I write occasional daft emails to fellow members of my woodturning club.  As we get new members, some of them are stupid enough to ask me for some of the older emails.  As time passes and the read them, they will learn never to ask again - but meanwhile I have to dig into my email archives and find old items and then send them one by one to the unlucky recipients.

You would think they would find more useful things to do with their lives than read the sad wittering's of this old fool and try to make something of their lives - but no!  Any that appear here will do so in reverse order, there are many reasons for this, but logic is the main driver.  If there is one thing I have - it is logic.  Not much else to be fair - but I do have logic.

I have only recently worked out how to put the pictures in, so many are still missing.  I will continue to work on it.

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...

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