Freedom, feeling like a rebel and childhood dreams – just some of the reasons a group of motorcycle enthusiasts gave as to why they own a bike.
The thought of a 70mph ride while exposed to the fresh air may sound more nerve wracking than exhilarating to some, but with the popularity of motorcycles showing no signs of decline we wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.
Luckily for us, the motorcycle community is both tightly knit and extremely enthusiastic about what it does so we managed to track down some of its members to find out why they love life on the road.
Glyn Moore – a lifelong enthusiast who has been riding for more than 22 years. He rides a Yamaha YZF-R1 which he calls Baby Girl.
Stuart Edgar – a rider of 10 years who has held his full bike licence for the last four of those years. He owns a Yamaha YZF R6 called Polly.
David Wilkins – the newbie, he passed his test two years ago and rides a 2008 Yamaha R6.
What drew you towards motorcycling?
Stuart: “Cheaper fuel, tax and insurance played a part but mainly because as a kid it was always a dream to have sports bike. “I worked throughout my teens and into adulthood and have been fortunate enough to be able to buy one. Luckily for me the new ones look and go better than the old ones.”
Glyn: “My father used to race bikes so I guess it's always been in my blood. “During my time in the forces after every tour I'd always come back saying I’d get a bike but due to the pace of work, I just never had the time, so stuck with cars.
“I left the Army due to getting injured but managed to get a bike to help me and focus on passing my test.”
David: “It all started as a kid, my friend's grandfather had passed away and left money to him which he used to buy a new CR250. Two days later I was travelling at what felt like light speed along the old railway line, gripping the handle bars as tight as I could, crunching gears and trying to not crash, it was an instant addiction.”
What’s your favourite thing about riding?
Glyn: “It has to be the freedom and no traffic. I think it feels kinda rebellious as well. “Also the social side, I run Keep it Twisted (a motorbike forum) and most people on there are great. Wherever there are bikes we all talk to each other even if we’ve never met.”
Stuart: “Everything, some people are addicted to chocolate or sex, for me it's suiting up and taking a ride to unwind.
“Then there's the power of the bike. For a car to take you from 0-100 in seven seconds you'd have to spend £30,000 or more. For a bike you can spend as little as £1,500.
“There’s also the adrenalin rush and finding the best roads, scenery and coffee spots. “The big one is friends become family; community is the word you'll hear a lot.”
David: “I suffer with PTSD and terrible flashbacks constantly, along with chronic knee pain from my injury, the second I start my bike and set off, it all disappears. I feel zero pain, have zero flashbacks; it feels like I'm me again.
“No amount of therapy or counselling has helped me as much as riding my bike.”
Where’s best to ride?
Stuart: “Follow the sun and see where it takes you. Getting lost is the best part as you won't know the roads but will enjoy the ride at a more sensible pace.”
Glyn: “We are spoilt in Wales with such great A roads – up through Brecon to Builth Wells, onto Crossgates and then Aberystwyth. That’s a great run.
“Coastal towns are also great but to be honest, it’s the ride not the destination that makes it. “Snowdon, Aberystwyth, Tenby, Mumbles, Brecon, Abergavenny, Llandrindod Wells (Horseshoe pass) and the Cat and Fiddle in Yorkshire are all great.”
David: “I've not gone too far, but Brecon is nice when you can be absolutely certain it's not going to rain and the sun is out.”
Describe the best ride you've ever been on
David: “The best would be doing my first track day at Llandow in south Wales just a month or two ago, just an instant smile when I think back and can't wait to do the next one.”
Stuart: “All of them! Every ride is unique in its own right.
“It’s not the best one but relates to the community aspect, it was for a biker friend's funeral. At least 40 maybe 50 bikers turned up to give him a send off.
“I didn't know most people but that doesn't stop the biking community getting together to pay respect.”
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about taking up motorcycling?
Glyn: “Research the type of riding you want to do – getting a superbike if you’re interested in touring is no good.
“Don’t forget, you can spend thousands on your bike so don’t skimp on good quality gear and that includes for your pillion as well.
“Finally, never skimp on maintenance for your bike or your gear. If you look after it, it will look after you.”
Stuart: “Take your time on the bike, no need to rush and of course, all the gear, all the time!”
David: “It's dangerous and you need to be level-headed, safe and switched on constantly, even then it's not always going to be enough to save you.
“But if your passion outweighs your precaution, it's truly an incredible area to get involved in and something I will never regret because it quite possibly saved my life.”