Thursday, November 15, 2007

Getting In To Gear

When he arrived home from work last night, my Lovely Husband™ was immediately put on the spot as I demanded that he stroke my hard, shiny helmet. For I'd been to a motorbicycling shop and bought myself some accoutrements for use in a new and rather exciting part of my life: being a biker.

I don't think I'll go for the long hair and skull tattoos look, although my experience to date is that most of them aren't like that anyway. And they're all very encouraging. They like people to take an interest in their bikes. There's a very strong community spirit.

Anyway, I am now the proud owner of an Airoh helmet (which I got for a little over half price, and which doesn't really look anything like the Optimus Prime helmet in the picture), some Oxtar boots and a rather marvellous pair of Halvarssons gloves. The Lovely Husband™ tried them all on, and was most taken with the boots, which made him feel like Spiderman. (I had wondered about the sticky white goo on his hands :) And somewhat ironic, given his arachnophobia.

Actually, the way he wore them reminded me of how he is when he's wearing the fluffy white boots I got him a few years ago. He loves them - he gets to recreate S-Club 7 videos as often as he likes. And I believe he's planning to wear them when a crowd of us go along to the Winter Wonderland in Jekyll Park.

So, now I have to sign up for a few lessons on the bike, and hopefully I'll get my full licence within a few weeks. Then I'll be able to get a bike as big and as powerful as I like. Can't wait!

I don't know why this has come upon me, although I have fancied the idea for quite a few years. My Lovely Husband™, my dad and my mother in law have all expressed doubt, concern, fear, and worry at the thought of me going around on a bike. However, I have stressed to them that, for one thing, I am a very careful driver. I am routinely mocked by members of my family for driving like an old woman. That would be an old woman who doesn't have any points on her licence, isn't prone to speeding, and has an impeccable no claims bonus. I'm quite happy to continue in the old lady mould, thank you very much. Another thing that I point out is that I'm not some wild and wicked teenager who is out to prove what an enormous manhood he has by driving into a tree at high speed. I'll be 40 in a couple of years, for goodness sakes! I don't feel the need to prove anything by going too fast, showing off or riding dangerously. However, I do find riding a bike really quite exhilarating.

It's also true that, having spent some time on a bike, I know that it will take a while before I feel fully confident and in control of the thing. There is zero risk at the moment of me being anything other than completely focussed on riding safely any time I'm in the saddle.

My dad tried to persuade me to consider a scooter instead. My lesbian sister has one, and although I'm not convinced that it qualifies her for Dykes On Bikes, she loves it so much that she's hardly been off it since she got it (last month).

When that persuasive attempt failed, my dad pointed out that if he didn't want me to do it, and my Lovely Husband™ didn't want me to do it, and my mother in law didn't want me to do it, but I was going ahead and doing it anyway, then that was really selfish of me. It was a clever route to go down, but it didn't cut any ice with me. I agreed. It is a selfish thing, but dammit, I work hard, I bring in a good income, and it really isn't very often that I do something just for me. So yes, it's selfish, but I don't feel bad about that.

Besides, although my Lovely Husband™ has expressed concern that I might end up in some horrible accident, he does acknowledge that I am very safe driver, and I think there is a part of him that finds the whole idea quite sexy. I'm sure it will only take one or two turns around the block on the pillion to convince him. Or perhaps a sidecar, which is what my mum would like.


Frobisher said...

A friend of mine has done a crash course in motorcycle lessons, passed his test & just splashed out on a Suzuki 650 (don't ask me which model).

Whatever you do, DON'T drive in the middle of the road, using it as a extra "lane". I've shit myself a couple of times as a m/cyclist roars between me and cars coming in the opposite direction.

Qenny said...

I'll try not to do that, although I can understand the temptation, especially if the traffic isn't moving, or is moving very slowly. Being able to weave in and out of the cars, after all, is one of the reasons people get bikes, innit?