When I started riding a motorcycle I was alone. None of my mates were into the idea and neither was my father. The nearest relatives into bikes were some uncles and cousins on my mother’s and they lived 500 miles away so I couldn’t exactly call on their expertise. I had no one, I was alone in the world, but I bet, even if I did have an older mentor whose brains I could pick, they would never have told me certain truths about riding a bike. So now, for your reading pleasure, so you can nod and say, yes he is right, here is the first installment, and this might run into quite a few installments, of
Things they never told you about riding a bike and now you are glad they didn’t!
Flora and Fauna
Mother Nature is out to get you, have no doubt about this. You might be a tree hugging hippy type, you might work for a conservation society devoting all your time to stopping global warming and loss of habitat, but that makes no difference to Mother Nature. She is a perverse lady who delights in torturing and traumatizing you and yours in a variety of ways.
The thing about the wildlife, in all its forms, is that it sneaks up on you. A sun dappled autumn day, up the road a heavy autumn storm on those lovely bends wets the road and dislodges the leaves off the shedding trees. You, happy and content, soaking up the last chances to ride in relative comfort and warmth arrive at the twisties, perhaps you notice the first hints of moisture and take a little care as you enter the corner, but half way round the road goes from dry and grippy to wet and slippy, surprise, surprise, wet leaves on a wet road enjoy!
Then there are wasps and bees and all sorts of stingy things. They work in packs, hunting together, kamikaze soldiers out to get you. The biggest splatter across your visor, forcing you to lift it to see clearly and then, whack, right in the eye and you are blinded and wobbling down the road, trying desperately to stop without dying.
Or there is the other tactic of them flying down the neck of your leathers and like Skywalker trying to destroy a Death star the force will be with them. I have had this happen, a wasp made its way into my leathers and then decided it was pissed off and started to sting me. The guys could only wonder at why I made an emergency stop, jumped off the bike and started to run around beating my chest and stripping my clothes. Well they wondered until I showed them the stings, then they did what any decent mates would do and laughed until they cried.
And don’t think it is always going to be small beasties that are out to get you. One evening one of those mates was coming to meet us at the bar and he came round a corner to find a prize bull in the middle of the road. The bull died, the bike was a write off, but luckily the mate got away with a broken arm and concussion…. The steaks are high when you ride a bike!
It didn't happen like this!
Coming soon, part two of, “Things they never told you about riding a bike and now you are glad they didn’t!”