I have always loved motorbikes, ever since first setting eyes on my cousin’s 125cc crosser at Uncle Ivan’s farm. He took me on the back at a very early age(most likely 7), and I was hooked instantly. I did try ride the beast, as it seemed to my diminuitive frame, but I kept falling off, so I had to wait till the often cruel spectre of destiny introduced me to Neil Gordon( and other criminals) who loved stealing/riding bikes. Mr. Gordon, an arsonist/murderer(accused but got away with them both somehow, the crafty swine), taught me to ride, firstly on his mother’s moped which we stole on an almost daily basis, and secondly on an ageing 250cc Yamaha XT with no brakes/lights. Despite the evil inherent in his soul, Neil was a good teacher and learning without the use of controlled friction on the wheels(brakes) resulted in the Valentino Rossi-esque skills that can be seen today whenever a rider is reckless/stoned enough to hand me their keys…
The little Honda H100 that I had in Faversham/Norton was a shitheap, BUT I loved her with a part of my heart I hadn’t used before(buying her). There was and is something special about riding..a unique sensation somewhere along the lines of freedom….. a freedom of the mind more than the body, and also a connection with nature which isn’t apparent or available when driving in a car/lorry/other death machine..
I spunked most of my 2nd year student loan on a Yamaha tzr125cc, still small fry really, but she had enough zip to get me from 0-65 faster than most vehicles around Manchester. Unfortunately that bike was stolen by a gang of skag-heads then burnt alive. I remember the call from the coppers when they had found the carcass…
‘Hello, is that Mr. Animal?’ (Pc Dibble)
‘yes you fuck, what’s up holmes?’(me)
‘ we’ve umm found your ‘bike’, it may be salvageable’(pc dibble)
‘great news. Good work copper, see you soon’ (me)
20 mins later at the scene of the police discovery…
‘fucking salvageable??what the hell did he mean????All that’s left is the frame, and even that is burned to a crisp, I ought to take that coppers left eye’(me)
Lets cut to the chase:>>>>In July 2004 I bought my Honda nc27 400cc rocket. It took 2 attempts to pass the dam test, but once I was legal, me and the bike quickly became inseparable. I rode her everywhere, at all hours , in all conditions..
Now this machine was different to its predecessors, specifically in terms of acceleration and top speed. My own time trials gave readings of 0-100mph in 9 seconds, and she would have gone much faster if I had paid some monkey mechanic to make some modifications(I am wicked at riding, but sadly terrible at mechanics). That Honda intensified my riding experiences 10 fold. I may sound strange, but with a little skunk in my head, a fair dose of cold British autumn weather and that bike, I seriously found an area of peace when traveling at 90-110mph.cruising. all the meaningless bullshit of life is kind of whooshed away as the air brushes past not only my body but my soul, so fast, cleansing perhaps, and leaving the most raw and real elements of my feelings and thoughts available for inspection/usage… it’s a edge that I have found many times , moreover a place I pursue with real vigour. When the weather/traffic allowed, we(the bike and me) treated the Sussex/Kent countryside like a race track, advancing my cornering and general riding skills immensely after every fast chicane or daredevil overtaking maneuver. I don’t always ride like a madman, and I deplore those that do, and give motorcyclists a bad reputation as speed freaks, but maybe there’s more truth to that rep than I would like to admit…though as Andrew(and many others who have survived) would hopefully confirm:: I ride with (more than)due diligence whenever I am with pillion…
Anyway I think I have illustrated the meaning behind the’ bikes see me through adversity ’.statement .i.e. riding offers a amazing sense of freedom of the mind, of the body, of the soul….so lets move on..
The NC27 did indeed, true to my theory, help (or was directly responsible for managing to) keep my head above water in the tricky and testing 04/05 period and I suppose it shouldn’t be a shock to my system when I trace the start of my current slump back to the sale of that bike in august of last year.
I ride like I mean it.