A new era–thanks, Huey!

17 Jul


It should be pointed out that Huey is a motorcycle… a Huonaio Hn125-8 FireBird to be precise…bought off my friend Andy two years ago for £500 – and he bought it as a Chinese grey import for £700. Huey has been reliable, economical and damn good fun to ride. £20 a month is pretty good value for transport. I’ve had mobility that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. We will ignore the incidents when the battery fell out, or the headlamp unit fell off. We will forget the embarrassment of the top box that made a break for freedom. And we will forget the several times that the reserve tank hasn’t been enough to get me home… you can build real muscles pushing a motorbike. And perhaps we should draw a veil over the day that, overladen with gear, Huey and I toppled slowly yet spectacularly into a ditch.

Huey is where I learned to ride.. the L plates are long gone.. something I never got round to when I was younger. And sometimes I think that the car driving test should include an afternoon on a motorbike – it would make everyone aware of what it feels like to be vulnerable.

So, what’s next? A silver Yamaha Fazer actually, bought after great deliberation and two hours in a bike showroom trying to work out what to get. Another chapter in the story unfolds.

But what is it about riding a bike that appeals to me? It can be damn cold, damn wet and damn uncomfortable. Gravel is lethal. White lines on the road hold their own dangers. It’s no good for going shopping on. But it’s ‘can’t wipe the smile off my face’ fun. There’s something about the manoeuvrability, the rapid response, the flexibility. There’s something about the connection to the road – rather than being insulated by the steering of a car, steering a bike is something you do with your whole body. There’s a sense of living on the edge, of needing your wits around you. There’s something almost meditative about being so aware of what’s going on around you… mindfully aware of every potential hazard, every pot hole, speed bump, patch of diesel, every pedestrian, every other driver, every crazy animal. There’s something about the camaraderie among riders, who acknowledge each other as they pass. It feels like ‘me’ somehow.

It’s raw and real, being connected to the world in a way that no driver in a car can be. Feeling the wind whip past.. aware of the environment around me.. feeling the road, reacting to every moment.

We’ve had some adventures, Huey and I… loading up with camping equipment for a weekend under the stars.. riding to meet friends.. all part of the richness of life. And doing it in a car wouldn’t bring the same memories, somehow..

So , thank you my friend… I salute you!


Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

PS – it’s been a while, but blogging is back on the agenda…


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