I am, like most other motorcyclists, pretty much obsessed by the weather forecast. In the good old days my breakfast ritual would be the TV weather girl, coffee and whatever was in the fridge. Now, with smart phones the TV weather girl no longer gets my attention, but the obsession continues. However, there are rare times when you have the confidence in the weather not to live a life controlled by the small screen.
This might be a normal feeling for those of you who live in the sunny USA (it is always sunny over there isn’ t it?) but for me it is a special time. After a week of glorious weather I woke up to the sun beaming down, a warm morning and a certainty that it was going to continue for the rest of the day. Coming home from work I couldn’t help but notice the huge black cloud that was right in my path, and when I say black that is a bit of an understatement, it was the sort of black that black becomes when it has a particularly bad day. Needless to say, before too long the heavens opened in a deluge of biblical proportions, and I am not exaggerating. In less than a minute I was soaked to the skin, and in less than two I was riding in a river, again no exaggeration. I was forced to slow down to a crawl, thunder rolled around me and lightening split the sky with constant ribbons of fire. It is quite weird to go from fast dry sweeping bends, to dodging pieces of wood floating down the road, weird and dangerous. On top of that, the brown water wasn’t just making the bike and me dirty, it was hiding banks of gravel and larger stones that had washed off the fields. Then, quick as you like it was over, blue skies and hot sun, only now I was soaked to the skin and the bike and I were covered in crap. As the sun beat down and the mud and I don’t want to know what dried into a stinking crust I couldn’t help but think, “ motorcycles really are a stupid idea”.
Same day, same region, different storm..but it gives you the right idea!
At the risk of stating the obvious they have inherent problems:
- They have only got two wheels and so they always want to fall over, especially when you are trying to turn round in a cool manner in front of some really cute ladies or gents.
- You are open to the elements and nature, both of which regularly try to get inside your clothing.
- You can never get the temperature just right, you fry or you freeze.
- They aren’t cheap, and compared to modern cars they are not that great at fuel consumption.
- Want to go on holiday….where do you put the luggage?
Let's face it, when Henry Ford invented the Model T it should have been the end for bikes.....so why wasn’t it?
Well the stink was left behind with the twist of the throttle, the road opened out in front of me, twisting into the distance, the girls on the side of the road waved, the engine was on song and the smile spread across my face. That is why bikes are not a stupid idea, they make you feel. The bad makes the good so good and even the bad is pretty damn good…..