I recall vividly the last day I rode a bicycle. It was a beautiful Saturday morning; birdsong rent the cool air as I rode behind a friend when the idea struck me that I should bump into his rear wheel with my front.
The next thing I knew, my un-helmeted head and unprotected wrist came into intimate contact with the warm tarmac. A car I hadn’t known was behind me screeched and swerved to avoid my flailing body as I painfully realised the consequences of my foolhardy act.
A few minutes later, seated nursing my throbbing wrist and scrapped knee by the side of the road, I decided that I was done with bicycles and that was that. Motorcycles especially were out of the question. If that pain was the result of pedal power, I had no intention of gaining first-hand experience of the pain a motorcycle at full chat could inflict.
Of course, they say ‘never say never’ and as of last month, I am the proud owner of a motorcycle. The metal steed itself is nothing to be proud of, being a basic two-stroke 125cc dual sport.
Car enthusiasts love the same things as motorcyclists, the smell of petrol and the rush of adrenaline you get from the sensation of speed. But the intensity is simply incomparable. Driving a car, no matter how powerful, is as exciting as conjugal relations. You know what you’re doing, the reactions are more or less predictable and while it may be exciting, every time is more or less the same.
Motorcycling, on the other hand, is an unprotected one-night stand with a girl of questionable morals who, for all the excitement she offers, could kill you: simply because you gave in to temptation.
For starters, you can never really trust your motorcycle not to kill you. Many have underestimated the murderous potential of motorcycling and paid the ultimate price. But what motorcycling takes with one handlebar, it gives with the other. You are acutely aware of being exposed to the elements.
Every slight change in temperature is perceptible, as is wind brushing across your helmet and the grip of the tyres on the tarmac. Every single car on the road could have the inattentive driver who kills or maims you.
As a defence mechanism, your senses are alert to the little things, like the lady on the phone turning in or the pedestrian who steps into the road, looking out for cars but not motorcyclists. This all translates into a fully immersive experience that nothing else can truly match.
On the right bike and on the right road, riding at any speed is intellectually and sensually more satisfying than any Ferrari or Lamborghini.
With both cars and bikes, there is a very real bond between man and machine; a bond forged over time spent on beautiful roads and at the garage getting it fixed.
Then there’s knowing how the vehicle feels and knowing just what to do. It really is like a romantic relationship. The difference is riding a bike is a lot like dating a very hot female ninja. Everything is more intense because you know that she can be very dangerous.
Then, as if motorcycling was not complicated enough, there are the biker girls. As a species, they are on another level of sexy from normal women. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re all fit, as I’ve yet to see a fat one. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that their faces are hidden in the helmet.
Or that they’re doing something most womenfolk would much rather avoid. Most hot-blooded male car enthusiasts know the feeling when they come across a hot girl driving a manual car. Biker girls are the same but again, the intensity of attraction is nuclear.
Just last week when riding to work, a hot female biker rode alongside and nodded in approval to my homemade customisations and the next thing I knew I was immobilised in attraction. I wanted to follow her and profess my undying love but in that moment of admiration, I’d forgotten to shift gears and stalled. She rode out of sight and out of my life.
For most of my life I have exclusively been in love with cars but now things have changed. I still love them intensely, rather like the way a man loves his wife after twenty years of a stable marriage. The only difference now is that I’m having an affair on two wheels.