Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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No comment from Grammar Nazi with reference to his own performance...?
Here's today's piece of genius...
"A salute to the commuters. Recently I voiced my opinions on riding all year round, and how I believe that getting out on the bike as often as possible throughout every season makes us better riders. That article was immediately met by comments on the BGW Facebook page stating that commuting was the answer to keeping riding skills finely honed. And that made me smile…because it’s precisely where I was headed next with my ramblings.
So here’s to you, commuters. Here’s to bikes covered in a permanent, thin film of filth. Here’s to Cordura jackets you’ve long since forgotten the original colour of. Here’s to biting cold, pouring sweat, splitting lanes and cheating death. Here’s to that life-saving sixth sense you work so hard for, and the self-confidence it brings.
Fair weather bikers will never know about keeping the near-miss survival stories to themselves every day when they arrive at work in one piece. They haven’t arrived home and stood under the verandah waiting for the worst of the water to drain off their oversuits so they can go inside without leaving puddles, either. They don’t own grubby McGyver-inspired backpacks kitted out to fix a flat tyre, change a plug, troubleshoot electrics and perform minor mechanical miracles to get them home. Committed commuter bikers are confident and self-reliant. In a world of traffic that’s out to get them, they look after themselves.
I love the way seasoned commuter riders are both as visible and invisible as they need to be. Getting themselves seen when safety calls for it, but most of the time seamlessly slipping between lanes, deftly steering from the hips to slalom around SUV mirrors, the width of the bike judged perfectly, the gap down to a hair’s breadth. Good commuter riders don’t attract attention unnecessarily. They don’t invoke the wrath of car drivers, because they know the same driver they piss off on Monday and Tuesday will also be there on Wednesday, ready to narrow the gap if he got out of bed on the wrong side that morning.
I commuted every day for years, in fair weather and foul. On an old Yamaha SR250, on a Suzuki X7, on a Kawasaki KDX250 and finally on Delilah, my faithful Kawasaki ZZR600. Now that I work from home I still miss the ride. And I still have the commuter’s habit of walking to the kitchen window first thing every morning, squinting at the sky, reading the weather.
People who commute on bikes know how to survive the trials of traffic. And I appreciate the fact that while a few do it for economic reasons, so many still do it for the love of it. For the freedom, and the pride that comes with achieving a very special skill recognised by only a minority, but valued dearly by those who’ve gone the distance for it.
Look at it this way – it may not be Phillip Island or The Great Ocean Road, but for many bikers all over this country, it’s still a daily ride, more time on a bike for people who can never get enough. Folks like me who are mad enough to ride through the traffic in the rain, look at the people stuck in their warm cars and feel sorry for them. People who know that any ride at all is better than none. If you’re out there doing it every day, I salute you. And truth be told, I’m more than a bit jealous."
Current: '06 Daytona 675 ('08 BEARS winning bike - Chris Panayi) White with Pitty's Custom Vinyls TTC decals STM Slipper Clutch Braking wave rotors with folding/adjustable levers GB engine covers Valter Moto Rearsets Race kit detent wheel & idle adjuster 1050 throttle tube Captive Wheel Spacers MotoGems bling Vortex clip-ons, Stomp grip 520 conversion Puig screen Madaz slip-on Intake flapper & Ex-up removed Swing-arm pivot mod. Thinner head gasket Custom tune