All the answers to all the nonsense you’ll hear from parents, aunties, friends and colleagues when you tell them you want to learn to ride a bike.
1) You’ll get wet
No, you won’t. At least not if you spend a few quid on decent waterproofs. Modern motorcycle clothing is superb. The only thing you have to do is use it properly.
Taking an extra few minutes when getting ready to get the seal around your collar, ankles and cuffs right makes all the difference. Most of your colleagues will get wetter walking from the car park to the office on a rainy day than you will riding 50 miles to work and taking your kit off at your desk.
2) You’ll be cold too
Again, not true if you wear the right kit. Riding in winter is all about layers and for most people a good set of textile riding kit with some decent winter gloves will do fine. If you really feel the cold then heated kit is essential.
The latest stuff is very good and unobtrusive. Most of them plug into a bike’s battery but some have rechargeable batteries so you can wear them off the bike as well.
3) Motorbikes are dangerous
Again, it’s piffle. You can put a motorcycle in a room for 100 years and it won’t have an accident. Yes, people do get hurt falling off bikes, but also get just as badly hurt falling down stairs or fishing or operating a dishwasher… probably. And let’s not even mention skiing, cycling or horse riding.
But for some reason society likes to pick on motorcycling as universally dangerous. It isn’t, of course. A well trained, competent rider, keeping within their limits is as safe as anything out there in the same way that a well trained competent chemical plant operative is unlikely to have an accident.
4) You’ll turn into an outlaw
Unlikely. Motorcycles have always enjoyed a bad-boy image and there are plenty of otherwise ordinary riders who like to pretend on a weekend. But for the most part riders are just Iike everyone else apart from a tendency to talk in strange code involving letters and numbers (just say GSX-R750 if you want to join in, that usually does it).
5) Er, something about ‘a giant machine throbbing between the legs’
Sadly, not true either. Most modern bikes tend to thrumm rather than throb. Although for ladies (or Scotsmen) on scooters a wasp up the frock might bring an unpleasant buzzing between the knees.
6) It’s all a bit greasy, isn’t it?
No, not really. Although the more time you spend maintaining your bike, the better you’ll get to know it and the easier it will be to fix something should you break down halfway down rural France on a Sunday morning. Most modern bikes are technical marvels; ultra-reliable and simple
7) You’ll spend your weekends in a muddy field drinking Newcastle Brown Ale and listening to heavy metal!
Yes, that one’s true, unfortunately. Oh, for Pete’s sake, of course it isn’t. Riding a bike is simply an alternative way of getting around. It’s quicker, cheaper and much more fun.
How you spend your weekends is entirely up to you. The best thing to do is take these friends, colleagues and family members with the dumb questions for a ride on the back (once you’ve passed your test of course) and give them an insight into the freedom and sensation of riding a bike. Or better still, direct them to the Get On website and they can try it for themselves.