Today I would like to talk about a transition many of us undertake in the lust for what makes us tick. Motorcycles!
Yes, the urge to go faster, harder and louder does lead some of us myself included down this dangerous but joyous path. I think a large motivation is bang for buck but for those of you out there, reading this, that have not yet made the leap please be under no illusion it does come at a price.
What a rush though! My first machine as I embarked on my two-wheeled escapade was a Suzuki Bandit. 600cc of certificate “PG” motorcycling. The Bandit is the perfect beginners bike. Forgiving, comfortable and quick enough to teach you to think but not fast enough to get you in any sort of bother. Being male I quickly believed I was Rossi so the jump to a “big bike” became a reality. I chose the Honda Fireblade. To say this was a different experience is the understatement of the century! Where the Bandit was forgiving, this thing felt like it wanted to kill me at all times and I loved it for that! The acceleration felt like I was being fired out of a gun and once rolling the best comparison I can draw is moulding your own rollercoaster before yourself like something out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. The thing was addictive!
As people who are into cars we have all pushed it too far at times. Cast your mind back to the last time you went for an overtaking manoeuvre that was a little touch and go. You don’t know why you’re going, but you’re going! The car coming the other way draws nearer, lights flashing, digits waving but as you inhale rapidly having survived, what do you do? Reprimand yourself for being stupid with a stupid grin on your face, that’s what you do! Feet now bouncing on the pedals, palms sweaty…… ringing bells? Well that is what every second on a bike of this type feels like. Idiotically dangerous but you can’t not go and go and go. For those of you with more responsible driving styles think of that fiercely attractive girl (or boy) you once dated. You know, the one that was NUTS but you just couldn’t help going back time and time again? There you have it. Those two scenarios should have 99% of the population on board, if you’re not you need to turn off the PC and leave the house occasionally!
Anyway, enough of the life lessons.
Despite my bike being far less costly than what I was driving at the time I loved it so much more. Polishing and tweaking with the usual noisy exhaust etc etc. Most of the tweaking done by a close friend of mine who is the oracle when it comes to all things motorcycle related. Now, for reasons that will become apparent he will remain nameless in the text as despite being a responsible, trustworthy and loyal friend when you put this man on a bike the, at times shy friend of mine vanishes. He simply turns into a British “Ghostrider”. If you don’t know who that is get on YouTube and find out. Look for the “Uppsala Run”. You thought you had balls? This guy has brass boulders hanging between his legs.
When you first head out riding with someone else that is when you are most likely to go too far trying to keep up and end up in A&E, happily that didn’t happen to me as the gulf of performance between us was so vast attempting to compete was futile. For me a white-knuckle corner would frequently be accompanied by this unnamed person riding around the outside of me while drumming along on the fuel tank of his bike to a song playing in his head phones. Moments like that make you realise you’re never going to make money from riding motorcycles but oddly never tainted my enjoyment one bit. It didn’t matter to me for once how good I was at something, just that I was doing it. I loved the noise, the rev’s, basically the thrill. All the while looking like an oversized Power Ranger too! There are few things that will make you feel as cool as riding a sports bike. For those of you reading this that have, admit it. You know I am right. You feel like Knight Rider.
One beautiful Summer’s day my comrade and I set off on a ride out over to Cumbria. The endless flowing corners were an utter joy and I could feel my confidence growing along with my abilities. My friends front wheel touched the floor occasionally too which was nice to see for a change. He will have been very well informed of the cloud formations that day as he spent most of his time pointed at the sky while darting off into the distance and then easing back waiting for “Riding Miss Daisy”. ie me. The day all went to plan and despite a cold run home, fond memories were made.
Now it is worth noting at this point that my father is always correct. It’s an undisputable fact like “Ali was the greatest”. We all know it to be true. He said to me the day I passed my bike test, “be careful won’t you there are a lot of idiots out there. There’s no two ways about it, you will fall off so keep the speed down and hopefully It won’t be too bad” This coming from the man who flew his Lambretta through a shop window in his twenties I would add!
Sadly, he was right, and it was not a happy ending.
Turn up next month for the death of the Fireblade.
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