Father’s Day, just like any other day really, unless you’re a Dad!
As a kid I was always excited about Father’s Day and loved bursting into the ‘old man’s’ bedroom to surprise him with a card I had lovingly made at school and a big bottle of Whiskey!
These days it’s me who gets the surprise. The week before Father’s Day the kids are whispering and there is a lot of cutting and sticking going on at their desk in the playroom. When I asked my youngest, Olivia, what she had been doing in school one day last week she commented with ‘lots of things but there isn’t one thing I can tell you about, its all a big secret!” It was then I realized it was Father’s Day on Sunday!
So, I enjoy Father’s Day and the kids enjoy Father’s Day, but this year I enjoyed it a little more than I usually do.
It was on a beautiful sunny day last week and I was on a man and van removals trip to Peterborough, and my wife was along for the ride. All of a sudden five, high performance bikes ranging from 600cc to 1000cc cruised past the van on the A1. I commented to my wife on how I missed my younger days as a biker, before I had kids and responsibilities, and how I often thought of getting another bike again.
Then she hit me with it, “You can get one for Father’s Day if you really want one” my wife said. At first I thought she was joking but then realized she was serious. “If you really want one, if it’s what you really want, then you can get one”, I was speechless!
The bike shop
It just so happens that Peterborough is home to a very good motorcycle shop called Wheels. So after I had dropped off my Van Man delivery and said goodbye to the customer we set off to have a look at the bikes in the motorcycle showroom.
As I walked in I was dazzled by the array of new and secondhand bikes in the Wheels showroom. GSXR’s, ZXR’s, CBR’s R1’s, Aprilia’s, the list goes on and on. I sat on a few sports performance bikes and imagined myself going round the Isle of Man TT. I even straddled the big Harley type machines and imagined myself riding down Route 66. But the one I kept going back to was the Kawasaki ZXR 636 Ninja, a brand new 2013 model that everyone has been talking about.
The new ZXR636 Ninja really is something else. Modern, stylish, aggressive, amazing handling and full range of power, it has the lot, and with a top speed of around 160 mph it really doesn’t hang around.
There was a ZXR636 demo bike sitting outside in the shop car park, so with a quick flash of my licence to the shop staff I was pulling on a helmet and gloves and getting ready to ride the mean streets of Peterborough.
The test ride
I haven’t really been on a motorbike since 2008, and that was only for a short while. Before then it was back in the 90’s when I last rode a bike and would class myself as a biker. So getting on a high performance road bike after such a long time was daunting to say the least, but I really didn’t have anything to worry about.
The even power delivery and superb handling of the Kawasaki ZXR636 Ninja ensured a smooth and exciting ride. My only concern after not having been out on a bike for such a long was being constantly aware of what all the other road users were doing. which isn’t a bad thing, but it seemed to be taking over the excitement of being out on a bike again. Getting out on the road on a bike, even a big, powerful bike, can feel quite daunting and intimidating. Everything and everyone around you is bigger, heavier, is incased and protected by metal. What if they don’t see me? What if they suddenly pull out? What if they just hate bikers?
I got back from my ride and actually felt unsure of accepting the kind offer of a new motorbike for Father’s Day, something I never previously thought I would refuse. Out on my ride I constantly thought about the consequences of something bad happening by being involved in an accident. I’ve got children now, I’m married, I’ve got a business to run, I’ve got responsibilities, for Gods sake I’ve got a rabbit and 3 guinea pigs who depend on me!
Go for it
It wasn’t until the next day that I changed my thinking after speaking to a good friend who has been riding bikes for years, “The bike will only go as fast as you make it go”, he said.
The Kawasaki ZXR636 Ninja might be a sports performance bike that has a top speed of 160mph and a 0 to 60 time of under 4 seconds, but as long as the rider is sensible when riding on the roads and is fully aware of other road users then riding the bike should be an exciting and enjoyable experience and hopefully one that lasts for many years to come.
Jon Lamming writes on various topics about Cambridge Man and Van removal services, house clearance, storage and packing. Here he writes about receiving a motorbike for Father’s Day. Besides writing for blogs Jon enjoys surfing all over the world, Thai Boxing, riding his motorbike, being a husband to his lovely Polish wife, Magda and father to his two girls, Emily and Olivia. www.cambridgevanman.co.uk