Ouch, fucking ouch! Motorcycles should require mandatory external padding on their fuel tanks in order to cushion bollocks from sudden impacts. Early on in Compulsory Basic Training I opened the throttle rather than closing it and sailed nicely into the training area kerb at a fair rate of knots. That stylish manoeuver has thankfully not been repeated. Hopefully my (intact) meat and two veg will be required soon as I’m definitely turning the heads of ladies when decked out in my leather jacket and walking around with helmet in hand. Motorcycle helmet I hasten to add. As you can see from the photo I’m actually looking rather cool for once and I’ve been told that the biker boy image suits me.
Though I took a tumble during training (and a nice lump remains on my leg) I’m currently refusing to wear leather trousers as I’ve no desire to look like an extra from a Los Angeles gay porno c.1977. Instead I’ve invested in jeans padded with Kevlar instead. May change my mind once Miranda is fully run in and I can go to higher speeds. Until she’s clocked up 300 miles my limit is around 50mph as I can’t exceed 6000 revs with the engine, and then only 7000 revs until 600 miles.
Upon first introduction a motorcycle is an awfully confusing item of machinery Like a woman, but with a far louder engine. Changing the gears was certainly a challenge at first. Flicking the gear lever with the left foot whilst throttling back and pulling on the clutch is akin to patting your head, rubbing the tummy and hopping at the same time.
Being a spectacle wearer with a motorcycle helmet is akin to being a Buddhist: one has to choose the correct path in order to succeed. Now have the order of donning the helmet figured out after several attempts. Helmet goes on with lower face plate raised, tilt it back slightly so that the arms of the spectacles can slide in between helmet and skull, then tilt helmet forward and pull down the lower face plate. The discovery of achievable cold fusion must surely be a doddle compared to this act of scientific deduction.
All the effort and expense have paid off though as it’s an amazing feeling being loose on a motorcycle on your own (for one thing there’s not the voice of the instructor coming over an earpiece giving instructions). You certainly notice the surrounding environment far more than you ever would in a car. Though I shall forever remember the wise words of one of the instructors, “Assume that everything else on the roads is on a mission to kill you”.
And the most important nugget of information I learnt from the training was courtesy of a safety DVD presented by Suzy Perry. To describe her as hot is an understatement. How in the fuck did I previously not know of the existence of Suzy Perry?!