It’s something I’ve always said that I’ve never wanted to do.
I’ve never liked the idea of running bikes into the ground, letting the salty, muddy roads corrode your pride and joy. Surely public transport or just walking would be a worthy sacrifice to save your treasured bike?
However after recently coming into a new job, I’ve been forced into a 3 mile commute. There are no buses at 5:30am, so for the first few weeks I had a miserable 45 minute, winter walk every morning. It was bleak and cold every morning and caused me to wake up very early to get to work on time.
Then December came. The Virago was finally on the road; a cheap and cheerful, bombproof bike that I didn’t really care about cosmetically. In my eyes, it could be thick with rust and corrosion but as long as it had that solid, reliable 35bhp engine in it, I couldn’t care less. A perfect winter hack.
So that’s what I did. Every morning since that day I have jumped on the old thumper and went off to work… and I’ve got to say, it’s fantastic.
|The old lunker|
Half past five, the roads are empty and quiet. Not a sound to be heard, just the rippling exhaust note and the pitter patter of rain drops on your visor; riding down a few country lanes with no light, except from the small, dim beam protruding from my rusting Yamaha’s headlight.
Although amidst the fun of the past week, there was one slight mishap. Twice on the same journey to work, my bike broke down. Angry and pissed off, I fiddled around with the electrics at the side of a round-a-bout, as previous breakdowns have been electric related. After a few wiggles I managed to get it going again. I continued onwards for another mile before breaking down yet again. Irritatingly, I had broken down at the bottom of a very dark and very wet hill. I gave up and began to push my little nail up the daunting incline.
But despite this, I still love it. Looking back on that experience, it was horrible at the time but man… it makes going to work such an adventure. And that’s what commuting does doesn’t it? It turns your dreaded journey to work into an exciting escapade and there’s no machine better to do it on than some battered up, 24 year old cruiser. Well not for me at least.
But even still, the most strange thing is, is that in the past month I have not had a single dry commute to work. I’ve rode through rain, ice and hail every day. And it’s warming to think, if it’s good now… what’s the summer commute going to be like?
Bring it on.