nor­mally couldn’t – wear­ing sun­glasses in the rain with­out think­ing you look ut­terly stupid is one of my per­sonal favourites for sure. A close sec­ond though, is that there are some se­ri­ously awe­some peo­ple who help us chase our dreams, and I have some of the best spon­sors, with the guys and girls at Au­to­trail hook­ing me up with a brand new mo­torhome for this sea­son. They are a spon­sor of the Tyco BMW squad but for what­ever rea­son (and I’m not com­plain­ing) it’s me that’s get­ting the use of it for the sea­son. Prob­lem is, if you’d read my first col­umn, you’ll know I’m not legally al­lowed to drive one. So this month I was aim­ing to be on the right side of the law… for once.

My pro­vi­sional was fi­nally granted after a hear­ing on ‘why I have so many points’ and I sailed through the the­ory with fly­ing colours, leav­ing just the prac­ti­cal. On the way to the test cen­tre my in­struc­tor warned me about the two ex­am­in­ers I might get that day: “One is a lady and she likes chat,” he told me, which is easy be­cause I can do chat. “The other is a very nice gentle­man who sadly suf­fers from Parkin­son’s and that can some­times put you off as a driver but just do your best to ig­nore it.” Once again, easy, my nan suf­fered from Parkin­son’s for nearly 20 years so I know how it is. Easy huh? Well no. I got the fella, and the key thing that my in­struc­tor for­got to tell me was that this gentle­man’s Parkin­son’s twitch is a shake of the head. For the next hour and a half, ev­ery in­di­ca­tion, each gear change, each time I pressed the throt­tle or even breathed I was met with a head shake and de­spite not know­ing why, I couldn’t help but see it as me just get­ting the whole thing wrong. As it turns out, I had done some­thing wrong and one of those head shakes was a real one due to a gen­uine traf­fic light in­fringe­ment. FAIL! But the re-test is booked…

In bike based news, we have started the year and it’s been dis­tinctly av­er­age so far but de­spite not be­ing as I’d re­ally hoped, I cur­rently sit in a show­down po­si­tion and un­til we hit round nine that is all that mat­ters. We have Oul­ton and Snet com­ing up though, so I reckon we can sort it out by then and be back at the pointy end – as long as my mum isn’t steal­ing all the lime­light for TV on the grid again. The most ex­cit­ing thing go­ing on though by the time you read this is I will also have had my first taste of 24-hour en­durance rac­ing. I’ve got 8-Hours of Suzuka un­der my belt al­ready but I’m about to em­bark on Le Mans, which is ba­si­cally three sea­sons of BSB in one race, so ex­pect some juicy sto­ries. Un­til next time peo­ple, watch out for those red lights! Don’t worry though, next month I’ll be con­cen­trat­ing more on the rac­ing…

He’s not tasted any of this in a while!

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