Hi everyone as you can see from the photo, I am now officially a biker’s moll. This photo was taken after my first ride on a bike in about twenty years, which is a bit scary I can tell you and I very nearly chickened out.
When OH suggested to me, quite some time ago, he was yearning to buy a motorbike again, (after seventeen years gap of not riding bikes), I was dead against it. This was for various reasons I won’t go into, but one of them was, we’ve been there done that and got the t-shirt.
Aren’t we getting a bit long in the tooth for adventures on a motorbike? I argued. This was a road we’d been down many times before. I didn’t have any desire to do it all again. Why I asked him, when you can sit in a comfortable warm car, would you want to ride on the back of a chilly motorbike? The wind in your hair or the sun on your face I hear you saying, rain down your neck while frozen stiff more like. I brokered a sound argument, but it fell on deaf ears, and eventually after much debate OH purchased the bike.
On first sight of the said bike I couldn’t help feeling a tiny bit excited, remembering those heady days of riding on the back of previous bikes. In the past I had travelled to France on the back of a Goldwing, and been to Dorset on the back of a Honda CBR (1000cc sports tourer). And this motorbike: Kawasaki 1700 (see photo) was a cruiser unlike some of the other bikes OH had owned. I was softening towards getting my little-old body onto this Monster-Machine.
But it wasn’t that easy. I had to get geared up first. In the olden days, (as my grandchildren would say) we wore leather gear for protection while riding. OH had bought himself some new gear. Manmade fabric was the way to go this time he said, it was cheaper than the leathers we used to wear and was waterproof. I couldn’t help feeling a smidgen of disappointment. I used to love those black leathers and felt like the bee-knees in them all those years ago. But I agreed the cost involved was a good reason not to buy leather gear this time around – much cheaper. So off we went to the bike shop to purchase these cheaper (but not so sexy) waterproof jacket and trousers.
We arrived at the shop late in the day and I spent a good hour trying on the most unflattering of outfits, telling myself safety came first. But suddenly we had run out of time and the shop was closing. So we put aside a jacket and left the shop promising to return the next day.
By early evening I began itching all over my body and by the middle of the night I had come out in hives. This made me feel very unwell and OH had to go and get me some antihistamines from the Sunday chemist. To cut a long story short I had an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the material, and couldn’t wear the gear I’d tried on. I couldn’t help feeling a bit smug. If I was going on the back of the bike I would have to wear leather gear now, oh dear what a shame I thought, remembering the lovely black leather, with white trim, outfit in the shop. Back we went the following week.
After purchasing my very expensive, leather trousers and jacket (OH looked quite put out as my motorbike gear was twice the price of his), I was at last set up for a ride on the motorbike.
The day dawned and I pulled myself into all the gear feeling a bit claustrophobic. As the motorbike roared into life my heart was beating out of control. I warned OH to go slowly, ‘I always do,’ he reassured me. At first I wanted to cling onto OH for dear life. I tried to remember how years ago I had been all the way to France on the back of a bike, if I could do it then…
Thankfully after about ten minutes I relaxed onto the cushioned seat behind me and began to enjoy the ride. I noticed how when passing other bikes while out riding, OH would nod at them as they passed and they did the same to him. When I asked what this meant, I was told it was a kind of rule of the road with bikers, they nodded at each other to say they were okay. A new respect was born in me after hearing this, for the way bikers look out for each other.
To conclude I have now been on another ride and feel as if I’ve really settled into being on the back of the bike now. So becoming a biker’s moll wasn’t as hard as I thought even after all these years of travelling around in a lovely, warm and comfortable car.