have a h.a.r.t. for this learner 2006

Six years ago, in the interests of working on our marriage, my husband stepped out of his comfort zone to come with me to karaoke and sing on stage, something he was unnecessarily apprehensive about.  He feared he might “die” on stage. I returned the favour by stepping out of my comfort zone to join him and two of our friends on the two-day Honda Australia Rider Training motorcycle learner’s course. My fear of death was much more realistic I thought.

Firstly I was given a 250cc motorcycle, which was huge, cumbersome, and then I had to contend with gears as well. It was all toooooo much for me, so I settled for the baby scooter, which was still frightening, but a lot more manageable. I figured if I were going to be a rider, there would be enough to concentrate on without having the added anxiety of accurate gear selection.

I was best at the slow ride, and somehow despite my concerns, I passed the test at the end of the second day and officially became a learner who could ride by herself on the actual road. What a scary notion!

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marysville or bust, april 2009

On April 23, 2009, I took an instructed ride and the following are from notes I made at the time:

Coming over the Reefton Spur, there used to be a picturesque view from the road of the township of Marysville, nestled in amongst the bush. Not so now, since the Black Saturday bushfires took their toll.

Months later, the devastation is still acute, but the marvel of nature is evident as you see the fresh fronds atop the tree ferns, and little clusters of leaves forming up the trunks of the eucalypts.

This was one of the most memorable sights on the Reefton Ride, one of the instructed rides available for motorcyclists and scooter riders, run by the Shire of Yarra Ranges in conjunction with HART (Honda Australia Rider Training). This ride is only available for licensed riders, as it involves riding over both the Reefton Spur and the Black Spur. It gave me more skills and confidence in approaching country riding.