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SKILLS SCHOOL

What do you get when you cross a BSB racer with a stunt rider and a journo? A bloody awesome day out, of course.

Is it wrong for a 30-year-old man to scream like a seven-year-old girl? Well, even if it is, I had no control over my vocal chords as I clung for dear life to the tank of Lee Bowers’ vertically mono-wheeling ZX-6R stunt bike.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Having had a 13 second health and safety briefing to moderate loss of limbs in the event of a probable crash, I’d essentially handed Lee the keys to my destiny, putting my faith in the rude talent he’d shown during a day stunting on Santa Pod’s slick, rain-drenched strip.

From hands-free wheelies to riding in circles going backwards, Kawasaki’s acclaimed stunt rider had not just rewritten the laws of physics, but taken the coveted rules of every advanced motorcycling organisation and disproved their principals of control in every way possible.

Here was an enigma; a magician of motorcycling. A man telling me to plant my head firmly on his bike’s tank and not let go of its steel outriggers, even in the event of stacking it. But, of course, we weren’t going to crash, were we?

TWO’S COMPANY

If it hadn’t been for BSB racer and fellow stunt student Luke Mossey, standing just a few feet away and gagging for his turn to go two-up with Lee, this would have been the point at which I’d made my excuses, bid Lee farewell and run from the scene as fast as my scrawny legs would carry me. The thought crossed my mind a dozen times. But in the process of thinking up a credible enough excuse to avoid the inevitable ripping from all of those present, Lee just cracked the throttle and launched us towards the heavens. Fucking hell! The sensation was unique. A little bit edgy. A little bit I want to get off now. A little bit, actually, this is really awesome. A little bit maybe I should stop screaming now and smile for the camera. Two-up wheelies rock, but that level of awesomeness enters a whole new world when they’re of the vertical variety and the bike in question is simultaneously going round and round in circles. Lee’s control was unreal, gently pulsing on the rear brake to moderate the drive to the rear wheel, which was being powered relentlessly by an exaggerated tick-over. It meant that, much to my terror, he could take his hands off the bars completely once the bike was balanced. So, in essence, no one was controlling the bike. Well, not in any obvious way…

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