We’ll be overstating the obvious of something we bikers already know; that riding a motorcycle brings unique experiences such as freedom, immersion, yada, yada, yada. Consequently, motorcycling offers unique frustrations that only we as bikers could only understand. Here are the ten most annoying things we encounter, apart from other drivers.
Nine hours have gone by in the office and you’ve only received two phone calls, one from he who sits above the glass ceiling and the other from the Mrs. to remind you to pick up the Mini-Godzilla’s diapers. Apart from that, you’ve ignored your buddies who kept posting pictures of women who are allergic to clothing throughout the day. Otherwise, the phone had been quiet.
You punch out and head down to your bike. Placing the phone on the seat, you go through your gearing up routine. The screen stays black. So you stuff it into your jacket’s inner pocket and pull on the gloves.
You start up the bike and leave the parking lot.
Now the phone start looping your Barbie Girl ringtone and vibrating incessantly like an engine out of Milwaukee. It about annoys you to madness, so you blast all the way home, only to be yelled at by your wife for forgetting the diapers.
2. THE ROUTINE
Our gearing up routine is like in the military: First the jacket and stash away the phone, insert the earplugs, wear the helmet, the gloves, and finally the backpack. At this point a lady colleague remarks, “And men say we ladies take a long time to get ready.”
You get on the bike, ready to get the heck out of dodge. You reach for ignition and … yikes! Where’s the key?
Digging around with gloves isn’t easy for off they come. You go through your jacket and pants but it’s not there, so you take off your helmet and dig into the backpack like airport security, only to find it in the waist pouch.
3. CHEEKY WEATHER, PART 1
Rain. Torrential rain.
You rush for a sheltered spot underneath the bridge, to find other bikes three deep, so you had to stop where water cascades down from the bridge above like a waterfall.
You snatch the GIVI Prime rainsuit and throw your backpack into the GIVI topbox, then sprint over to the barrier and vault over like a high jump.
You remove your shoes and pull on the waterproof pants. Next, you slip your shoes into the waterproof covers, followed by the rainsuit’s jacket. Every move is calculated because the failure to secure just one zipper or flap properly will have water seeping through.
You’re gasping for breath and sweating at his point but you feel gratified as you know you’ll be dry. Dry? Oh yes, the rain stops at this point.
Your driving colleagues are already halfway home.
4. CHEEKY WEATHER, PART 2
You decide to leave the rainsuit on, in case it starts raining again down the road. But the sun has come out in full blast and other road users stare at this parachutist who had missed his drop zone and landed on a motorcycle. Yeah, laugh it up while you’re being steamed alive in your own sweat.
The rain did come again a few minutes later. However, although the rainsuit keeps the rain out, you’re already wet from perspiration underneath.
Your bike is low on fuel now so you pull into a petrol station. You get off and head over to the payment window, only to find that your wallet is in your pants pocket, buried deep down in the waterproof pants, and covered by layers of the rain jacket and riding jacket. Now you have to do an impression of the Chippendales, as you strip off the layers.
The sun comes again after you’ve filled up, so you store the rainsuit.
5. TRICKLE TROUBLE
You’re now on the way.
The rain splashes down again without warning and since you’re already annoyed from being played out by the weather, you decide to ride all the way without stopping again.
Soon, you start feeling a dampness in your crotch and crack of your bum as the rain starts to trickle down the tank and seat and pool there.
You finally reach your destination. People stare at you when you walk by, thinking maybe you should wear diapers.
6. STRAP ON
It’s the weekend and it’s time to ride.
The call comes for everyone to get ready. You put on your gear calmly and methodically to avoid mistakes. But the guys were already blasting out onto the highway before you could even get your left glove on!
Oh, forget it! You throw everything together faster than a fireman and give chase. Two hundred metres down the road, something slaps against the side of your helmet and your neck. You’ve forgotten to secure the chin strap.
Your buddies appear to be chasing the podium in the sky and since you don’t want to lose touch with them, you stuff the wayward strap up between your face and cheekpad.
7. PLUG THAT HOLE
Soon, you start to feel something wriggling out of left ear. It’s the earplug, and you must’ve loosen it when you shoved the chinstrap up the cheekpad.
And suddenly it pops all the way out but is stuck between the earlobe and inner lining of the helmet. The windblast and Ride Like The Wind join forces to form an aural assault on your left ear, while the right side stays quiet.
You try to push the irritation out of the way but you guys still have 100 kilometres to go, so you pull over. You remove your gloves and the helmet, then stuff the loose annoying earplug back in until your thumb almost got in there too.
On goes back the helmet and glove, and you continue chasing your buddies.
Now the left side is quieter than the right.
8. THE ITCH
This time, you ignore the acoustic imbalance as you ride as fast as you can to catch up to those in front. Suddenly the top of your head starts to get prickly before developing into a full-on itch. There’s something crawling in your hair and it must be an ant. You grab the helmet’s chinbar and wriggle the helmet around but it was futile.
And now your phone starts to ring non-stop. Must be your worried buddies trying to reach you.
9. DIVE BOMBERS
You catch up to your buddies at your favorite port. Spotting a nice shade under a large tree, you head over to park your gleaming bike. Satisfied that your pride and joy is parked in a cool spot, you head inside to your friends teasing you. You get a new “callsign” as Leo, as in Leonardo the Turtle. You take it all in like a man and stuff your face with lemang.
Breakfast done, you head back to your bike while zipping up your jacket along the way. The bike covered under a thick layer of white and green bird droppings, front to back.
10. HATE THEIR GUTS
The group is heading home, riding serenely along a kampung road. The sun is low on the horizon, the air is cool, and pretty anak daras smile as you pass. You forget about your fertilizer liveried bike. Aaah, what calm.
A huge bug has gone the way of the Samurai against your faceshield, leaving a splat of yellow and green fluid. Before you could stop your left hand, it swipes over the gunk in a reflex action, smearing the bug’s guts all over your faceshield.
Great. Now you can’t see anything ahead.