by Sir Mutant Rat and The Big Bandit, December 1997
It's early on Sunday morning,
there's a half-light that's cold and grey
and the dew and the mist still lingers.
It's time to go out for a play.
I back the bike out of the garage
to the road where it leans on the stand,
as I look at the still sleeping houses
and think of the fun that I've planned.
Some choke, then a thumb on the starter.
The engine starts with a roar.
I let it warm up on the side-stand,
'til it coughs and it splutters no more.
I pull on my black leather jacket,
my lid, and the gloves go on last.
then sit on the bike and I'm ready.
Kill the choke now it's idling fast.
Wet roads, cold tyres and hungover,
feeling wary I start off quite slow
but I long to get out to the country,
to the dips and the bends that I know.
Leaving town my visor's all misted -
click a notch for a fresh, chilly breeze.
The road ahead's clear so I nail it,
ton-up through the esses with ease.
I'm travelling but taking it smoothly,
too slippy for a really good blast
but I'll wake a few villagers this morning -
cursing me and my noise once I've passed.
At the roundabout I want to get moving,
but too soon and I spin out the rear.
Shutting off I manage to stay upright,
and I ponder the absence of fear.
Shouldn't I be scared of an offing?
At this speed it would probably hurt.
I find only one thought that can shake me,
of my bike lying bent in the dirt.
If I crashed it I'd have to stop riding
while it's taken away to be done.
For weeks I'd be driving a car
and I'd miss all this hooligan fun.
As the sun rises higher it gets warmer.
The roads are beginning to dry.
More grip from the warm sticky rubber.
I'm really begining to fly.
There's a Gatso around the next corner,
I don't want to risk getting clicked.
It's annoying to have to slow down,
but it's stupid to beg to be nicked.
So I slice my way round one last Volvo
and grab a big handful of brake.
I smile as the car hoots its hooter,
I'm a Biker - they give and I take.
At a junction I meet some boy racers,
a Ninja and a GSXR.
Alongside we exchange words and glances,
"Nice bike. Have you come very far?"
They've got fairings and I'm riding bareback,
so I can't really swallow the bait.
I keep up through the bends and the traffic,
but I always get left on the straight.
A bend tightens. I'm not sure I'll make it.
Like a virgin I reach for the brake.
I knew I should just have leaned further
but now I stand up and go straight.
I've really screwed up on this corner.
Get round? No way I can cope!
I cross the white lines at the apex.
No traffic! Perhaps there's still hope.
With an effort I turn in again,
but I'm on the wrong side of the road,
then finally I'm back on my own side.
I got through the bend but I've slowed.
I've lost all sense of balance and smoothness,
and I change down to blast off again.
I'm not worried, I'll do better next time.
Cock ups are all part of the game.
I've burned up a tankful already,
with the wind blast I'm starting to ache,
I'm thirsty and a little bit hungry.
I'd best give my neck a short break.
I pull in at a layby for tea
and a burger at the Old Greasy Spoon.
Then down to the pumps to fill up,
but it'll be empty again before noon.
My bike may have a few scratches,
and I've got some war wounds as well
but this is my morning for living,
and while it's still fun - What the hell!