While I'm still learning to ride I'm not allowed to take the scooter on the motorway, this means I have to take the more scenic route to and from work. This is no understatement, riding through Epping Forest is very scenic.
On the way home from work this evening the only light was that from the headlamp on the scooter. I saw what first appeared to be a person standing by the side of the road. Since there is no pathway I slowed down, people walking along roads like this are normally walking away from their broken down car. As I got closer to the 'person' I realised that they had antlers. What was standing in the edge of the wood was a beautiful deer.
Though I've only been riding the scooter for a week I feel I have learned a lot and I'm gaining confidence. The day after taking my test I didn't appreciate the acceleration of the scooter and often found that I was going too fast to turn. What didn't help was that I was not familiar with the new route and was often in the wrong lane or the wrong position on the road.
Having driven a car almost every day for the past fourteen years it took a while to get used to the fact that I don't always have to sit in a queue of traffic. I still have some bikes come past me down the outside when I'm staying in slow moving traffic but at the moment I'm content to make up my time when hopping to the front of the queue for the ferry or riding between the stationary cars waiting to go into Blackwall Tunnel.
I've had an ache in my thumb on my right hand since starting to ride the scooter. I'm not sure if it is the cold causing the ache, gripping the throttle to tight, or if it is just a coincidence and the problem is caused by excessive typing? I bought some gloves to wear under my bike gloves that have made my fingers feel warmer. I would really like a pair of electrically heated gloves.
The new safety helmet is very well ventilated which stops the visor from misting up but causes the helmet to whistle when I'm riding at speed. I tried wearing earplugs today and riding became very different. The wind noise was very distracting. I now find it easier to maintain 40 - 50Mph without feeling that I am being blown all over the road. Having spoken to several bikers and talking in some news groups many have reported that the wind noise has caused damage to their hearing and they wish they had worn earplugs long ago. I'm tempted to wear the earplugs at home, "Dad, DAd, DAD, DAD!!!".