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Keith rode the falls to drive motorbike

A MAN who cannot ride a bike because of cerebral palsy has learnt how to control a motorcycle.

Keith Davis might have fallen off up to 50 times during his Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), but the 38-year-old persevered. After a month of hard graft at the Faversham Bike Shop Rider Training Centre, near Dargate, he had passed his CBT. It takes most people a day.

The qualification meant he could ride his Yamaha 125cc bike with L-plates on the open road.

For someone who took five years learning how to walk and, as a child used a bicycle only when his feet were taped to the pedals, this was no mean feat.

Mr Davis, 38, who comes from Minster on the Isle of Sheppey, had always wanted to ride a motorbike but never thought it was possible.

He had looked at tricycles but had not liked any of them. Then friends suggested he tried a motorbike. It was not easy.

"On the first day I fell off 11 times and then eight to nine times on the second. In one month's training, conservatively my instructor Dave reckons I fell off 45 to 50 times," he said.

Mr Davis, who is also contemplating a parachute jump before the age of 40, said: "If I want to do something I will do it all the way. It's a sense of achievement and it will give me freedom."

Mr Davis, who is married to Kim, was impressed with the patience of the four instructors.

Training manager Dave Chambers, who with colleague Chris Thomas, was Mr Davis' main tutor, said he was a unique character. He was also the first person with cerebral palsy any of them had taught.

"The telling thing about Keith was his enthusiasm. If you could bottle it you would be rich. His determination to do something was the reason why I took on the challenge.

"When he first rode he had no sense of balance. This was something he had never learnt automatically. Not only had he to learn that but he also had to learn a clutch and gear system," said Mr Chambers.

The next step is his full test, hopefully within 12 months. This would not be easy, but he should manage it, said Mr Chambers.

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