By Johanne James
Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?
It’s the best! It’s freedom! They are fast and furious and cut through London traffic quicker than you can say London traffic! Unfortunately you are also 16 times more at risk of being seriously hurt or worse, because in a car you are surrounded by a protective cage. But don’t let that put you off as I have been riding for years and at one time was an assistant CBT instructor and a British Motorcycle Federation instructor, there you go. I was also a motorcycle courier for some 18 months and considering it’s the second most dangerous job in the capital, after construction, I got out alive as your life expectancy was only 18 months! Go figure! The test was done at Manchester Uni, because if you survived that particular time period you then became immortal and the only way for you to die would be to have your head removed from your body with a silver sword! Apart from that they are so much fun.
Go out on an early Summer morning.
Without the rain of course, and find yourself on a twisty road with a warm breeze brushing against your cheeks. Well, there’s nothing to rival it, especially if you’re doing it at speed with your knee sliders grinding the tarmac acting as a third wheel. Depending on your skill level and bravery let’s say that you can then take your throbbing machine to its limits and hopefully not get a ticket or lose your license! I had so many points on my license it was beginning to look like a second hand dartboard, but who cares, what’s the worst that could happen? Do you watch Moto GP? You cannot beat two wheeled racing! Seeing as I’m not a fan of F1 as there are too many rules, too much politics in the sport and an awful lot of money I am very biased towards motorcycle racing. In the early days of Two Stroke, I won’t go into the technicalities of two and four stroke racing, but these monsters were skittish to say the least! They were, for want of a better phrase, untamed stallions and would throw you off, or in other words high side you in a moment and leave you in a mass of heaving flesh or hurl you at speed into a straw bale, but in truth you were more likely to get up and walk away on a track than you would on a busy street. Far too many objects for you to crash into!
These days the technology has gone through the roof.
And bikes are so fast they now resemble coat hangers with engines! One wrong move and you are dead! Born again bikers have found themselves in traction as they cannot handle the speed and power of today’s machines. There are so many to choose from, in style, speed, comfort, power, whatever it is you may be looking for there’s one out there for you. If you so choose of course! I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you with the details, but what I will say it’s not the bikes that are dangerous, but those of you who don’t see them. What I have recognized over the years is that if you treat them with respect, they will let you live. For now!
Thanks for listening. Johanne James