I am now a one-month new beginner. It’s about time I complain about motorcycling to live up to my parent’s expectations. Time to be drama-mama.
The sun bursts the sky. It bursts the tarmac, the rider’s skin. It takes no heed of honest people. The sun covers my motorcycle dashboard so that I cannot see if I am in neutral gear. Always, I jolt to a stall or apply the engine brake inappropriately (which makes the machine sound with crazy joy)
Wear long sleeve shirts, gloves, sunblock, or ride at night. Open mouth wide in protest to the sun (and also to breathe properly). Drink water.
You would think that a rider welcomes the rain in this Singapore heat but the rain hurts at 50 km/h. Falling dry leaves slaps you at random places. The wind pushes you like a bored kid. You will skid.
Nil. Drive 30% of your hao lian speed.
As the rain hurts, so does my hand. Clutching during rush hour violates them. The traffic on a crawl adorned my palms with callouses.
Submerge it in an ice bath in the morning and at night for five minutes. Elevate above your head.
Bruised are my shins.
You can opt for high-cut motorcycle boots with shin guards or you can suck it up.
Other motorists are empty vessels. They make noise. Opening the throttle two seconds after the light goes green guarantees a symphony of horns.
Like in Chuan Tzu’s Empty Boat, if you consider that all vehicles are empty, you would see the futility of cursing or sounding your hooters. There’s nobody there.
Also, motorists do not bother to see you.
Do your best to stay in everyone’s line of vision. Likewise, check your blindspots everytime you turn, change lane, see a squirell.
I pray with feverish ardour for the tank to magically fill up.
How I fill up my tank: Disdainfully search for a gas station. This depends on which credit card you have. Some stations will give you discount cards for free to make you feel special (mine is 14% off but I did not feel special). Park beside a pump booth. Kill the engine because you use the keys to open the tank. Lift a nozzle (it should be labelled as 92 or 95) and wait till the pump reads zero. Insert nozzle of pump near the mouth of the tank and gently pull pump trigger. Do not overflow. Put pump back in the nozzle. Lock fuel tank. Sayang the motorcycle. Go to cashier and mention your pump number. Pay with aforementioned cards. Ride off satisfied.
I thought that these complaints were going to roll long but as I ride more, I find myself complaining less. I have learnt to anticipate the barbarism of other road users and have started to appreciate the physical and mental strain from riding with more seat hours. But really, what’s there to complain about?
Eunice is a motorcycle noob who has been spending more time than her life coach approves on YouTube looking at MotoGP and Urban Trials. No, she does not have a life coach but her display set motorcycle will do the job. It will be her new ride after she clocks out as a freelance creative. Read through as Eunice tracks her progress in becoming a better rider.