Reflection from a newbie

John Moran

I figured it was roundabout time to share my experience thus far after;
1. Buying a Harley
2. Joining C&F
3. Being a newbie

So after a numbers of years riding exclusively Motorcycles of another brand made here in the UK (unfortunately not BSA) I quite fancied a Harley. One of my work colleagues and good friend of a number of years has a few Harley’s and eventually wore me down with the endless trips to Warrs,(even when we were going in the opposite direction), reading related magazines and discussions based around all things Harley.

After much deliberation and studying it was off to Warrs. Mottingham branch had my chosen steed so off to South East London. First impression was that I was pleasantly surprised to find customer service is alive and well. Patrick was fully up to speed on all the range, knowledgeable, offered test rides, talked me through everything, and took my stupid questions in his stride.

Settled on a Switchback which suited my needs perfectly. I needed something with panniers/saddle bags but not to large as I needed to still to be able to filter through London traffic occasionally for work. On collection of the bike Customer service, well it’s excellent. And part of this was informing me all about HOG. Which brings me nicely to the next chapter (pardon the pun).

So after looking at the calendar of events, bottled out of the first one, it rained. The event chosen was the Royal Standard. Worried about the drop of system, would I be able to hack it, would riders end up scattered across the UK and worse, stranded all alone in some deserted waste land, and it would all be my fault. Arrived bright and early at Warr’s World Headquarters, (Chelsea) met Oliver and a couple of others, after introducing myself they immediately put me at ease, cup of coffee in hand, what could go wrong... apart from the drop off system.

Had the briefing and Nick explained to me and about eight other newbies how the drop off system worked, even I could work it out. I got to tell you, riding out of Warrs with 75 bikes was proper impressive, and the traffic stopped to let us through in lots of places. An excellent days riding was had, everyone I met was such down to earth, nice people, I need to be careful, this could get addictive.

Ride two, Brighton or Shoreham, now I don’t care if it is raining cats and dogs, I was still going. Met even more people, all really nice again, 50 bikes, luvin’ this. Some excellent roads all the way to Shoreham, excellent lunch, and then back to Rykas over some great roads. Left there, got home and stayed ahead of the rain. All in all a top day out.

Reflection from a newbie

Oh the drop off system, well the first time I got to use it, following Michael, wait for the signal... wait for it, steady, go. Pulled over, pointed as if I was at attention, wait for all the riders to pass, back marker passed and then pulled over to wave me through, and it was done, everyone present and correct, no one lost.

So what have I learnt so far? Annual leave should not be taken in the dark winter months, save for Harley riding in the better months. Everybody has been really nice, proper, decent people and made me feel welcome. I have sent off for my Riders Patch, now to get working on my bronze. Viewing next year’s event calendar with glee, clearly this is very addictive and should come with a health warning, now if I can just find the “select all” events button.

Speaking at an event in her constituency, Home Secretary Theresa May said “thanks to the actions we have taken, people can sleep soundly in their own beds” though it is entirely unclear whether she was talking about Mr Moran grasping the drop off system or something else.

Be lucky.

John Moran - C&F ‘Newbie’