This will be my last chance to get a column in place before the holidays, so here are my 12 Biking Wishes that I'd like Santa to bring/give for 2011:
Wish 1: A tip for all bikers: if you go over a big bump and lift out of the saddle, try not to land on the tank with your right testicle under you!!!!
Wish 2: To the police officer who pulled me over for speeding. All best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. You dealt with the situation sensibly and kindly. It would have been all too easy to be a real jobsworth, but you applied common sense.
Wish 3: To the two officers who pulled me over "For a chat about road safety". Officer 1; Again, well done. You were sensible, gave good advice. But really, have a word with your colleague!
Officer 2: Learn subtlety. If you're running a number plate check whilst your colleague talks to me and you're not sure of the make of bike, then ask him to come over to you for a moment, don't come wandering over, asking loudly of him "Is that a Suzuki?"!
Wish 4 (well 3.5): I really don't mind random number plate checks! This helps find cloned plates and/or stolen motorcycles. But then I suppose not everyone would take it so well. But I do object to being pulled over by the police, because someone wants to perform a transport survey! Strikes me as a waste of their time.
Wish 5 (and the last police one, I promise): To the plain-clothes officer who cut me up, then , when I moved over to the bus lane I am legally entitled to ride in, moved over there as well, put on his lights and sirens (right on my tail). I didn't stop as I knew I'd done nothing wrong. But everyone did what they're supposed to do; get out of his way. As soon as he was ahead of the queue, he switched off the bells and whistles and continued on his way, with no urgency.
To you, I leave this thought; Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Ignorance FROM the law is inexcusable.
Wish 6: That this blasted recession may ease and life gets a little easier for the good dealers. It isn't just the bad ones that are struggling, they all need some help.
Wish 7: To the buffoon who hit his horn in annoyance at me for riding at 25mph in a 30mph zone, in weather so bad I could barely see through my visor: Get a life, or at least let me keep mine.
Wish 8: To the clearly unstable person who insisted walking along the white lines in the middle of the road recently: Please get some help, it isn't just you who is going to get hurt acting like that.
Wish 9: To the European Community; Biking is in real trouble. Back off with the punitive legislation for a while and give the industry a chance to save itself. The restrictions you are imposing can and will see businesses go under. Is this really what you want in these difficult times?
Wish 10: Get out there and ride your bikes in the New Year! There are estimates as low as 3,500 miles a year being the average! Enjoy your bikes, go ride a range of roads and see new things. Motorcycles aren't toys, they're good, viable transport and should be enjoyed as much as possible.
Wish 11: To all non-bikers. Please realise that motorcyclists are vulnerable. Keep an eye open for them. We're all entitled to use the roads, so lets all use them together sensibly.
Wish 12: A non-biking one. May everyone be fit, well and prosperous in the New Year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at http://www.motobke.co.uk
Follow Bob Pickett on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MotobkeBob