I have done the London commute myself for many years and what was the worst thing about it I would say being crammed on a packed train most mornings never knowing if you were going to get on it or not. Then you had the seat warriors who would put their bags on the spare seat next to them just in case Eddy “The Beast” Hall was about to get on the train and sit next to them! You often got a sigh when asking said member of the public if you could sit on the seat that they had proudly placed their Luxury leather Attaché Briefcase on, but getting a seat is a luxury because when you didn’t you often had to stand the whole journey which was not the end of the world but feeling like a sardine in a can with everyone around you coughing and sneezing is a feeling that I don’t miss.
In fact it was that feeling that gave me the motivation to get on two wheels. Parking was far too expensive in Central London and driving in from Kent just took far too long with the traffic. Nobody wants to be stuck in the car, so what I say is now is the time to take the plunge get on two wheels. Not only will you social distance yourself from most other commuters you will find that your commute to work actually becomes a lot more fun and you have a new found sense of freedom. No heavy train fares, delayed trains, packed tubes or buses, coughs and sneezes. I can guarantee you that you will be thinking “I should have done this years ago”. If you are thinking about it then life is too short to think. Take the plunge. The capital city has thousands of bikers commuting in every day and I can see the obsession… If you ever have to get a packed train to work after doing your bike test you will be saying to yourself….I am a biker get me outta here!!
A few common questions do exist below that I have tried to answer the best I can.
Q. But I have to carry lots of stuff into work?
A. That’s what top boxes are for!
Q. I have nowhere to park it.
A. Check on the local council interactive parking map for suitable motorcycle parking bays. Or if your office or workplace has a small area to the rear or side then you might find you can park there just ask permission from whoever is responsible for the premises.
Q. But what if someone steals it?
A. What if? We can’t live life on What if’s. Disc lock or chain, alarm, tracker, there are options. Failing that buy an older bike and paint it pink with yellow dots. Did anyone ever try and steal Mr Blobby?
Q. But is it hassle having to put all your bike gear on every morning?
A. No. It becomes second nature.
Q. But I will mess my hair up wearing a helmet into work and it takes me too long to sort it out.
A. Shave it off or get the train!!
If you have a full car licence, you can ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc but you have to take your Compulsory Basic Training first. Once you've done that, you can ride a motorcycle or scooter with an engine capacity up to 125cc, on the road with L-plates for up to two years.
If you don’t have any type of licence and want to ride a motorcycle then we recommend checking out this link https://www.gov.uk/ride-motorcycle-moped
Become a safer rider.
Sign up for a BikeSafe-London Rider Skills Day to boost your biking ability and improve your safety on the road. Run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service, these courses offer expert advice, including an observed ride on urban and rural roads with police motorcyclists. They will offer guidance on everything from cornering and filtering to spotting hazards and making yourself visible.
This course has already helped thousands of riders to improve their riding skills and confidence, helping to reduce motorcycle casualties on London's roads.
This one-day course costs £45. Courses take place at the Ace Cafe, Bushey Sports Club, Chigwell Sports Club, Imber Court, The BikeShed and The Warren.
For more information and to book, visit the BikeSafe-London website or call 02476 408 034
The following companies offer a discount on their motorcycle insurance for riders who have completed either 1-2-1 Motorcycle Skills or BikeSafe-London
There are a number of training courses offered by other organisations available to suit different abilities. Each is designed to make you a better and safer rider.
IAM RoadSmart IAM RoadSmart offers a number of courses, including an Advanced Rider course, which are quality-assured by the DVSA.
RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Training Theory and practical instruction for responsible riding, which leads to RoSPA's nationally recognised Advanced Riding Test.
DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme A scheme to check your motorcycle riding skills and provide training to help you improve.
Biker Down! A scene management and immediate aid training course for riders, should they come across a motorcycle collision. Includes advice on maximising your visibility to other road users. The course is delivered by operational fire and ambulance responders to the public at fire stations across London.
See you out on the roads
Martin @ Anybikebought.com
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