I had thought getting Jenn on board would be the hardest part of all this; it turned out to be easiest. Meanwhile, the part I had felt would be most straightforward, the exam, turned out to be incredibly challenging. But, as I say, the obstacle was finally overcome last week. That leaves just one thing standing between myself and taking to the road:
Which is an obstacle that is never easy, for anyone.
I simply don’t have the money to buy a motorcycle. I’m trying, but can’t seem to get anywhere. In the past few months, I’ve managed to get interviews for three different jobs, each of which would have resulted in a yearly pay increase of at least £8,000, but have each time been passed over. The emotional effect of all this defeat has been pretty devastating and the end result is that I still don’t have a bike.
Don’t get me wrong here. I suspect that from my What I Want posts a person could be led to believe that I’m being picky, that I’ve got my heart set on owning a brand new bike as my first. Not at all. I’d settle for a 13-year-old Yamaha or what have you, but even there I do not have the cash. Presently, I have just £350 that could be put toward a bike — money I have managed to squirrel away bit by bit since December. At my present rate of saving, I will have enough for the aforementioned Yamaha in October 2015.
I feel I’m stuck at the bottom of a pretty high wall here and I can’t figure a way over it, which is frustrating, to say the least. I worry about skills loss, and thereafter a loss in confidence and willingness to get on a bike. I am afraid of slipping into whatever it was that prevented me from riding after I got my U.S. license at age 18.
There are a few dealerships around that have demo bikes. For example, I know that Thunder Road has several demo NC700X bikes, and that Suzuki has a number of test ride events taking place throughout the summer. Kawasaki also allows people to book test rides, as does Yamaha. But these are resources that I suspect will dry up very quickly, and it’s certainly not the best way for a person to go about gaining the hours of experience that one wants and needs as a new rider.
I have seen bikes offered for as little as £500, which I could probably put together by the end of the summer, but these machines are more than 20 years old and have upward of 80,000 miles on the clock. I suspect I would almost instantly regret buying such a bike, as its demands would far outstrip my mechanical and financial abilities.
I feel stuck. Grounded. I’ve got my motorcycle license. But now what?