As the Indian summer continues, this area becomes more and more popular with motorbikers. As a hardened scooter rider I appreciate the wind in my hair, the bugs in my teeth, the constant throb of 49cc of raw power between my legs. The fact of the matter is most bike riders seem to have a deathwish.
Let's first of all look at the exception to the rule. My mate Steve, the guy I got the scooter from originally, is a bit of a bike guru. Steve's current weapon of choice is a truly earth rumbling Honda Goldwing 1800. What makes Steve different from almost every other biker I've seen in these here parts, is a) he's been biking for more then 3 years and hasn't been killed to death and b) he's a sensible rider, (almost) obeying the speed limit, not overtaking where he wouldn't in a car, and generally being the good biker he should be.
Then there's the majority. As I drive down the main road to civilisation on a day like today, I am repeatedly overtaken by 40-something solicitors in leather with Kawasuzda Fukovfast bikes seeing if the landspeed record for their particular age, brand or penchant for talcum powder can be beaten. As news dribbled through yesterday, of another bike death not 6 miles from here as a rider undoubtedly overtook on a blind bend, over a hill, and probably into treble figure speeds in a 40mph zone. The first thing the locals have to say is "Oh him, yeah, isn't it terrible." Then they say "He was such a good father," or "he was always chatty to us and gave us the time of day." The papers carry the headline how biker deaths are on the increase, and car drivers should be more observant. Signs are put up on lamp posts stating the fact 354 middle aged dentists have been killed on that road in the past 3 years, and car drivers should obey the speed limit. Whereas in reality, the bikers still disappear up the road at a scalding pace, like a cat with a rocket up it's arse. How are we, the car drivers, supposed to spot them at junctions when they are giving the starship Enterprise a run for it's money at warp 9.6, and weaving around the traffic like it's stationary. I don't speed on the bike, mainly because I can't. I don't particularly want to anyway, enjoying the fun that is to be had on a 2 stroke hairdryer. I'm far from whiter then white in my car, but as the law clamps down, it's becoming harder and harder to break the law without being blatant in the first place. If the police could set up a few more unmarked vehicles, maybe even unmarked bikes, then perhaps the bikers would have something else to bitch about instead of the numbers of deaths "not their fault" or the fact that car drivers don't see them because we're all wearing blindfolds and pulling out whether they're there or not anyway.
*update 10/09/07* Another one's been killed to death. At this rate they'll be an endangered species.
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