Return To The Motorcycle
So you fancy getting back on a bike again, but it’s been a while hasn’t it? Are you sure you really want to do it? Have you forgotten how cold and wet it was? Can’t you remember that crash helmet with the target design you used wear, in an attempt to send a not so subtle message to the car driver who uses his mobile phone at the wheel, or fiddles with a CD when he should be looking out for you?
You’ve forgotten all that haven’t you, but you still remember the wind rush, and that feeling when the engine turns over and kicks into life, and that feeling of pure freedom when you’re out on the road. Of course you do, because that’s what biking’s all about, but there are some things that you should be aware of before you re-launch yourself into a two-wheeled frenzy.
Firstly, it doesn’t matter which motorcycle you buy as a re-entry model (sounds like Apollo 11), it won’t make you look younger and it won’t make you look slimmer, but at least the helmet will cover your face. I’m not going to say that it won’t make you more attractive to the opposite sex, because I’m sure that out there somewhere, is a lady/gentleman who is attracted to overweight, bald, middle-aged guys, or as the case may be, overweight, bald, middle-aged ladies. By the way, you can mix and match the last sentence in whichever way your sexual orientation leads you.
There are however, more important issues at hand. You may have changed and probably become a little slower, but motorbikes too have changed and are markedly quicker than the machine you remember. I can see the smile spreading across your face, but hold on a minute, are you sure you’re safe to leap onto a bike and roar away? Could it be a good idea to re-acquaint yourself with motorcycles?
According to a government website, motorcycle riders represent less than one per cent of all road traffic but suffer 18 per cent of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Riders are 45 times more likely to be killed on the road than car drivers, and these figures are rising, so it may be wise to do a training course to improve your riding skills. As well as developing new skills, you can also get insurance discounts with some motorcycle insurance brokers.
The way to stay out of trouble is to attain, and maintain a high level of concentration, continually looking around for signs of possible danger before they occur. Plan ahead and travel at a safe speed with a safe road position. A refresher course will help you remember what you learned in order to pass your test in the first place. I know it sounds a bit boring, but think of it like this; CD’s and mobile phones don’t taste good, neither does hospital food. Actually I’d like to withdraw that last statement. Hospital food ain’t too bad, but it’s not easy trying to slide it past a mobile phone.
Another aspect of motorcycling that’s changed is clothing. Injury and weather protection have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, but don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest pair of trousers you can find. Apart from offering scant protection, they won’t hug your bum properly, and that kind of defeats the object doesn’t it? All clothing should be easily seen by CD toting motorists, and personally speaking, a white full face or flip front crash helmet is always a good idea. Don’t try and save money by buying a second hand helmet; it may be the last purchase you ever make.
What bike to get? Well, how much money can you spare? What I would say is; buy a decent second hand machine first, just to make sure you’re back for good, and one that’s a bit steady, unless you feel that you’re on top of your game.
One last thing; did you get permission from your wife?