I did a travel back in time, mid life crisis, step outside of my comfort zone thing this week -
I took my basic motorbike training test.
Aside from the fact the tutors thought it would be a hilarious idea to give me a little pink scooter, it all went well and I passed.
Even more surprisingly - without damaging (1) myself, (2) the scooter, and (3) any other road users.
But it reminded me how important it is for writers to get as close to the action as possible.
What really struck me was how sensuous an experience it was.
In a car, you're insulated from the world. But on a bike -
Wow, the trembling, then growling of the throttle. The shifting, beating, then caressing breeze on your face, as changeable as a temperamental lover.
The smell of the engine. The feel of every bump and camber on the road. The sounds of the trees rustling to wave you past.
Only by really feeling something can you truly describe it. And I certainly felt it.
I used to ride a Vespa when I was a young man and have long hankered after getting another one.
So here we go. If not born to be wild, and certainly not on a pink scooter, I'm looking forward to taking to the road on two wheels again.
Because riding a motorbike was the most thrilling, and simply all-round alive travel experience I've known in many years.