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Meet the Associate - Nicki Gilbert

Good evening Nicki and thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. Could you tell me whereabouts you live and what you do for a living?

I live in Nunhead, south-east London and work four days a week teaching French and Spanish at a secondary school, then a day a week as a psychotherapist.

It’s good to have some more people who actually live in London in the group and hopefully there will be some rides organised to start more centrally? What got you in to motorcycling?

It began four years ago when I bought a moped in order to avoid public transport. I then qualified for an A2 licence so that I could carry a passenger and Mark Jaffe suggested the Honda Rebel if I ever decided to get a bigger bike. The pandemic made me feel it was time and I saw a very good deal on a Rebel last summer, bought it and did a coaching day with wonderfully supportive Huw Pritchard. He then pointed me towards LAM and here I am.

What do you think of it so far?

I joined in May and have so far had five ORs and been on two AoRs, I can really say that it has transformed my riding. I find the feedback very helpful but also know that there’s still a lot more to learn. I feel that I have been welcomed, that everyone is friendly and that there’s a lot of sharing of skill.

What sort of riding do you do in the main?

I commute twenty-five miles a day, but also enjoy being able to get right out of London in an hour to go hiking. I did 2,500 miles during August, riding up to Scotland where I volunteer on an RSPB Osprey project, then down to Cornwall.

How do you compare riding by yourself as against riding with others?

I mainly ride by myself and enjoy becoming completely immersed so that I’m solely focused on what I’m doing. However riding with others does encourage me to push myself a bit and increase my confidence.

How do you keep your bike in good condition?

I’m able to park it off road and like to keep it clean. I’m able to do all the basic checks and adjustments myself but would like to understand more about the bike’s workings. Unfortunately courses haven’t been available due to the pandemic. I use a small local workshop called Honda Rider to deal with servicing.

We have to keep our bodies fuelled up when riding – what’s your favourite snack?

I like salted almonds and dark chocolate.

What do your family and friends think about you riding?

They think it’s cool, but also scary. However they’re not wholly surprised as I’ve always been an adventurous traveller.

And finally any ambitions for the future?

I’d like to continue progressing and taking further training and perhaps track days.

Thanks Nicki, good luck with your test.

John McNally


2 Responses

Chorley Jen
Chorley Jen

October 12, 2021

We’ve been close friends for over 25 years and I’m so excited to see Nicki riding! Even more so as it meant that she was able to stop en route to Scotland in August and stay with us, and of course show off her amazing bike! (My son is now pestering me to have one…) Of course I worry about her, mainly because of other road user’s ignorance of bikes. But she was able to help me understand how experienced riders develop a “spidey sense” and learn to avoid danger (in the main) and she loves riding with LAM as her confidence has increased hugely.
Can’t wait to see her again 😊
Stay safe out there everyone

Eleanor Wharf
Eleanor Wharf

October 12, 2021

It’s great to see that motorcycle riding is not just for men! Thanks Nicki, you are an inspiration.

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