One of my photos

Born to be mild

October 9th, 2022 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

The last time I posted about motorbikes was back in November last year, when I passed my test and was thinking about what bike to get. Of course there has been some activity on that front. I did go out and do the stupid thing and buy a bike in December, when it was going to be too cold and miserable to enjoy it properly for months.

Now I know that the stereotype of 60-year-old bikers dictates that I should be getting something like this…

Me on Jayne's Harley, with leather jacket, jeans and open face helmet
Typical old man on old man’s bike

…but to be honest, I really don’t like that style at all. I don’t like having my feet out in front of me and my arms up high. I like my posture to be similar to what it is on a bicycle. It’s what I’m used to. Also it is a bit heavy for me, now that I have lost a lot of my strength, and it is not very good on corners. A cruiser might make sense on those long, straight American highways, but not so much in the backroads of West Sussex or the traffic in Crawley. So I actually got myself one of these…

Yellow Honda CB500F
A much more sensible bike for a newbie

…which is much more sensible for a newbie. It is only a 500cc so an A2-compliant bike. Although I’m allowed and qualified to ride a monster 2.5l Triumph Rocket 3 or a maniac-fast racer, I decided to get something tamer while I get a few miles under my belt.

So far it has been mostly fun. Because the bike is quite light and I am quite light it can feel like I am getting blown about a bit by crosswinds or at high speed. I added a little fly screen which helps a little.

I try to get out at least once a week, even if only for quick spin out to Horsham or Horley and back. I have had a few trips out to Essex and the longest journey was when I did about 360 miles in a day going up to Norwich via Colchester and back. I will not be doing that again because neither the saddle nor my arse has enough padding for that sort of duration!

Also, it got a bit cold. I now have that Reynaud’s condition where my hands get very numb very easily and even the heated grips don’t help completely, but for my birthday Jayne treated me to some heated gloves that plug into the bike’s battery. I only wired that up yesterday, and the weather is quite decent at the moment, but I am now looking forward to going out in some horrible weather to see how well they work.

I do find that since I got the bike I have hardly driven the car at all. For anything within a 2 or 3 mile radius I will just walk and for longer trips I take the bike. In fact I honestly can’t remember the last time I drove, and it is many years since I drove just for the fun of it. Where I am now is that driving is a chore but riding is fun, and I can’t stop thinking about how much easier my life would have been had I got a bike when I lived and worked in London.


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