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No it can't be that, I'm past middle life, into my 60s fast approaching adolescence. So I went last week to my Compulsory Basic Motor Cycle Training, provided by courtesy of Haringey Council Tax Payers to make the roads safer. Slightly perverse logic that gets me out on the road on a motor bike to make the roads safer! Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the training. At my time of life new skills are trickier to pick up than when younger, though strangely enough I was not nervous. I found I could manage the controls of the bike, and I was astonished at how slowly I could make it go without it falling over. The one aspect I did have fears of was simply dropping the damn thing. I didn't. But I did manage weaving in and out of cones and a figure of eight. The day finished with a trip round the nearby roads, following an instructor, who had the power of making his words audible inside my helmet. Thoroughly enjoyable.
The whole atmosphere of a motor cycle training centre is a bit macho for my taste. I'm the sort of chap who likes to wear pink, and read books, so all that bad language and innuendo isn't really my taste. Recycling old jokes obviously is my taste - the old ones are definitely the best - but the thing about a joke is, if you have to explain it, it's not a joke any more. I may not have joined in that part of the day as enthusiastically as the training team might have liked.
There was one young lady on the course, with 7 blokes, and she seemed to take it in good part. There was one young man I was teamed up with for the ride round the streets, whose age was one third of my own. Indeed his age was one half of that of the jacket I was wearing. He was there with his older brother, clearly one of the macho gang and a biker, and so full of advice, I would have smacked him, had I been the younger brother, and of course not quite so much in touch with my feminine side.
So the next question is whether or not to buy a bike. Harley Davidson don't do a 125 I think. Qualifying to ride on the roads is such a complex process, I think the next thing I have to do is practice a bit on a small bike, before doing a week's course on a big bike to pass the next bit of the test. I've been told to buy a Honda, if anything, because they are 4-stroke and don't get thrashed, whatever that means. The Honda CBF125 is on special offer at the moment for £2420 including 2 years warranty, and it does seem they hold their price quite well. Then a helmet might be £100, protective clothing £300 and insurance £150, so I need to be determined to undertake the experiment.
The saying goes "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" but equally "nothing ventured, only a doubtful opportunity lost". If the purchase happens it'll probably be an almost involuntary eBay click.
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