Your first year of riding. Do you remember it?

My son was counting down the days to doing his CBT from about aged 14 years. The day finally came. I remember sat waiting in the car park to drop him off 30 mins early. His bike, a 50cc 2017 Derbi Sender Extreme sat at patiently waiting for him when he got home.

No problems with the moped and CBT, but then he had been riding motocross bikes since about aged 6 so there shouldn’t have been really!

I remember the day he tore off up the road. I was more worried about him riding this 50cc moped, than quads, motocross bikes and all the other things he’d ridden in the past. I knew, if there was an accident who’s fault it would ultimately be. “You got him into bikes”, I could hear it now!

Anyway as the weeks went on, he rode in all the safety gear that I had bought him. Casual looking boots, textile suit, gloves etc. Gradually as summer came and friends also turned 16. The coolness factor came in and the boots went, then the textile trousers. Before I knew it he’s riding in trackies with a silly bag hanging round his side. I suppose I was the same..

Every evening there would be a story of a wheelie, how someone else fell off, a great over take, or how he hit 50 mph. The sensible Dad part was saying “Don’t be stupid on that bike” while I was thinking, sounds like he is having a blast and making memories!

One day the bike did appear in the garage in a sorry state after he’d high sided a roundabout trying to get his knee down for an instagram photo…

I just hope the photo was worth it!

We shared some great rides out though. The first weekend he past his CBT, we did a 100 mile group ride all on small bikes to get him used to road riding. He ran out of petrol on route. All these fun memories of early days of biking.

The bike has been fantastic and I would recommend one to anyone else. If I am honest, I dreaded him having a two stroke. I expected to be picking him up in the van at silly o’clock and rebuilding it every few hundred miles. After 5,500 miles of being thrashed everywhere at 40-50mph you just cannot fault it.

We serviced it together. The usual oil, filter, etc. It was great to get him doing the work. He replaced the handle bars, rear panels and lights he broke when he came off it. A few clutch levers later like you do at 16 and it has had no problems what so ever. The only thing really which was self inflicted was fork seals from the constant wheelies and a thorn in the tyre after green laning!

We’re almost at the end of his first biking year and the next thing on the agenda is a car. He is now counting down the days again while the bike is sat in the garage ready to go to the next young lad. We sold it for what we paid for it, so a cheap years motoring really. I hope it gives him as much fun and makes the same memories it did for Josh.

My first year riding wasn’t half as exciting as his. My DT50 exploded trying to make it go 40mph resulting in a long walk home! I then got a Honda Express. We didn’t have these fast reliable mopeds like they have now, and there wasn’t many lads riding in my year so it was a bit more tame. It was more transport for work for me. But seeing him enjoy it has been equally as rewarding. I’ve made up for it now in later life after rediscovering small bikes! Do you remember your first year biking?

See my other posts relating to the fun small bikes bring.

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