I might have a mid-life crisis but there’s no way I’m buying a motorbike.
William Simons explains why despite knocking on the door of 40, he has no plans to buy any leathers.
Last weekend we had a Harley-Davidson rally here in my home village. I’ve never understood the pleasures of biking and never been tempted to have a go or to understand them. Frankly I just can’t see the point of eating flies, having rain drip down the inside your collar and getting cold, when my Volvo has a windscreen and a heater.
On closer inspection, the vast majority of the visiting bikers were shall we say of the grey variety. One wonders why Grandpa feels the need to dress up in leathers and sit on a two-inch square seat instead of putting his slippers on and watching the box from the comfort of his armchair? Have these people felt the need after saving up, raising children and navigating the perils of life, to risk death on some windy hilltop road?
As a man that changes his underpants daily, the main question I have is where do you store your luggage? Surely if you are away from home for a couple of nights you need at least a change of clothes. From one extreme to the other, some of these guys had a trailer, towed behind their angel of death. If you are going to do this – buy a car!
Just for kicks I decided to see how much a Harley-Davidson costs – over $4000 for the cheapest working model! A 1986 Sportster 883 for you bike nerds. Has everyone that dons a crash helmet undergone a lobotomy? Think what you can buy instead! For the same price you can purchase a sailboat that sleeps 4, allows the whole family to spend time together and can take you places where rolling thunder is something that comes from the skies, not the road. A quick search on EBay turns up a multitude of cars for the same money – even a convertible Ford Mustang GT if the wind blowing through your balding locks is what turns you on!
Now along with all able-bodied men, I rate myself as a good driver. No serious accidents and only once has the Simons-mobile been in the ditch, despite us spending half the year driving on ice. Notwithstanding this, I’ve had numerous bumps, scrapes and near-misses that have caused me nothing more than embarrassment and a scratch to the paintwork. Having the same fender benders on a bike would put me in hospital! According to a British report a biker was seriously injured or killed every 413 800 miles they travel. To put it another way if you and one hundred of your leather clad mates decide to bike the 2780 miles from New York to Los Angeles and back again, at the very least one of them will be dead by the time you get back home. The same study reveals that you are 28 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by driving a motorcycle than a car. Well Zipadee-doo-dah, why don’t I just call up The Grim Reaper by taking up bear wrestling or feeding lions by holding a steak between the cheeks of my arse?
The freedom of the open-road, wind in your hair and the sound of rolling thunder? No thanks. Give me air conditioning, a muffled exhaust and a stereo any day.