A soggy lesson in why mothers and motorbikes don't mix

IT WAS when I upgraded my $6 BSA Bantam motorcycle to a $30 model of the same make that I decided I could let my mother attempt to have a ride.

This one was much fancier than the first. It had a petrol tank, a clutch, tyres that could still be inflated, a rear brake, a kick start that worked occasionally and a leather cover over the steel-sprung seat - all things that were missing from the original.

The last thing I saw was her disappearing down the river bank.

It was still pretty rough, but as Mum - who had never been on a motorbike - was unlikely to be getting out of first gear anyway, what could possibly go wrong?

We learnt soon enough.

She got under way with little trouble, reached something approaching jogging speed, and was going along nicely when she decided she'd had enough and would turn around and come back.

We lived beside the river (you can probably see where this is going) and as Mum turned the handlebars to ride back down the road, she inadvertently twisted the throttle and away it went.

Going too fast to make the U-turn, she jumped the road shoulder and the slight levee bank. The last thing I saw was her disappearing down the river bank.

Thankfully the reeds at the bottom of the bank made a nice, soft landing pad.

Perhaps the most painful thing was trying to retrieve the bike from the drop.

Safe to say Mum never really understood the attraction of motorcycles.

Topics:  farm life humour rural lifestyle

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