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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2006, 13:59 GMT
First bike ride 'elates' Hammond
Richard Hammond
Hammond suffered a brain injury and lost his memory after the crash
Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has said it was "fantastic" to ride a motorbike for the first time since his near-fatal jet-car crash in September.

He told Motorcycle News he had taken his Honda Fireblade around the streets of London just days after being given the all-clear to ride by doctors.

Hammond crashed in September while filming for the BBC motoring programme.

"I just can't believe how good that was," he said, although he admitted the first few minutes were "wobbly".

Hammond suffered memory loss and needed weeks of therapy after the 288mph (463km/h) accident at Elvington airfield near York in the north of England.

But he said it had not dimmed his love of all things petrol-driven, especially his bike.

My naturally cautious riding temperament has perhaps gone up a notch or two
Richard Hammond

"It felt like a fantastic connection straight back to a time when I hadn't suffered a brain injury and life was a lot simpler," he said.

"That's why I ride a bike. I can come out of a TV studio or the big meeting doing grown-up stuff - but the moment I get on a bike I'm exactly the same person I was 15 or 20 years ago."

He added: "That ride, the quick wobbly ride with me looking like a nobber, just made me realise why I love bikes and just what I started riding for all those years ago.

The car crash involving Richard Hammond
Hammond was filming for Top Gear when he crashed at great speed
"Every ride I have ever done... they all make sense and came back to me in a split second.

"I'm finding it fairly hard to work out how I feel because just getting back on a bike has been incredible," he said.

"It's not like I had forgotten how to ride but I did have to really think about what I was doing.

"It still felt perfectly natural, just my naturally cautious riding temperament has perhaps gone up a notch or two."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Some of the interview with Jonathan Ross



SEE ALSO
Hammond tells of 'lost two weeks'
21 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
Charity gets second air ambulance
29 Nov 06 |  North Yorkshire
Clarkson gives Hammond all-clear
26 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

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