What if I told you that you could zip past peak hour traffic in the transit lanes, never again pay for parking, and own a brand new vehicle for less than you’re currently paying for petrol each week?
And what if the same activity could improve your mental health and physical fitness as well?
How is this possible? The answer, of course, is to ride a motorcycle or scooter.
That’s right – a fun activity like riding a motorcycle gives you a great brain-boosting rush of endorphins and focus, and burns more calories than driving a car (while also helping your balance and core strength).
Bikes and scooters are cheaper to run than cars, and are more environmentally friendly.
It has been almost 15 years since I got my full motorcycle licence, and around 10 years since I actually rode a bike.
But the two things I remember most clearly about riding are the incredible feeling of exhilaration, and how much riding a bike improved my driving skills.
There are no two ways about it: riding a bike or scooter is great fun. You feel like you’re actually part of the environment, rather than closed off inside a big metal cabin.
Of course, missing the protection of that metal cabin means you can’t afford to make many mistakes. You need to be acutely aware of your environment at all times, and keenly focused on the behaviour of other drivers.
And those skills will make you a much better driver, whether you’re on two wheels or four.
In our big country, many of us are lucky enough to grow up riding dirt bikes through the countryside, or riding pillion on the back of a family member’s bike.
But if you’ve never ridden before, getting started can be pretty intimidating. While we don’t hear as much about the benefits of riding, we certainly hear plenty about the risks.
So you’ll want to get some good advice before you begin. How do you actually go about getting a licence? What kind of bike should you get? What kind of safety gear do you really need?
When I learned to ride, I was lucky enough to connect with the team at Canberra Motorcycle Centre (where I bought my first bike), as well as with a local rider’s group, who provided invaluable advice and support along the way.
As we’ve mentioned previously, the team at the Canberra Motorcycle Centre takes their role as part of the local scene very seriously.
They’re regularly putting on events to help nurture and educate the local riding community, and the latest is their New to Bikes Night, to be held from 6 pm to 7.30 pm on Wednesday 19 September 2018.
“There’s a myth that motorcycle shops only want to deal with die-hard motorcycle riders, who know everything there is to know about bikes,” said Canberra Motorcycle Centre (CMC) Sales Director Kane Piper.
“That’s simply not true. The reality is our largest customer segment is ‘new to bikes’, with over 60 per cent of the market being ‘LAMS approved’ (that’s another term we’ll talk about on the night).
“So helping people get started in riding is what we are experts in!” he said.
Whether you’re new to riding, getting back on the bike after a few years’ break, or you’ve only just started thinking about getting your licence – New to Bikes offers the chance to learn a whole lot in a short period of time.
The evening will consist of a series of short 15-minute talks from a variety of presenters, covering such topics as:
- How to get your licence,
- Choosing the right safety gear,
- 101 of servicing a motorcycle, and
- What you can do on your own at home to keep the bike safe and serviced.
And as always, the CMC’s experienced and knowledgeable staff will be on hand to share their passion for bikes and answer any questions you might have.
This isn’t a hard-sell event, but the Centre will have a special display of all their available ‘learner legal’ bikes and scooters. So you’ll have the opportunity to check out the full range of options, with sound advice on what might suit you best.
Kids are welcome, and there will be plenty of refreshments available to buy on the night as well.
What: CMC’s New To Bikes Night
Where: 30 Ipswich St, Fyshwick
When: 19 September from 6 – 7:30 pm
How much: $0
We’ll be going along to check out New to Bikes on the night – will we see you there? What would you like to know about motorcycles and riding?