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My name’s Penny. I’m 62 and live in Sheffield.

Last August at Day of Champions before the Silverstone MotoGP, my husband Mick made the winning bid for the pair of us to go on a 4-day trip to Colin Edward’s Texas Tornado Bootcamp, to take place immediately before the April 2020 Austin MotoGP. Mick’s been riding all sorts of bikes for years but, apart from one summer when I was at Uni and had a semi automatic Honda 50 to get to work in a “nearby but not on a bus route” factory (and my bike gear was my Dad’s gardening gear!), my riding experience is nil……35 years as a pillion but that’s it!

At first I was happy at the thought of going as a novice but then got to thinking about how much fun with the more experienced riders I might be missing out on whilst getting up to speed with a bike! So I decided to get some off road training, just to move things along a bit. Our friends’ granddaughter had done a couple of sessions at Bumpy and had really enjoyed herself so we gave them a ring. Jo was our first port of call and she was great, really helpful. We explained the situation and what I needed and came up with a plan…..which was Dan! What a man!

So since December 2019, I’ve had 5 three-hour sessions with Dan, tailored just to me, on first a small-wheeled Yamaha TT 125 then on a big wheeled version.  After learning where everything was on a bike and how to start (and stop!) and change gear on one, I moved onto maneuvering between cones on a tarmac car park all to improve my throttle, clutch and brake control. I loved it! Dan explains things so well and is really patient and such a nice man.

From there, even in my very first session, we moved onto a series of off-road tracks of varying difficulty leading to instruction on how to pick lines through corners, use your body weight to your advantage and master uneven, really muddy surfaces. Again I loved it….even the falling off and getting soaked and muddy! Over the course of the sessions my confidence has grown, my enjoyment has soared and I’m now seriously considering taking my bike test and buying a trail bike.

Sadly, both the Austin MotoGP and Boot Camp have recently been cancelled due to the Corona Virus situation so we won’t be going until either later this year or in 2021.However, as soon as we know which it’s to be, I’ll be straight back at Bumpy for some more sessions. The team there are great: relaxed, friendly and really knowledgeable and I can’t recommend “Bumpy, and Dan in particular, highly enough.

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