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10 things we hate about biking

Motorcycling is great, but it can also be incredibly annoying. Here are ten subjects of biking we like to avoid


British weather

Snow in April and sunburn in November? Oh yes. If the forecast says rain, you don’t bother making any plans and end up spending the day tightening your chain while the rest of the nation goes lobster in a freak heat wave. If the forecast says sun you get just far away enough from your house to guarantee that you will be utterly soaked when the inevitable cyclone comes through. That’s a full seven hours’ of cleaning buggered up in two minutes. Obviously you didn’t bring any waterproofs this morning and now you can’t feel your fingers because it’s 6 degrees and dropping.

Biker meets

The whole point of having a bike is to get out there and ride the bloody thing, be individual, improve your skills and feel like you can do whatever you want, whenever you feel like it. You know this, so why are you drawn like a moth to a flame to your local bike meet? As you arrive that there’ll be 20 riders with the same bike as you, except theirs are all better finished and you’ll never be able to afford the Akrapovic system he’s got. Then some random bastard starts jawing off at you about you’re riding all wrong and all you did was pull into the carpark. And you get done for doing 44mph in a 40 zone on the way home.

Being beaten by a car

You might have 160bhp at the wheel, super sticky tyres and fast group stickers plastered across your headlight. But he has four wheel drive, huge brakes, a meeting to get to and 340bhp. All of which add up to a package that will make mincemeat out of you if you cissy around. While you’re hard on the brakes on the way into a roundabout he will be turning up Girls Aloud with one hand and sending rudey texts to his secretary with the other, all the while filling your mirrors and making you look like a numpty. Best let him pass and look down at the other side of the bike for that ‘problem’...

Biker nods

Who nods first, you or him? And who cares anyway? If everyone nodded at everyone then we would all get along a whole lot better. You have to decide whether to nod or not nod depending on what he’s riding and how you’re feeling. He’s riding a bike clearly inferior to yours but you’re feeling kind so give him the sideways head-tilt that’s currently favoured. And he doesn’t nod back – the bastard! Two miles later and you’re still swearing inside your helmet. You will never nod to anyone again.

Disc locks

Helmet on, gloves on, key in, pull away... and fall off. In front of five people. You must either now pretend it didn’t happen or take a bow for being a complete and utter penis. Now you’ve got a broken clutch lever, a smashed mirror and a scratched fairing panel. Oh, and the disc lock’s smashed your front mudguard. Total bill: £586. How could you forget? You could use one of those coiled-string things that attaches to your handlebars to remind you of its presence, but only girls and city wankers need those. When it’s not causing you to topple over it sits like a lump of lead on your side. Then you return to your bike and someone just nicked the cursed thing anyway. Gnrghh!

Thieves

The problem with scum is that they will exist as long as bikes do. First of all is that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realise it’s not there, then you start checking the other bike rank in case your brain has imploded. Not content with stealing your bike they then have the audacity to burn it at the bottom of your road. And you just spent £500 on security. If you actually manage to get your hands on one of the scrotes you’d better make sure you bury him deep, because if you get caught laying a finger on his greasy head you’ll end up doing time for aggravated assault while he walks free. You called the police who eventually gave you a crime number and four weeks later came round to take some details.

The police

What is it with the condescending manner that all policemen adopt when they talk to you? We’re all adults here, can’t you just write me the ticket and we’ll be on our way. “Having trouble taking off, Wing Commander?”  You know you were speeding, they know you were speeding. Why do we have to play this game like a pair of near-divorcees? The trouble is that you just caught me and now I have to pretend to be shocked at my own behaviour.

Insurance

The days of registering a C90 on a multibike policy and then riding “your mum’s” Fireblade on it are long gone. Today some places quote two or three times as much as the others to insure your bike. But of course, you never find that out until after you’ve paid up. Suck it up and and pay out for a policy, and then you bundle your bike up the road and have to claim. And now suffer the indignity of explaining to a lady in Bengal why you couldn’t stop in time for the car that pulled out in front of you. Five months later a cheque for twelve pence wafts onto your doormat. After careful consideration you decide to downsize to a scooter, which is pinched from outside your house within a week.

The armchair biking bore

Nobody claims to be one, but everyone has experienced the morale-sapping power that a biker know-it-all has. “Nah mate you want three clicks off the rear (sniff), two up the front and a full Akro system, that’s what I had on my Gixxer, made 187bhp at the backwheel and used to come up in top.” I’m sorry, what does that mean? “Hang on, if you listen you can actually hear the ‘ram air’ working. It’s worth at least another 10 brake at peak.” As you walk away you can hear him debriefing someone else about how he managed to out-brake them into the roundabout because he has a sweat band around his brake reservoir, which apparently warms the fluid and allows him to use maximum braking force as soon as he pulls away from his house. In the bike industry, we all know one known as KwH, look out for him on a forum near you.

Other bikers

So you have the Repsol Blade, the replica leathers, boots gloves and helmet but do you look like Nicky Hayden? No, because Nicky Hayden doesn’t weigh 16 stone and he doesn’t commute across Clapham Common everyday. Why do other bikers do that? Other bikers ignore you when you flick your visor up at the lights, other bikers ride really badly, other bikers swear loudly with their mates at petrol stations and embarrass you. Other bikers rev the bollocks off their bikes in the carpark, other bikers have really expensive clobber that makes you jealous, other bikers have sportsbikes and chicken strips, and that annoys you. Other bikers try and race you when all you want to do is get home, other bikers think way too highly of themselves. But not you. Oh no.