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Born to be mild

August 18th, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

I am still persisting with the world’s lamest midlife crisis, which mostly involves spending a ton of cash on motorbike accessories. It is turning out to be an expensive hobby, when you add up the cost of helmets, padded jackets, gloves, boots, chain cleaner and lube, oil, visor cleaner, disc locks, and other sundries.It has been a slow start. After getting my CBT I did my back in on the allotment and so it was a couple of weeks before I even got on the Yamaha YBR125 that I bought. But eventually I did get on it, and during a week off Jayne and I had a couple of rides. I am the first to admit that I am not a natural biker or steeped in biker culture. Our first ride out saw us getting a cream tea in Alfriston. The second one saw us going down to Littlehampton and getting a latte and fruit tea by the beach.

Last week we went out to a pub in Lower Beeding that is popular with bikers because Jayne wants to meet people she can go out riding with and share this new interest. The car park was full of Triumphs and classic cafe racers so our 125s with L plates stood out a little bit, but everybody seemed friendly enough, and mostly our age or considerably older.  Coming home was also the first time I had ridden in the dark, and as we set off for home I discovered that the instrument lights don’t work on my bike, so I couldn’t see the speedo or rev counter, which was a bit of a disappointment.

This morning we went down to Portslade to get some adjustments made to Jayne’s bike. The whole journey was on main roads, so I was given strict instructions to keep up.  The reason for that is that I have only ridden about 300 miles so far, rarely getting above 55mph. I was quite surprised to find that I actually reached 70mph a few times. Surprised because I am still a bit wary and cautious, but also because the bike isn’t exactly powerful.

So I am slowly getting comfortable with riding, but also coming to terms with the mechanics. Today I took the front of the bike apart to put new bulbs in the instrument panel. I was dead chuffed that I was able to dismantle it and then put it all back together again without breaking anything or having any odd screws left over. I was less chuffed to find that the lights still don’t work so the problem was not just blown bulbs. I am trying to decide whether to have another crack at it or just give in and go to the mechanics.

Early days yet though. I’ll wait until next year to decide whether to go for the test to get a full licence and then the next decision is whether to get rid of the car completely. If we do that the whole thing could change from being an expensive hobby to being a money-saver.

I must be enjoying it all though. Jayne and I actually go out just for the fun of it. I can’t remember the last time we went for a drive just to have a drive. And whatever else we do, I have decided I am going to keep the scooter for errands around town, even if I get a full licence and get one of the big bikes I have my eye on, because that really is fun.

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