COMMUTING – TWO WHEELS REALLY ARE BETTER THAN FOUR!
Do you dread the early morning commute to work? You need to get to the office on time so you leave your warm comfy bed earlier and earlier each week to try and make time for your journey. You know you’ll be stuck in queues for road works even though there never seems to be much ‘work’ going on! Lorries will break down blocking the road, flooding will close off the shortcut you use to try and avoid the worst of the traffic jams and refuse lorries, milk floats and supermarket home delivery trucks will decide that rush hour is a great time to park up on double yellows and cause chaos. All the while you’re sat in your car listening to the early morning radio traffic report telling you how long the queue that you’ve been sat in for the last half hour is. All of this just to get to office where you’ll work flat out for 8 hours and then face the same torture on the way home. There must be a better way?
I went through this commuting carnage every day for 10 years before I realised how much sleep I was losing through the early morning journey to work. I got up over an hour earlier so I could leave home before the rush hour started in the vain hope my journey to work would be free flowing and uneventful. And now it is! In desperation I decided to buy a 50cc scooter. I could ride it on my car licence but having never been on a bike before I decided to do a CBT to teach me the basics. I was nervous on the day of the CBT but I needn’t have worried. The instructors were thorough and professional and taught me everything I needed to get out on the road but they made it great fun and I made friends with the other guys in my group. We were all there for the same reason, we all wanted to ride a bike, so there was always had something to chat about over a cuppa during tea breaks.
Monday morning arrived and I took my trusty Honda Zoomer out on the road for my first commute. The queues for the road works were still there but I filtered down the long, long line of stationary cars and straight to the front of the queue. When the lights changed I was off with a lovely stretch of clear road ahead. Fantastic! The car parked on the side of the road in town, stranded with a puncture and blocking half the left hand lane, posed no problems as I rode through with ease without having to cross the white lines. Buses taking on passengers were no reason to stop and I didn’t even have to search for a parking space in the car park at work. The motorcycle parking bay is right next to the entrance door. On that first morning I got to work half an hour quicker than usual and I felt much more relaxed and ready to start the day. The journey home was just as quick and trouble free and I got to spend half an hour extra with my family. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?
My Honda Zoomer and I parted company 5 years ago when I decided I’d like a bigger bike. I passed my test and bought a beautiful Honda XL125 Varadero. Last year I got a CBR250R and I’m looking to trade that in for a Honda 600cc of some kind this summer. I’ve been bitten by the biking bug! I thought that the cold, wet winters that we’ve had in the last few years may have put me off but with all the money I’ve saved on petrol I have invested in some Alpinestars Gore-Tex kit which keeps me warm and dry and doesn’t let the weather spoil my daily commute.
I’ve always bought my bikes from my local Honda dealer, Honda Of Bournemouth, and my kit from their website www.motorbikeplanet.co.uk. I’ve bought so much over the years that I have offered to do some reviews on the clothing, helmets and accessories that I have bought and how they work out in the real world. Keep an eye out for some of these reviews coming soon. In the meantime I can really recommend that you try biking to work. It will save you money and time and will change your life for the better in so many ways.
I still get up an hour earlier than I have to but now it’s by choice. I like to go for a little ride before work. It really is the best way to start the day!