Even bikers wear pink

The annual Pink Ribbon ride came around again recently, and it was another fun day out on the motorbike with hundreds of fellow riders.

The whole day is all about raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research, and it’s amazing to see the turnout for an event like this. Even more fantastic is some of the hard work and effort some people put in to deck their bikes out in pink. It’s not so surprising to see tough-looking, hairy men in leather jackets with their facial hair dyed a shade of hot pink.

pink bike

pink ribbon bikes

It was quite a windy day, which did result in being blown around a bit on my little VTR 250. I guess I can chalk this up to increasing my riding experience, even though it really was not pleasant most of the time.

pink ribbon riders

pink ribbon bears

It’s really nice to be part of a community like this doing something good to help find a cure for breast cancer. Even better is to see men joining in with such enthusiasm!

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Vandalism

A few weeks ago, we woke up to our motorbikes both laying on their sides on the street outside our flat. They had obviously been victims of bored idiots who, during the night, thought that it would be hilarious to tip them over.

motorbikes on their side vandalism

It blows my mind that there are people out there who have no consideration for peoples’ property, and will damage property for the sake of a few laughs. It seemed that they were so intent on having their fun that they had even chosen to do it the hard way when they tipped them over the kickstands rather than the other side.

Thankfully my motorbike didn’t sustain any more damage than I’d already inflicted on it recently (a snapped clutch lever when I dropped it a few days beforehand), however White Russian’s motorbike didn’t fare as well. It sustained cracked fairings, broken indicator lights, a snapped clutch lever, broken mirrors, and damage to the swing arm and the exhaust pipe.

snapped motorcycle clutch lever

The upside was that his motorbike ended up being written off by the insurance company, so now he has some money to buy a shiny new toy!

Seeing Sydney by motorcycle

About 4 months ago, I bought my first motorcycle.  I say the “first” because I’ve been reliably told by my biker friends that you never stay with your first ever bike. The longer you ride, the more you want to keep buying and riding bigger and better bikes, so you’re always looking for the “next” bike.

I actually obtained my motorcycle licence in late 2009 while I was living in the UK.  It was on a trip to Cornwall with my mate Graham, driving around the windy country roads, that I thought it would be a wonderful experience to ride around Britain.  However, soon after I passed my test I embarked on my Central American backpacking trip and then never ended up buying a bike upon my return to London as I knew I would be soon moving back to Sydney.

With a full riders licence, I was tempted to buy a big bike, but being essentially a rider with no experience I thought I’d just get a little bike and get confident before I upgrade.  This is my sweet ride – my Honda VTR 250.  Looks a bit like a Ducati Monster!

One of the best things about having a bike is taking the time to actually go out riding and checking out parts of Sydney that I would never bother to visit otherwise in a car.  With Mark and my other biker friends, I’ve checked out Wisemans Ferry, the Royal National Park, the Old Pacific Highway north from Sydney, and just last weekend to Ku-rin-gai National Park to West Head to check out the view towards Palm Beach.

Another great thing that I’ve discovered is a fun riding community.  Last month was the annual Pink Ribbon ride, where riders of all descriptions come out and deck their bikes in pink all in the name of charity.  There are even some serious looking biker men with their goatees dyed pink!

It was so much fun riding out in a big group of motorcycles.  I think I’m seeing the appeal of joining a gang!

Visiting the Queen

Having just learnt to ride a motorcycle the weekend before last, I hired a little 125cc for the weekend to practice my skills and rode out to the pretty town of Windsor.  I dropped by Windsor Castle, where the Queen’s standard was flying high on the Round Tower to indicate that she was in!

Having missed my appointment for tea and scones with Her Majesty, I wandered around the lavish State Apartments and marveled at the beautiful paintings and tapestries adorning all the walls.  The Drawing Room even had original sketches by Leonardo da Vinci.

The ride out and back was a good experience, with a wrong turn into Windsor Great Park giving me an idea of how terrifying it is to ride in crosswinds at 50mph.

I’m looking forward to getting a bike of my own sometime next year when i return from my mammoth 30th birthday backpacking trip.  It will hopefully be a largish bike – one that will be comfortable on weekends out in the British countryside and won’t be squealing like mad at 50mph in 5th gear!