Sunday, 3 March 2013

Motorcycle Abstinence and a Plea for Comments

(Preamble: I’m making an unashamed plea for comments here. I need your input on something so please read it to the end and comment if at all possible. It would also be awesome if you would let other potential readers know about it. THANKS, John)

I have made two conscious decisions in the past week or so. I may have mentioned one in my last blog post but I’m not sure. Like the overwhelming majority of the world, I haven’t read it. The first was to blog more, perhaps once a fortnight. The second I know I didn’t mention. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned anything to do with being Christian before so there’s no way I would have mentioned Lent and Abstinence. It will probably be a while before I mention it again as well.

Being Catholic and teaching in a Catholic school, you would think I’d be good at it. Most of the non-catholic staff at school assume I am to. Unfortunately it’s really not the case. I’m pretty sure I genuflect on the wrong knee when I remember to do it at all. I haven’t been to confession in, um... That right, I was a teenager and a priest tricked me into it when I had a heart to heart with him one day. I happily support state sponsored gay marriage as distinct from church sponsored. Frankly, it’s none of my business and I don’t remember Jesus saying anything about it anyway.

So, what does this have to do with motorcycles. That’s the Lent bit. I’m meant to give something up for Lent and give the difference to charity. For many that’s alcohol or chocolate. Not being a drinker, alcohol is a non starter. I also consume very little chocolate. Either of these options would mean two or three quid over the four weeks of Lent. Previously I’ve tried to give up coffee which would work well if I was a good and strong willed Catholic. This time I’m going to do something much more clever with serious financial benefits. I’m giving up wasting fuel.

The implications of this are abstinence that only a motorcyclist will understand.
  • Riding the YBR125 (110mpg UK) rather than the WeeStrom (60mpg) or the cage (40mpg)
  • Short shifting every time with any vehicle (how to make a slow car slower)
  • Walking if at all possible.
  • Putting a jumper on and making everyone else do the same.
  • Worst of all NO RIDEOUTS!
In effect, use the most fuel efficient vehicle I can for the journey and likewise the route and style of riding. Most of the time that means riding Angie’s YBR125 and not at full throttle. With the children it means going very easy on the car and on the very very odd occasion it means riding the WeeStrom while suppressing the irrepressible urge to let her rip past long lines of slow moving traffic.

The benefit, with a bit of ‘Reccy Mech Maths’ is around £10 a week for a charity. The environmental benefits I’m nowhere near qualified to calculate. I am left with one problem: where to put the money? Obviously there’s CAFOD. Obvious answer. Why not Yorkshire Air Ambulance though? In an attempt to get someone, just for once, to leave a comment on my blog, Your suggestions for where to put the money would be kindly received.
Meanwhile, I managed to benefit from a little loophole in my abstinence plan. You see, I’ve got to go to work. My route is probably one of the best commutes in Yorkshire. I’ve got to ride the VStrom. My wife has taken her YBR125 to work and the car is too thirsty. So though I now have to add to the long list of sins I’m saving up for my next confession by having a gentle bimble over the moor on the best bike I’ve ever owned. I just pray I don’t get stuck behind any Sunday Drivers on the way back.  


  1. This is my 3rd attempt to write a comment on your blog. I am not sure what I am doing wrong or even if it is something I am doing.
    Anyway I have read most of your posts and only have your latest posts left to read.
    I think your very brave riding in the snow. I doubt I could do it.

    Ride safe


    1. You're not the first to have problems. My brother said he couldn't. I've had difficulties with leaving comments on blogs hosted by blogger before. Maybe I should quit and move to word press. It would give me a chance to change the name (which I no-longer like) Google does own me though and I've worked hard on it of late.

      As for your last comment, brave or stupid :) Who knows. Point is I tried and I didn't do it. From what I hear, some of your dirt roads will throw you in a heartbeat. We all have our challenges I guess. I'd love to do an off road skills course on someone else's bike. Shucks, that just gave me an idea for another post. Funny how those things happen.

      Thanks for commenting Cliff. Good luck with your next farride.


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