A grey sunday morning after a late night and I decided to ditch the bike in favour of some well earned family time and headed for the coast…only to find a biker’s hotspot of which I was not invited.
As bike riders, we tend to assume that if someone isn’t on a bike then they’re not a biker. If you’re in a car…you’re a ‘cager’ ( I despise that term by the way), if you’re in a van…you’re a ‘white van man’, lorry…’trucker’, but rarely would we assume that somebody in another mode of transport may have the same fascinations as we do.
So there I was today; incognito…undercover and getting the skinny on what bikers do and what conversations they might have when they might assume that everyone else in the vicinity was not a biker…and much to my dismay, their conversations were quite normal and unassuming.
I was hoping for some brash demeanour or for expletives out of every orifice but actually everyone I saw was rather unassuming and appeared to be having very mundane discussions about exhausts, engines and MOT legislation. I was very tempted to jump in and correct some of their faux pars but I chose to maintain my cover and attend to my canine companion who was in dire need of refreshment after hooning about on the beach and drinking lots of sea water…yes I have a stupid dog!
I was totally expecting our destination at Mudeford, near Christchurch in the UK to be a quiet, family destination. Whilst it was indeed that, it was also a mecca of sorts for the Sunday riders, the classic car club drivers and the bikers who would show off their hand built creations. A fair mix of styles and aptitudes with a dress sense to match too.
The sun finally popped out mid morning and the grey clouds soon cleared to shine light on an idillic part of the South Coast. The dog was thriving whilst collecting stones in the surf, partner in crime and sweet child o’ mine were having a field day catching crabs in their buckets and the ice cream on the island beach paradise was simply divine…although it did resemble the set of Amity in the Jaws movie.
Of course I was having a fab day out with the fam and mutt but I also thought what a great ride out destination it would be on the bike too, weekday or weekend, summer or winter. I suppose it was because the clientele were eclectic and the atmosphere was most relaxed, was why I enjoyed the day so much. Yes, I was the secret biker who nobody knew about, but I didn’t mind one bit although I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t imagine myself riding in on my bike, parking up and standing around looking all menacing and totally cool.
Perhaps that will be for another day, but if you’re ever stuck for a destination to ride to, then look no further than a quiet seaside town on a Sunday afternoon. It won’t necessarily be full of bikers, but then it doesn’t need to be either. You’re bound to meet the odd one or two, however whilst mixing with the civilians and their spawn can be quite daunting…it can also be just that break that you need every once in a while.
Suffice to say, the rest of the day was dandy. The ferry crossing over onto the sandbank was expertly performed…although my dog did proceed to throw up three times on the boat…much to the disgust of many passengers and the annoyance of the ferry crew. Anyone would have thought he did it on purpose…
The trial to find a fish and chips shop open on a Sunday evening proved successful after the third attempt and was most agreeable whilst looking out over the harbour and with a setting sun…although the wind was a slight annoyance as it wanted to give wings to virtually every item we placed on the picnic table.
And to cap off the undercover day…as we were leaving in the car to make the two hour journey home…we were accosted by a tribe of 100 strong back patch bikers. After I danced with the devils and proclaimed I was indeed a father of an unappreciative child and a totally pathetic partner to a good lady…like the red sea with the wishes of Moses, they divided and let my people go…through.
OK, that last tale was totally fabricated but it might have happened in a Hollywood movie…but thankfully nothing as exciting like that happened today. It was just a fun day in the sun with fine lady, good child and hapless dog in tow. It was great to see two wheeled enthusiasts riding around and whilst I failed to declare that I was indeed a biker too…the day was all the better for it.