Warning! : This Will Change Your Life! Are you a young teen looking for the route to rebellion, or in your balding 50s looking for a street back to your youth? Then let Mike Kay lend you an A-Z and help you find that bike that makes your heart go va-va vroom! For everyone I know who rides, motorcycling is more than a mode of transport. It’s a code that entails helping bikers in need of assistance. It’s the moment when you ride side by side with your closest friends down a motorway, streaming past lumbering trucks and grovelling station wagons. It’s a way of life.
From the Motocross Championships to the Long Way Down, bikes complete us, grow with us but more to the point, they change us. I understand how you might be attached to your shoddy little Fiat, with its blinking light in the dashboard (which you probably have no idea about what it’s trying to tell you is broken now) and that you don’t really want all that money that is draining away down that petrol stained plug hole. I mean, I can Just see that the money you would save on fuel when you bought the bike-youVe-always- wanted is Just going to be a hindrance.
Professor Joseph Blogs of Peckham University states that, “Motorbikes can use as little as 50% of the fuel a car would in the same journey. ” All that money would Just clog up your brain, as you struggle to think of new ways to spend. And I know that you Just love to get stuck in those traffic Jams, making you late for work, while your air-con packs in. I see everywhere I look, as I weave my way in and out of your lethargic beasts, the smug smiles on everyone’s lips.
Isn’t it just the best feeling when you arrive at the office before anyone else? Oh, wait. You wouldn’t know! I remember when I was trying to persuade my parents to buy me my first motorbike that one of my primary arguments was that of freedom. “With a bike, I could get to my technical college,” I told them, “and you wouldn’t have to taxi me about between my social events. ” At the time, only a small part of actually believed what I said, but as soon as I started riding I saw this was all true.
And, what surprised me the most, I was suddenly free of the mid night please-pick-me-up-Mum phone call, the guilt when I get a lift back with a mate because my Dad isn’t feeling well nough to get me and the utter depression of scurrying after the soon to leave bus, and instead I would mount my two-wheeled chick magnet. I realise that the car has some rather unique features that a bike Just doesn’t have. I mean, the car is great for running the kids from football to rugby to cricket to Billys house to Tom’s house and back home again.
And it is really convenient for packing those extra-large/expensive suitcases for when you have to visit your 80 year old mother in law, and the torn felt seats in the large backseat mean that the siblings are far enough away from each ther to stop most of the attacks they continually launch at each other. But then then feel completely lost in the dank, pungent cave of the underside of the drivers chair scouring the unfriendly crumb infested floor for Melissa’s Barbie.
You can be addicted to a certain kind of attention, like that of the sympathy shown when people see you arriving to work in the Citroen (the scratched paint, which looked so good in the showroom but which you hated as soon as you’d paid, only adds to this) youVe owned for a good 12 years. But me personally? I don’t need that. I have my bikes. Four wheels move the body; two wheels move the soul” – Anonymous My own story, naturally, has led me to these views on the Joy of bikes.
I suppose it began with an old lawn mower, one of the ones that run on petrol, which was given to me by a family friend. I was fourteen at the time, a point in which I was most impressionable. It was restored with the help of friends (and a few videos), but mainly by me, and I seemed to have some natural ability in the area; I wasn’t particularly bright so it made a nice change. I think the only other thing I could have done next was move nto cars, but there were bikers in the neighbourhood, and the bikes had caught my eye from a tender age.
Thus my love was born. From then till now, I have continued to work on bikes. I passed the City & Guild Exams with distinction (my first ever). I managed to get my parents to buy my first bike, with a few well-placed arguments, and, as most will, suffered the odd little knock from time to time. IVe now built up quite a collection of shining steeds, as one might put it, in my garage. I feel at one with them, adore them, and obsess over them. Some say it isn’t healthy, but then what do they know.