Hi. I’m Mike Askew, and this is the first post in a series about learning to ride a motorbike.
I hope to share my insights and learning points with you and perhaps fill some of the gaps for you that I had to fill in myself.
Learning to ride a bike is my mid life crisis. I wanted to do it when I was 16. Mum said no. Life then changed and with work and family commitments the idea went out of my head, but not my heart. Thirty nine years later I have managed to get around to doing it.
Who am I?
Well, I’m a northern working class bloke who has lived in Plymouth for almost 30 years. I grew up in Sheffield in the 70’s, and in 1980 I joined the RAF as a driver. I did my 6 years and left with my HGV class C+E licence, all types PSV and qualified as a transport manager; from which i drove coaches throughout France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. I moved to Plymouth in ’88 for work. That was short lived (a long and boring story) so I moved to Guernsey for 9 months driving buses.
On my return to the mainland there was very little work available. I decided to take GCSE maths and English and then an Access to Higher Education course. That led me to taking a degree in Primary Education, specialising in P.E.
In 1997 I started a career in teaching, qualifying as a Head Teacher in 2005. But... the government managed to destroy the industry and after a lot of soul searching I decided to leave and become a self employed driving instructor. I now have a full book of pupils and I teach minibus and HGV driving alongside this, so my experience in driving is quite broad. I also ride a push bike and join my ex RAF friends annually in a 100 mile bike ride. So, learning to ride a motorbike should be easy! ;)