Sometimes making that step to getting a motorbike seems like a real push. Instead of feeling that you need to push to get a bike, it is more an idea of being pulled, the benefits of biking so to speak.
Whilst you might be sat there thinking, “Learning is such an effort” or “It costs so much money” or that “Motorbiking is really dangerous” and yes, you’d be right to a certain extent I want toput forwards my experiences of biking that hopefully attract you over to our side of life.
1. Free yourself from the commute/congestion grind already.
Commuting and being stuck in congestion go hand in hand with causing inordinate amounts of stress on the average motorist. I have read studies in the past that suggested commutes of over 10 hours a week are actually damaging to physical health and mental wellbeing.
The time we have is precious. Between doing your work, commuting and sleep you get your recreational time. The time you spend with your mates, partner, or children. I would guess on my working days I get about 4 hours recreational time a day. Everyone would rather have more time to look after their health, or developing hobbies or socialising with friends.
A couple of years ago now I lost my bike due to an accident. I was alright and still fortunately had the car, I would finish work and get back home about 7 oclock in the evening. By the time I had caught up on home affairs and cooked dinner it would be more like half 8 at night. Whilst the job was good it brought into sharp relief for me just how much a bike can increase your quality of life by letting you acheive a healthier work/family balance. If that sounds like you then you would benefit from having a bike. My commute used to be about 90 minutes a day, since starting at ghostbikes.com the commute is much less painful, but I still ride in whenever I can.
2. Greener for the planet.
Whilst the marketing gurus of cars are fast to point out typical kg/km of their carbon emissions for the latest model they don’t typically take into account the fact that car drivers suffer from congestion as raised in point 1.
Fuel efficiency and test conditions on cars are typically conducted on open roads with clear space ahead of them, which just isn’t the reality on the modern UK roads. Some manufacturers are working on the problems of this with start/stop technology but rather than sitting in traffic wasting your time and your fuel you could have been making progress throughthat traffic with lots less emissions on a bike.
3. Sharpen your roadcraft.
Everyone likes to pretend they are a good driver and or a good rider. Learning to ride a motorcycle made me think more about how to effectively use the road in a more sensible manner. Things that you have to think about on a bike you can take for granted in a car, things like surface texture of the road, gravel and debris, cambers on the road, rain dew, cross winds etc. After riding for a while thinking of allthese things becomes second nature to you and you will find that your standard of car driving has increased through better foreplanning, judgement, use of the road and positioning and gearing. All these things add up to being a safer road user and a more efficient one too.
I have been intimately close to several car accidents along the M61 motorway in the 14 months or so that it was my commute. I am confident that had I not the experience of riding then I may have been directly involved with the accident rather than narrowly escaping. So whilst statistics will show that you are at a higher risk of having a serious accident on a bike than in a car it does go both ways.
4. Light on the wallet.
There is a theory out there that motorbikes are an expensive game, I’ll make no illusions about this for you learning to ride is a financial commitment, it costs anywhere from around £400 to get a full license to £1000+ depending on who you are and the fact then you need to purchase bike gear as well.
Practical motorbikes however have a massive potential to save you money right from day one. The tax for a 125cc bike is typically around £15 a year. Maintenance on commuting bikes up to 500-600 cc is typically cheaper than running a car doing the same work. Since you save time in your day you can undertake more paid work if you wanted for the same actual home time.
On top of this motorbikes are often exempt from paying toll charges, exempt from paying to park and exempt from the London-Soon-To-Be-Nation-Wide congestion charges.
I save about £7 a day when I need to park in Lancaster compared to the car, that amount of money adds up fast!
5. The feel good factor.
Community. You’re sat there reading this knowing exactly what I mean if you have a bike. If you don’t have a bike then believe me that when you get one you will become part of one of the most integrated, friendly, communities on the roads. Every biker whether a Harley Rider, a Sportsbike Rider or a Teenager on a 125 Enduro will offer you a nod of the head when you pass them, stop and see if you’re ok when you’re at the side of the road and take care of you should you ever need it. If you’re on the side of the road, i’ll stop for you.
It doesn’t matter what walk of life you are from, how much money you earn or what skills you have. If you appreciate riding motorbikes and all that it stands for then you’ll always have people standing by you as part of that wider circle of motorcyclists.
If you’re a car driver and want more free time, more money, a healthier outlook then make that step, and book your CBT and test.