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'On Two Wheels
Have you ever ridden a motorbike?   It's what middle aged men do when they're having a “mid-life crisis”; at least that’s what the popular press like to say. Personaly it was a challenge and a passion I had held from my days as a teenager.  Most of my friends were allowed a moped as their first motorised transport, which moved on to motorbikes.    For me it remained the bus or tube or if really lucky a lift from my Dad. You see my parents were sometimes too protective of me, being the youngest and all, and I was not allowed one of those dangerous things.   So I had to wait until I was a big boy and able to make my own grown up choices before I got my first taste of a proper motorbike. I will own up to having an 80cc scooter for a short while, but that doesn’t count, well for me it doesn’t.

I decided to be very sensible about bikes, I would enrol on a course and get proper training. This I did and successfully reached the required standard, passing my test at the first attempt.   This didn’t prevent me from being scared every time I rode the thing. The 'thing' being a Honda NSR 125; yes I know it's small. But that’s what you have to learn on. Anyway, I did a deal with the man in the motorcycle shop who exchanged my bike for a 500cc Virago. This was a custom cruiser and looked great with all its shiny chrome and big V-twin engine.   Now it’s all well and good having a proper bike but unless you have some biker mates to ride around with it gets a bit pointless. You think to yourself  “I’ll go out for ride”, but you soon get bored if there's no destination or reason behind it.

There are lots of different types of bike club around but finding one that suits your style and personality isn't so easy. My bikes, and I have owned many to date, all looked great. They made statements about the rider; statements like “whoever rides that must be a mad arsed bastard” or “ I wouldn’t want to mess with whoever rides that” Yeah…I know its all testosterone crap but its true.   Mine mostly only looked good parked in the garage, because that’s where they spent most of their lives with me! As you will imagine you can get a lot of stick from your mates over something like that. Especially when your leathers have only ever felt the warmth of a hot summers day beating down upon them.  

The thing about a motorbike is that although you’re in control, you're not always? Does that make sense?   The net result of which equals excitement and occasionally the shit yourself factor. I don’t recommend the latter too often, as it can become rather uncomfortable, especialy on a hot day!   So you see, it’s like having an un-tamed animal beneath you. When you turn that throttle a little too hard, it can snap and growl at you, which may reduce your testosterone level to a trickle as you try try to laugh off the fear beneath your crash helmet.   We have all visited a zoo as a child. Well remember the first time you stood face to face with a Lion or a Tiger. You watched it pace back and forth across the front of its cage, and you thought “ these Lions or Tigers are all right aren’t they”. Then it looked at you opened it’s mouth and roared. Well that’s what a motorbike can do to you every single time you get on and ride it.

Now you tell me what man, having a mid-life crisis, would want to put himself through that every Sunday morning. Eh?  

Big Rog C-12