50 - Wet Wet Wet
How much stuff do you need to buy when you get a motorbike! Good grief. I thought – get a bike, a crash helmet and I’m good to go.
I will admit to the good sense of getting a brand new crash helmet – especially when you have a big head as I do. (I was sixteen before I realised why my dear old mother used to know which of her children had the largest head!!)
It doesn’t end there though.
Being a tight-fisted bugger I decided to hit eBay and see what they had to offer for some of the bits and (in fact) bobs. So far I have a jacket that won’t fit, a second jacket where the zip doesn’t work and gloves that are too small. The boots didn’t turn up and don’t ask about thermals.
So – I had training last Tuesday and part one of my bike test on Thursday – and like most women I know when they have somewhere to go or something to do – I simply don’t have a thing to wear!!
I am starting to think this biking malarkey is going to be a tad expensive. I was offered 20% off everything at the local shop who are purveyors of fine biking paraphernalia, so I decided to browse their offerings and find out what they had that I could get cheap. Nothing.
Boots started at about £120, Gloves were upwards of £50 and let's not get too excited about the jackets which started at £300. I was thinking that they probably don’t sell a lot, however, at those prices one new motorcyclist a week should see them retiring to the south of France before too long.
I gave up on buying anything there pretty much straight away before my credit card started to break out in a cold sweat.
The list beckons...
• Helmet – mentioned already. I thought I was done at that point. • Jacket. Several failures as mentioned – which have been returned, but I now have one. • Trousers – no – I own heavy ones which will do, but not waterproof. • Armour – built into the jackets and gloves. • Boots – Mountain Warehouse – that well know Motorcycle shop – not.
• Gloves – yes – but not for £000’s – god bless eBay • Neck warmer – I’m sure I had one once when I used to ski... • Winter gloves – in due course. • Thermal underwear – again – part of my skiing wardrobe. • Waterproof over-trousers – obtained today in a sale at Mountain Warehouse. • Waterproof jacket – yes. • Chain (let’s not get it stolen just yet) – not yet. • A longer chain – not yet. • A top box – let's see if the bike comes with one. • Insurance – not yet. • A spare helmet for passengers – if they don’t own one – they don't sit on the back. • Backpack (to carry some of this crap) – see “Top box”. • Earplugs – anyone who has been married has many pairs. • Basic toolkit – got one already. • Bike dust-cover – I will need one as the bike will live in the garage next to my lathe. • Alarm system – I will tie it to the cat. (Note to self – buy a cat) • Reflective Vest/Jacket – there are plenty of them laying in the road – it is only a matter of time. • Phone / Sat-nav mounting bracket – duct-tape
Lest we forget…. Lessons so I can pass my test – and I haven’t even bought the bike yet!!
I have to admit – I buy items for woodturning, things I don’t really need – but that I do want. I suspect that in the fullness of time I will do that as well with items for the bike – but for now – let's just get started….
I have now invested in the basics. I think we should decide to agree on the fact that I now have a jacket and gloves courtesy of eBay – and they fit OK and have the correct protection for hands, elbows shoulders and spine.
As I am going to buy a bike that does not leave too much exposed to the foul weather, I have opted for heavy trousers and waterproofs. The boots are light walking boots from Mountain Warehouse but they are high enough to offer ankle protection and are waterproof. I have enough to get dressed for a test and to start biking. I am sure the motorcycle gods will find their way into my wallet in due course – but I have fended them off for now.
I have taken my CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). I went on to study, practice and then pass my DVSA Theory test, and my Part 1 Motorcycle Practical test (lots of cones – slaloms, U-turns and emergency stops). My final hurdle awaits on Friday this week, my part 2 practical test – which follows a full day of training yesterday when I got soaked to the skin.
I have just checked the weather forecast. It is not good. The waterproof trousers came in handy for my training – although the rain stopped in the end – and about 2pm. The weather forecast on Friday however is different – it is not forecast to stop raining at all.
As with many things in life – timing is everything.
I shall report back...