Possibly OT: Cycling to Motorcycling

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Toby Barrett, Feb 12, 2004.

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  1. Toby Barrett

    Toby Barrett Guest

    Hello all

    Until a few months ago I cycled to work (about 9 miles each way, mostly rural roads), and sometimes
    posted here. Then I lost my job: bad news. I've managed to get another job: good news - but it is 29
    miles each way. Can't really see myself cycling this on a regular basis, espeacially given the
    nature of the roads.

    Four years of cycling have taught me one thing: I hate sitting in traffic queues! Not only that,
    but if I use the car everyday, then my wife can't (she usually cycles to work, but occasionally
    needs the car).

    So I'm thinking that a motorcycle might be the answer. I've looked at some of the motorcycle
    newsgroups and they seem a bit scary; I know next to nothing about motorbikes.

    Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    could give me some hints?

    Thanks

    Toby

    PS. The obvious, long-term solution is to get a job within cycling distance. But that may take time.
     
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  2. On 12 Feb 2004 03:16:52 -0800, Toby Barrett <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > So I'm thinking that a motorcycle might be the answer. I've looked at some of the motorcycle
    > newsgroups and they seem a bit scary; I know next to nothing about motorbikes.
    >
    > Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    > could give me some hints?

    Find a local training company and book a one day CBT (Certificate or Basic Training) course. They
    will provide a bike for this, you'll do some theory, some 'playground' stuff and then some road
    stuff. This should help to give you an idea of whether it is something you want to take further. On
    the assumption you are over 21 you can then take a direct access course on bigger bikes than a 125
    to get a full licence.

    Colin
    --
     
  3. \ Dave

    \ Dave Guest

    "Colin Blackburn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    > On 12 Feb 2004 03:16:52 -0800, Toby Barrett <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > So I'm thinking that a motorcycle might be the answer. I've looked at some of the motorcycle
    > > newsgroups and they seem a bit scary; I know next to nothing about motorbikes.
    > >
    > > Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    > > could give me some hints?
    >
    > Find a local training company and book a one day CBT (Certificate or Basic Training) course. They
    > will provide a bike for this, you'll do some theory, some 'playground' stuff and then some road
    > stuff. This should help to give you an idea of whether it is something you want to take further.
    > On the assumption you are over 21 you can then take a direct access course on bigger bikes than a
    > 125 to get a full licence.
    >
    > Colin
    > --
    Colin's just about covered the serious stuff regards starting 'biking.......

    You will *have to* wear a helmet (but this is not a bad thing ;-)

    You may get fat, so will need to ensure you replace the exercise that cycling previously gave you
    some other way (possibly cycling in your spare time ;-)

    Hills will no longer exist

    Cagers may still fail to recognise your existence. Cycling will have prepared you well for this -
    always use your lights.

    I recently stopped motorcycling after an accident made me realise that as a father of three
    brilliant children and being a loving, doting husband I have other interests in my life that my
    continued existence is far more important to than getting the addictive buzz that I achieved through
    motorcycling. Motorcycles can go very fast....roads can get very slippy....cars, lorries, walls,
    trees and just about anything else you might hit at high speed should you and the bike part company
    will be harder than you, resulting in a very big <OUCH> should you be so unfortunate as to
    experience that occurance.

    Having said that, it is an excellent form of transport. Taking a little care and using the same
    approach as cycling, defensively/ assertive should result in a long lasting enjoyable
    experience....and best of all, traffic jams will have minimum impact. Give it a go, you never know,
    you might enjoy it ;-) Dave.
     
  4. "Toby Barrett" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    > could give me some hints?

    Just remember not to pedal!
     
  5. W K

    W K Guest

    "(t'other) Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I recently stopped motorcycling after an accident made me realise that as
    a
    > father of three brilliant children and being a loving, doting husband I
    have
    > other interests in my life that my continued existence is far more
    important
    > to than getting the addictive buzz that I achieved through motorcycling.

    You seem to be saying that its impossible to have a motorbike and not ride it too fast?
     
  6. Skunk

    Skunk New Member

    Joined:
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    I have gone the other way. I was a dyed in the wool biker from 17-30. I have cycled for the last couple of years.
    I have had all sorts of bikes from 125c.c. to 1100c.c.
    For a commute to work as a relative novice, I would suggest a 125c.c. trail bike. Enough poke to outaccelerate most cars, small enough to weave in and out of town traffic, high mpg, low maintenance and also the opportunity for some off road/green lane fun if you get hooked.
    I haven't had a motorbike for a few years so am out of touch with current bikes but if you can pick up a decent second hand trails bike you'll enjoy the trip to work.
    I wouldn't go back to motorbiking now through choice, but it gave me great enjoyment for years, albeit different to that I enjoy now on a cycle.
    At the time I was motorbiking, I couldn't have imagined a 12mph pootle around back lanes coming anywhere near a 148mph blast down the M1 (I was a lot younger then) but now it seems very comparable. - although not always safer.
     
  7. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Toby Barrett) writes:

    > Until a few months ago I cycled to work (about 9 miles each way, mostly rural roads), and
    > sometimes posted here. Then I lost my job: bad news. I've managed to get another job: good news -
    > but it is 29 miles each way. Can't really see myself cycling this on a regular basis, espeacially
    > given the nature of the roads.

    You don't want to motorcycle it every day, either. Yuk!

    Big differences include the seating position (comfortable upright unless you get some boy-racer type
    of machine), and the wonderfully smooth ride the suspension brings you. And, above all, it's far,
    far colder than cycling.

    > PS. The obvious, long-term solution is to get a job within cycling distance. But that may take
    > time.

    Don't forget the alternative: a house within cycling (or walking) distance of work.

    --
    Nick Kew
     
  8. Toby Barrett wrote:

    > Hello all
    >
    > Until a few months ago I cycled to work (about 9 miles each way, mostly rural roads), and
    > sometimes posted here. Then I lost my job: bad news. I've managed to get another job: good news -
    > but it is 29 miles each way. Can't really see myself cycling this on a regular basis, espeacially
    > given the nature of the roads.
    >
    > Four years of cycling have taught me one thing: I hate sitting in traffic queues! Not only that,
    > but if I use the car everyday, then my wife can't (she usually cycles to work, but occasionally
    > needs the car).
    >
    > So I'm thinking that a motorcycle might be the answer. I've looked at some of the motorcycle
    > newsgroups and they seem a bit scary; I know next to nothing about motorbikes.
    >
    > Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    > could give me some hints?

    I'd buy a motorbike if helmets weren't compulsory!

    <g,d&r
     
  9. Mike Gayler

    Mike Gayler Guest

    [email protected] (Toby Barrett) writed in
    news:[email protected]:

    >snip Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker,
    >and could give me some hints? Toby

    Like several other posters here I also have a m/c licence, and have had for er...25+ years. I ride a
    250cc scooter when I just can't be bothered with the effort of cycling (and then have guilt pangs)
    or am visiting parts of our far flung empire for work. Get training - and then get advanced training
    (IAM or ROSPA). Your bicycle skills will stand you in very good stead, but things *are* different
    with a motor throbbing between your thighs (enough.. enough..). Do not under any circumstances go
    for a restricted 50cc machine - they are the scariest things on 2 wheels. Aim for a full licence
    that will allow you the option of something that will hold its own in traffic (ie over 125cc). I
    would agree with the poster who said to look at trail machines - the riding position is nice and
    upright giving you very good visibility and lots of 'presence'. I went for a so-called 'maxi-
    scooter' for the ease of riding, luggage capacity and the added weather protection.

    (Oh and don't ride in the bus lanes)

    Mike - Leicester
     
  10. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    [email protected] (Toby Barrett) writes:

    > Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    > could give me some hints?

    Long, long time ago.

    Motorbikes are fun, but sooner or later you're going to have some sort of bump and it's a lot less
    funny than on a pushbike. Also, you would not believe how bloody cold it's possible to get. Unlike
    on a pushbike you're not expending any energy, and the wind chill is fierce. Get good motorcycle
    clothes - waxed cotton is waterproof and slides without melting when (not if) you go skating down
    the road on your backside at 40mph. Get massive winter gloves - your hands are stuck out there in
    the freezing wind.

    Also, don't be over-ambitious with the bike you get. Even a 250cc motorbike has a better power to
    weight ratio than most cars, and will keep up with any reasonable traffic without difficulty. Yes,
    you can get far more powerful things - but you can kill yourself very easily on them.

    > PS. The obvious, long-term solution is to get a job within cycling distance. But that may take
    > time.

    The long term solution is to get a job within dressing-gown wearing distance. My total commute from
    bed to desk is about twenty-five yards, and that's only because it's a fairly big house.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
     
  11. Alan Walker

    Alan Walker Guest

    [email protected] (Toby Barrett) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    > could give me some hints?

    I have gone from bicycle to motorcycle and back to bicycle.

    1. Motorcycling is more dangerous.

    2. Do a roadcraft course.

    3. A subtle trap: you might not realise how much a cyclist can rely on hearing to check if there are
    cars around. With a motorcycle helmet and a motorcycle exhaust, you can't hear cars. Keep moving
    your head and look at your mirrors once a second.

    Regards

    Alan Walker
     
  12. [email protected] (Toby Barrett) wrote: ...
    | So I'm thinking that a motorcycle might be the answer. I've looked at some of the motorcycle
    | newsgroups and they seem a bit scary; I know next to nothing about motorbikes.

    Would a Vespa plug the gap?

    | Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker, and
    | could give me some hints?

    I started the route to a motorbike licence once but realised I would probably kill myself since I
    was too used to judging clearances in inches.

    --
    Patrick Herring, Sheffield, UK http://www.anweald.co.uk

    Eala Earendel engla beorhtast ofer middangeard monnum sended.
     
  13. "(t'other) Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    >
    > I recently stopped motorcycling after an accident made me realise that as
    a
    > father of three brilliant children and being a loving, doting husband I
    have
    > other interests in my life that my continued existence is far more
    important
    > to than getting the addictive buzz that I achieved through motorcycling. Motorcycles can go very
    > fast....roads can get very slippy....cars,
    lorries,
    > walls, trees and just about anything else you might hit at high speed
    should
    > you and the bike part company will be harder than you, resulting in a very big <OUCH> should you
    > be so unfortunate as to experience that occurance.
    >

    Oh, that's me too, except that I stopped about four years ago after an accident that smashed my
    wrist quite badly and could easily have been much worse, on the eve of my daughter's birthday. Spent
    it in hospital instead.

    But I have to say that it probably all turned out for the best. Although I would prefer to have a
    fully functioning wrist, the compensation wasn't bad, I am much fitter as a result of cycling and
    consider that I face much less risk on the road as a cyclist than I did as a motorcyclist. If that
    accident hadn't been enough to put me off, who knows how the next one might have turned out? And
    there would probably have been a next one - I had several 'till I gave up, always the other driver's
    fault but always me that got hurt. Even without speeding, impact speeds on a motorcycle will be
    higher than on a bicycle!

    > Having said that, it is an excellent form of transport. Taking a little
    care
    > and using the same approach as cycling, defensively/ assertive should
    result
    > in a long lasting enjoyable experience....and best of all, traffic jams
    will
    > have minimum impact.

    Cycling will have been a good preparation for it. But I wouldn't want to return to it now....

    Rich
     
  14. \ Dave

    \ Dave Guest

    "Colin Blackburn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    > On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 12:18:03 -0000, Adrian Boliston <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > "Toby Barrett" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > >> Anyone here got experience of these things, or better still going from a cyclist to a biker,
    > >> and could give me some hints?
    > >
    > > Just remember not to pedal!
    >
    > And not to pass under any Taiwanese bridges...
    >
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3481467.stm
    >
    > Colin
    > --

    Pennies from heaven, eh ;-).... Oh I wish!!!
     
  15. Skunk <[email protected]> writes:

    >I have gone the other way. I was a dyed in the wool biker from 17-30. I have cycled for the last
    >couple of years. I have had all sorts of bikes from 125c.c. to 1100c.c. For a commute to work as a
    >relative novice, I would suggest a 125c.c. trail bike. Enough poke to outaccelerate most cars,
    >small enough to weave in and out of town traffic, high mpg, low maintenance and also the
    >opportunity for some off road/green lane fun if you get hooked.

    One problem is that many 125cc bikes have rather bendier frames and poorer suspension than bigger
    bikes, which means it's harder to ride them reliably in a straight line on a undulating potholed
    road, which means you can't slip them through such narrow gaps in the traffic as you can a more
    stable and controllable bike.

    But avoid getting a bike which is too heavy to lift easily off the ground if you drop it. Why
    easily? Because when you do want to lift it off the ground you might be cold, tired, and bruised.
    And get one where your feet easily reach the ground. There are lots of "parking lot falls", i.e.,
    very low speed, on motorcycles which can't be helped on a tall bike, but on a lower bike you can
    often simply kick yourself up again and keep going without a fall.

    Don't forget to include really good biking clothes in your budget. Essential for sitting still at
    high speed in cold rain, and come in very handy when you fall off.

    My test for fit of a motorcycle jacket is that when you're wearing thick thermal underwear, two
    thick shirts, and your biggest jersey, you can still get a fish supper down the front and do up the
    zips without crushing it, and reach forwards without the sleeves exposing your wrists.

    Find out where local bikers hang out and ask advice.

    The biking newsgroups will sometimes provide good advice, but it will be mixed with a great deal of
    invective, insult, teasing, and deliberately confusing nonsense which you must be prepared not to
    get freaked by. It's an ancient tradition. (Adny was once a well known master of the art.)

    Becoming a motorcyclist greatly improved my safety as a road cyclist, because it taught me how to
    use more aggressive road positioning to control other traffic, and it gave me much sharper traffic
    look-ahead and hazard prediction.
    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  16. \ Dave

    \ Dave Guest

    "W K" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "(t'other) Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > binary.blueyonder.co.uk...
    >
    > > I recently stopped motorcycling after an accident made me realise that
    as
    > a
    > > father of three brilliant children and being a loving, doting husband I
    > have
    > > other interests in my life that my continued existence is far more
    > important
    > > to than getting the addictive buzz that I achieved through motorcycling.
    >
    > You seem to be saying that its impossible to have a motorbike and not ride it too fast?
    >
    >
    Obviously didn't make myself clearly understood but not sure how.... ;-)

    Fast only becomes Too Fast when either:-
    1. it exceeds the speed limit, this is too fast
    2. conditions are such that one is no longer in control of the bike, i.e. slippy patch on road,
    careless cager, instant loss of tyre pressure, loss of focus/concentration, engine seizing
    etcetc....

    I was only saying that I gave up motorcycling. The addictive buzz I got was from rapid acceleration,
    not going too fast. Everything goes Warp Factor 10 Mr Sulu...whoooeeeee!!

    The perceived danger of motorcycling is greater, in my eyes, than the perceived danger of cycling,
    purely because of external environmental considerations....I'd rather be risking it at 15mph than
    50mph....unless of course I was in a nice safe cage, with airbags, safetybelts etcetc....in which
    case I'd be happy to risk it at 69.9mph ;-). Again, obviously, being hit by a 40-tonner head on will
    probably have a similar effect whichever 2 wheeled mode of transport one is using.

    Dave
     
  17. On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 14:36:32 -0000, (t'other) Dave <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > "Colin Blackburn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:eek:[email protected]...
    >> And not to pass under any Taiwanese bridges...
    >>
    >> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3481467.stm
    >>
    >> Colin
    >> --
    >
    > Pennies from heaven, eh ;-)....

    It'd've made a better story had the bag dropped in his lap rather than knocking him off the
    bike, but then I guess he'd've had a gang of ruthless kidnappers after him. Big Lebowski anyone?
    Nice marmot!

    > Oh I wish!!!

    Me too, think how many bikes you could buy!

    Colin
    --
     
  18. "W K" <[email protected]> writes:

    >"(t'other) Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    >binary.blueyonder.co.uk...

    >> I recently stopped motorcycling after an accident made me realise that as
    >a
    >> father of three brilliant children and being a loving, doting husband I
    >have
    >> other interests in my life that my continued existence is far more
    >important
    >> to than getting the addictive buzz that I achieved through motorcycling.

    >You seem to be saying that its impossible to have a motorbike and not ride it too fast?

    A similar thing happened to me on a motorcycle. Very lucky to come out of it alive. But I didn't
    stop riding motorcycles. I just stopped taking easily avoidable risks because it was fun.

    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  19. Mike Causer

    Mike Causer Guest

    On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 20:22:38 +0000, Chris Malcolm wrote:

    > The biking newsgroups will sometimes provide good advice, but it will be mixed with a great deal
    > of invective, insult, teasing, and deliberately confusing nonsense which you must be prepared not
    > to get freaked by. It's an ancient tradition. (Adny was once a well known master of the art.)

    Heh, AtP seems to be back again on Ixion-son-of-Ogri. Not only that, *Mal* has made 3 posts in the
    last 24 hours. We are averting our eyes oh Lord.

    > Becoming a motorcyclist greatly improved my safety as a road cyclist, because it taught me how to
    > use more aggressive road positioning to control other traffic, and it gave me much sharper traffic
    > look-ahead and hazard prediction.

    The need for observation and paranoia in equal quantities is common to bikes and 'bikes. At least on
    a motorbike I don't get hooted at by cagers so often :) (A hoot means "Get out of the way, I'm
    coming through. Dive into the ditch if there is one.")

    Mike
     
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