As the cobwebs clear from our numb skulls and the ringing from New Year’s eve reverie dies down, we ponder stupid New Year resolutions such as “I will never drink again”.
We know that’s never going to happen. So here is my list of top 10 motorcycle New Year resolutions which are all achievable and will bring me endless satisfaction. I hope you like them. Please tell me your resolutions.
1 Ride every day. I say that every year, but work, sickness, overseas air travel and weather (hot, cold or wet) often get in the way. But I’ll at least give it a red-hot go this time and certainly won’t let wet weather get in my way with Chris Vermeulen’s wet riding tips.
2 Spend more time maintaining my bikes. I promise to check the brakes, electrics, tyres, fluids, chain, etc every time I go out. We are supposed to do a check before riding and we can be fined if, for example, the indicators or brake lights aren’t working, so it’s worth doing. But when you are excited about getting on the bike, it’s often overlooked.
3 Do an overseas bike tour. I’ve ridden overseas before on bike launches, holidays and am currently on a 14-day Hobbit Odyssey of New Zealand with Mrs MBW on a Harley Road King. But I’ve never done an organised bike tour overseas and it’s time to make amends. Ferris Wheels is a very professional Aussie tour company and they are planning a Mexico tour possibly in December which is enticing. I’ve ridden with Compass Expeditions in Australia before and know they are also very professional so I might check them out as well. We are also thinking about Vietnam on a bike. Decisions, decisions.
4 Buy a new bike. Mrs MBW wants me to fill the garage with bikes. She’s the best wife ever! At the moment, I have a 2010 Triumph Bonneville for around town and blasts up the mountain and a 1980 Honda CX500 for restoration “fun” and cafe runs. I probably need something for longer two-up tours. I’m loving this Harley Road King, so that may be the go. What would you buy?
5 Learn to ride. Or at least learn to ride “better”! I’ve done many rider and driver training courses over the years and I learn something new every time. Rather than buying a more powerful bike or a bike with expensive hi-tech safety gear such as traction control, ABS, etc, a rider course will make you quicker and safer at a lot less cost. And they’re fun! Give motoDNA a call.
6 Buy more presents for the bike. I don’t need more clothes, gadgets or a bigger TV. I rarely have a need to go to the shops for anything except groceries. But I can always find more bling and bits for my bikes. They’ve been good to me and they deserve the presents.
7 Get back into MotoGP. After Casey Stoner, I lost a lot of interest and so did the free-to-air TV stations. However, with Queenslander Jack Miller in the premier league and Network Ten promising all the GPs live, I’ll be staying up late or setting the hard drive to record.
8 More weekenders with my mates. You can never get enough time riding with your mates. Forget the excuses (see resolution 1) and just do it. “Bench racing” over a beer with your mates after a long day’s ride is an important ingredient of the riding experience.
9 Inspire more people to ride. Hopefully my website encourages riders to travel and potential riders to get their licences. But I will also reach out to people on a one-to-one basis, promoting our chosen recreation and continue to defend motorcycling against the safety nannies, bureaucratic Nazis, misguided environmental gurus and bikie bigots. (To me, a bikie bigot is someone who thinks all riders are rapist and pillagers.)
10 Read more about motorcycles. I spend a lot of time writing stories about motorcycles, but I don’t make a lot of time to sit down and read a book about motorcycles. It’s time to re-read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and to finally read Ted Simon’s “Jupiter’s Travels” which inspired Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor to do “Long Way Round”.