In no particular order, and for no other reason than because these things wind us up. How many do you agree with?
Yes, of course across town a scooter is more than capable of keeping a 160-horse power sports bike honest. It’s nothing to do with rider skill, it’s also nothing to do with scooters being narrow and nimble and everything to do with traffic lights. Why does it matter if someone on a smaller bike can keep up when you’re trying to make your way across a congested city centre? When you can show me a scooter that can bash out easy 55 second laps at Brands Hatch Indy, honk third gear motorway wheelies and whisk you to the Ring at the drop of a hat, I’ll start giving a shit that I’ve just been handed my hat between two sets of traffic lights that are 80 metres apart. Pfft.
Gloves falling off the tank.
You’ve locked the house, your daysack straps are adjusted just how you like them and your helmet has done up without pinching your speakers out of your ears. You’re sat on the bike ready to go. All that’s left to do is pull two simple devices over your hands and you’re away, except one of them has just slid down the tank and onto the floor. No worries, you can just lean down there to pick it up. Feels funny doesn’t it, that feeling when you don’t know you’re leaning your bike over until you feel it pushing you towards the floor. You have to abandon the glove rescue in aid of sticking a leg out to save your bike from killing you at zero mph. Gloves are wankers.
People that know people that have crashed.
“Oh, that’s a nice bike. My uncles mate had one like that, he got knocked off and someone had to wipe his bum for him for three months!” I don’t care. I don’t care that you think motorbikes are deathtraps because they sneak up on you when you’re checking Facebook while you drive to work. I don’t care that one time, at band camp, you saw a man fall so far off his bike he had to sit in a decompression tank for a week before he was allowed to pick it up off the floor. Imagine if every biker you knew did nothing but tell people that they’d just had a really safe but exciting ride to work, where nobody got hurt or anything. Imagine if people that had never tried something for themselves had an opinion that was so twisted and wrong that every time you heard it you felt the need to gouge out their eyes with a paddock stand. That.
Bike meet bullshitters.
We’ve all met one. The guy that nods approvingly as you tell him why you went for a K5 GSX-R thousand over the equivalent Fireblade, only to cut you off mid flow so that they can tell you about that time they dropped Mick Doohan off on a track day round Donington. Yes, this man can wheelie any bike, in every gear, even round roundabouts. Yes, he once went so fast that the Police actually asked him for some riding tips when they finally caught up and yes, this chap could have easily been a racer if it wasn’t for the niggling injury that he has that will never heal, or actually exist. If these ballbags spent as much time riding as they do hanging about annoying normal people, we’d have had a MotoGP champion years ago. Dicks.
The unrequited nod.
You’re out and about, feeling good and enjoying your ride. You’ve just put in a couple of overtakes that are so clean that the drivers waved in appreciation of your obvious skill on a bike and you feel like you could make your bike dance like a Lipizzaner Stallion if you wanted to. You’re doing fifty in a fifty, resting one hand on your knee and soaking up the awesomeness of being a biker when you spot a likeminded free spirit heading your way. Is he on the same bike as you? Looks like it from here. Clearly the two of you have something in common, best you chuck him a knowing nod, the kind that car drivers are envious of. The kind of nod that says, “If we were in the pub, I’d be buying and you’d be smiling”. Said like-minded free spirit passes by within two metres of you, but blanks you like you’re not even there. Not even a twitch. What. The. Fuck.
The ride home.
What a brilliant day. You got sucked into the ride and ended up a hundred miles from home in jacket and jeans, stumbled into a bike meet you’d never heard of and have just spent the last hour gawping at a supercharged Honda Deauville. Oh well, you’ll remember this day with crystal clarity, probably for the rest of your life. It was definitely worth it. You jump on the bike and start heading for home. Within five miles, you’re so tired that you have to do 150 with the visor open just to stay awake. Within ten miles you’ve had to stop for fuel and within twenty miles you need a wee. If ever there was a time you could click your heels together three times and be back on your couch it’s right now. You only survive the rest of the journey because you sang the entire Adele album at the top of your voice to prevent you from nodding off. You get home after dark, there’s no food, everyone in your house hates you because you clearly love riding your bike more than you love them and as you slump into the couch in a huff, you realise you left your phone on the wall when you bent down for a better look at that Deauville. Riding home sucks ass.
Just, the rain.
It’s a simple transaction. You have a motorcycle for sale, you write a simple advert stating all of the relevant facts. Your pictures are clear and the facts are there for all to see. So why then, have you just had a text from what appears to be an Orangutan at half eleven at night, asking if you’d be happy to swap him the back wheel for a handful of magic beans. Next day you get an offensive email from a man that lives in Lithuania, telling you that your bike is so overpriced that when he showed your ad to his mother, she got sick and now you have to pay for her medicine. Finally, someone polite calls you up and you secure a price that you’re happy with. You end the listing early and then never hear from him again. Four months later you still own the bike.
Chicken strips are not a measure of how fast on a bike somebody is. If Valentino Rossi lived at one end of a really straight road and worked at the other, would you laugh at his chicken strips? No you wouldn’t. Unless you were a dick. Some people don’t feel the need to ride their bikes off the edge of the tyres, some people can keep their cock in their pants and save it for the track. Some people can run a bike to within a millimeter of the sidewall and not even notice. The only people that seem to care about chicken strips are people with huge chicken strips and people that have been running the same set of tyres they did a track day on three years ago in the hope that someone in a car park might notice and give you that knowing nod that only awesome bikers give to other awesome bikers.
You’ve had to miss the racing because it was clearly far more important that you go to that family thing for that relative who’s name you’re glad you can’t remember. No problem, a quick push on the old red button and the racing will be ready and waiting for you when you get back. You spend the entire day ignoring Facebook and Twitter and have to answer your mobile by shouting “I haven’t seen the racing, don’t tell me what happens!” You make it home, you still don’t know the results and you plant yourself in front of the TV with a cold beer and an hour to yourself. You my friend, are in for a treat. Your planned recording turns out to be forty five minutes of tennis, which overran and is clearly far more important than watching gladiators duking it out at 200mph around a circuit that looks like it was created by God himself. What the hell! While you’re swearing and spilling your beer down the sofa, you accidentally lean on the controller and the channel flicks to the closing credits of the race on plus one. Turns out it was the most unbelievable spectacle ever witnessed, you time it perfectly to see a rerun of the finish. Chris Walker is wheelying over the finish line on a bike that’s still on fire, his one off guest ride in MotoGP will never be repeated or bettered and you feel like launching the Skybox through the window.